Browse Prior Art Database

Configuring Personal Computers for Medialess Operation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000113034D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 75K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Grimes, BR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Described is an architectural implementation to provide the ability for Personal Computers (PCs), used in a medialess environment, to be configured so as to run without generating errors or halting system operations. The implementation provides an indicator in non-volatile memory so as to detect whether, or not, to generate an Initial Microcode Load (IML) error.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Configuring Personal Computers for Medialess Operation

      Described is an architectural implementation to provide the
ability for Personal Computers (PCs), used in a medialess
environment, to be configured so as to run without generating errors
or halting system operations.  The implementation provides an
indicator in non-volatile memory so as to detect whether, or not, to
generate an Initial Microcode Load (IML) error.

      On certain PCs, such as the IBM Personal System/2*, the IML and
loadable firmware has been enhanced so that the firmware image could
reside on either the fixed disk, or diskette, and could be loaded
from these storage devices into the Read Only Memory (ROM) address
space in memory.  This function provided the ability to update the
software of any IML system by just replacing the code on the fixed
disk, or diskette.  This updatable microcode would reside in a hidden
partition on the fixed disk located at a certain location on the
Small Computer System Inteface (SCSI) bus.  Therefore, when the
Power-On System Test (POST) code attempts to load the software from
the fixed disk, it would address a particular drive and attempt to
read it into the system.  If the attempt failed, corresponding error
messages would appear.

      Where multiple systems were attached to the common SCSI fixed
disks, thereby creating "Twin Tailing" of SCSI devices, multiple
systems were able to be attached to common SCSI devices.  In this
implementation, the IML design was expanded and was referred to as
"Search IML".  The Search IML design allowed for the hidden partition
that holds the microcode for a particular system to reside on any
SCSI fixed disk in the system.  The requirement that the hidden
partition had to reside on a particular SCSI fixed disk in a
particular location could not adopt well to the "Twin Tailing"
environment.  As Search IML progressed, a new function was used to
scan all of the available fixed disks to determine if the hidden
partition for the particular system it was running o...