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Browse Prior Art Database

Test Procedure Option for Saving and Restoring Data in CMOS or NVRAM

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115345D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Macy, RB: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for saving the contents of CMOS or NVRAM memory before a failure condition of such memory is simulated during a test procedure using the Hardware Failure Simulator (HFS), and for restoring these contents after the failure condition is simulated. The HFS simulates various types of errors in a target system, using an interface to make the errors appear to be real to the target system, thereby determining whether the Power-On Self-Test (POST) and Diagnostics of the target system can properly detect the errors.

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

Test Procedure Option for Saving and Restoring Data in CMOS or NVRAM

      Disclosed is a method for saving the contents of CMOS or NVRAM
memory before a failure condition of such memory is simulated during
a test procedure using the Hardware Failure Simulator (HFS), and for
restoring these contents after the failure condition is simulated.
The HFS simulates various types of errors in a target system, using
an interface to make the errors appear to be real to the target
system, thereby determining whether the Power-On Self-Test (POST) and
Diagnostics of the target system can properly detect the errors.

      Within a computing system, a non-volatile memory, which retains
data when the system is powered down, may be built using CMOS
(Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor), or NVRAM (Non-Volatile
Random Access Memory) technology with battery power.  This
application is feasible because this technology provides a memory
function using a small fraction of the electrical power consumed by
standard random access memory having a similar capacity.  Because of
this capability, non-volatile memory is used to store particularly
important and sensitive data, such as the configuration of the
system.

      Without a method for saving and restoring this data, the
simulation of a failure within such non-volatile memory by the HFS
would result in the corruption of data stored in the memory.  Because
of the nature of data stored in this way, simulated failures
subsequently applied by the HFS would not be handled properly by the
target system.  Furthermore, the application of such a simulated
failure may require the reconfiguration of the target system.

      The HFS may be run in automated or manual modes.  In the
automated mode, the HFS uses text files, known as "Bug Files,"
sequentially indicating each desired fault, together with its
location.  To provide the save and restore function, the HFS checks
the Bug File for a "Save" or "Restore" keyword in th...