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Initialization And Test Support Using Either an Internal Or An External Diskette Drive

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120597D
Original Publication Date: 1991-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 164K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ingles, RJ: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a technique and hardware enablement to provide an optional diskette drive on an industrial personal computer (PC) system.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 42% of the total text.

Initialization And Test Support Using Either an Internal Or An External
Diskette Drive

      This article describes a technique and hardware
enablement to provide an optional diskette drive on an industrial
personal computer (PC) system.

      In an industrial computer designed for environmental extremes,
ease of maintenance, high performance, and unattended operation, the
system enclosure differs from personal system machines.  It holds
cards in shrouds which plug into the front of the unit.  Instead of a
planar board, there are two system cards, a processor card and a
system resource card, which plug into a passive backplane.  The
processor card contains the microprocessor, cache, math coprocessor,
and system ROM.  The system ROM contains initialization and run-time
code.  The system resource card provides interfaces for keyboard,
video, diskette, and communications.  An optional two-slot module
that contains the diskette and fixed disk drives is called the direct
access storage device (DASD) module.

      One embodiment of the machine contains the two system cards and
the optional DASD module.  All internal diskette and fixed disk
drives are contained in the DASD module. Users have five slots
available.

      Another embodiment has seven adapter slots and contains two
system cards and has no diskette or fixed disk.  Since this
embodiment has no internal diskette or fixed disk, an alternate means
of initialization and verification is needed.  An external diskette
can be connected to the front of the system resource card.

      Both the DASD card and the system resource card have diskette
controllers.  One must be initialized as enabled and the other as
disabled to avoid an addressing conflict. Other systems do not have
this problem because they only have one diskette controller on a
planar or system board.

      A diskette drive is included in most computer systems to
accomplish the following:
1. Initialize the system information so that it matches the hardware
configuration.
2. Provide a way to diagnose errors and isolate any failing
component.
3. Provide a device supporting removable media that can boot or
install an operating system.
4. Execute or install user application software from removable media.

      A computer system without a diskette drive must find an
alternate way to meet these requirements.  The typical solution for
the non- diskette system is to provide a networked system with
predetermined configuration options and limited diagnostics in the
system.  It depends on the network server to provide the operating
system and application software.  There is no easy way to operate the
computer as a stand-alone device without the network attached.

      Another solution is to attach a remote terminal to a
communications port.  This solution typically involves unique
communications application software and a terminal with diskette
drive capability.

      Additional intellige...