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Maintaining the Storage Device Setting Across a BIOS Update to Avoid Data Corruption

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125134D
Publication Date: 2005-May-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that avoids data corruption by maintaining platform storage device settings across a system BIOS update. Benefits include preventing data loss and system down time.

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Maintaining the Storage Device Setting Across a BIOS Update to Avoid Data Corruption

Disclosed is a method that avoids data corruption by maintaining platform storage device settings across a system BIOS update. Benefits include preventing data loss and system
down time.

Background

The BIOS typically stores configuration settings and data in the battery-backed CMOS memory in the chipset. For various reasons, a platform may go through multiple BIOS updates through out its life. Because a typical BIOS update process causes an update of the CMOS memory, this results in the replacement of the old BIOS settings by the new, default BIOS settings.

This behavior is problematic on platforms whose chipset implements an integrated Serial AT Attachment (SATA) Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) and allows the HBA to be configured to operate in more than one mode (i.e. IDE, SATA or RAID). For example, if a user configures the SATA HBA to appear as a RAID HBA (i.e. resulting in a change in the devices class code), it is expected that subsequent boots of the platform will cause the BIOS to load an OROM for the RAID HBA, and will also cause the OS to boot using a RAID-aware device driver. Either the OROM or OS driver will then allow the user to configure the HDDs as some type of RAID volume. Once a RAID volume is created, the associated OROM and OS driver must always be used, because these two components understand the layout of the RAID volume on the RAID member disks.

Since the SATA HBA has no dedicated memory and because the hardware programming registers are volatile across system boots, it is the responsibility of the platform BIOS to read any saved user configuration settings from CMOS and then use these settings to properly program the SATA HBA back into RAID mode prior to booting the OS. However, if...