Alternate Means of PFA Notification Using HDD LED Signal
Original Publication Date: 2000-Dec-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Disclosed is a method for indicating PFA status (Predictive Failure Analysis) on a HDD (Hard Disk Drive) to a computer system user, or special computer hardware without the need to run special software to query the HDD via its bus interface. The mechanism for determining if a disk drive is predicting a failure is to poll the drive periodically over its bus interface (IDE, SCSI, etc). This requires that the system be "active", such that a software driver may read the state of the disk drive and act according to the data that was read from the drive. This invention merges PFA and HDD LED (Light Emitting Diode) technologies to allow a user to determine the PFA status of a disk drive without the assistance of the system microprocessor (or the need to run any System Management software). Once the PFA firmware on a disk drive predicts a failure, it sends a unique "blink code" to the HDD LED, so the user can Identify the PFA condition without the need to run any System Management software. This blink code is OR'ed with the normal operation of the LED. An alternate embodiment of this idea provides a means to communicate PFA status to special system hardware by passing data across the HDD LED signal which is available on most HDD bus interfaces.