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Author: StJohn Piano
Published: 2017-11-28
Datafeed Article 23
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2245 words - 594 lines - 15 pages



Kalkin's specs: [link]


Definition of BIOS from:
techterms.com/definition/bios
Author: Per Christensson

BIOS

Stands for "Basic Input/Output System." Most people don't need to ever mess with the BIOS on a computer, but it can be helpful to know what it is. The BIOS is a program pre-installed on Windows-based computers (not on Macs) that the computer uses to start up. The CPU accesses the BIOS even before the operating system is loaded. The BIOS then checks all your hardware connections and locates all your devices. If everything is OK, the BIOS loads the operating system into the computer's memory and finishes the boot-up process.

Since the BIOS manages the hard drives, it can't reside on one, and since it is available before the computer boots up, it can't live in the RAM. So where can this amazing, yet elusive BIOS be found? It is actually located in the ROM (Read-Only Memory) of the computer. More specifically, it resides in an eraseable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) chip. So, as soon as you turn your computer on, the CPU accesses the EPROM and gives control to the BIOS.

The BIOS also is used after the computer has booted up. It acts as an intermediary between the CPU and the I/O (input/output) devices. Because of the BIOS, your programs and your operating system don't have to know exact details (like hardware addresses) about the I/O devices attached to your PC. When device details change, only the BIOS needs to be updated. You can make these changes by entering the BIOS when your system starts up. To access the BIOS, hold down the key as soon as your computer begins to start up.




Plug in the power cable (supplied with the computer).

Connect the computer to an external monitor using a DVI cable.
Note: There are two DVI ports. I may have to switch to the other one (only one was originally mentioned in the specification).

Plug in a USB mouse and a USB keyboard.

Let's see if we can get into the BIOS.

Press the power-on button.

It turns on, but nothing is displayed on the screen. Wait for 20 seconds.

Remove the DVI cable and insert it into the other DVI port.

Nothing is displayed.

No VGA port.

Pressing the power button again turns the computer off.

Turn the computer on again. This time, with the DVI cable inserted into the other port, text is displayed on the screen.

The displayed text changes a couple of times.

I'll use a smartphone mounted on a tripod to record a video of the displayed text.

Now I can transcribe from the video (paused at appropriate frames).

Comments within square brackets are not part of the transcription. Hyphens have been added to indicate sub-lists (the original text used indentation).



Frame 1: [very brief]

hp
J51 v01.20
Press any key for Option ROM Messages
Press the ESC key for Startup Menu


Frame 2:

Initializing Intel(R) Boot Agent GE v1.3.63
PXE 2.1 Build 089 (WfM 2.0)


Frame 3: [very brief, same as frame 1]

Frame 4:

Intel(R) Boot Agent GE v1.3.63
Copyright (C) 1997-2010, Intel Corporation

Intel(R) Boot Agent PXE Base Code (PXE-2.1 build 089)
Copyright (C) 1997-2010, Intel Corporation

Initializing and establishing link...


Frame 5:

Initializing and establishing link...

is replaced by
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel Boot Agent.


Frame 6:

Non-System disk or disk error
replace and strike any key when ready



Restart the computer. Hold the ESC key as it boots (note that I only know to do this because of the transcribed message in frame 1).

I arrive at this screen:

Version 2.10.1208. Copyright (C) 2011 American Megatrends, Inc.
16384 MB

[option list] Startup Menu

Continue Startup (Exit)
System Information
Change Language

Diagnostics (F2)
Boot Menu (F9)
Computer Setup (F10)
System Recovery (F11)
Network Boot (F12)
Utilities
Run UEFI Application...

[end option list]

J51 v01.20
HP Z210 Workstation
Press the ESC key for Startup Menu
Startup Menu



The option
Continue Startup (Exit)
is highlighted.

Choose
System Information
by pressing the down arrow and then pressing enter.

The option list is replaced with a table.

Here is a transcription of the table:

System Information

Product NameHP Z210 Workstation
SKU NumberXM856AV
Processor TypeIntel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E31230 @ 3.20GHz
Processor Speed3200 MHz
Processor Stepping000206A7 00000017
Cache Size (L1/L2/L3)64KBx4 / 256KBx4 / 8192KBx1
Memory Size16384 MB DDR3 / 1333 MHz
- Channel A- DIMM1 4096 MB / DIMM2 4096 MB
- Channel B- DIMM3 4096 MB / DIMM4 4096 MB
Integrated MAC082E5F25D726
System BIOSJ51 v01.20
Chassis Serial Number2UA2041C49
Asset Tracking Number2UA20327LX
ME Firmware Version7.1.13.1088
ME Management ModeAMT


Press any key to continue


Press enter key. Return to option list.

Choose
Boot Menu (F9)
.

New list:

Please select boot device:

EFI Boot Sources
Legacy Boot Sources
- ATAPI CD/DVD Drive
-- SATA2
- Hard Drive
-- HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA
- IBA GE Slot 00C8 v1363

[up arrow symbol] and [down arrow symbol] to move selection
ENTER to select boot device
ESC to boot using defaults


EFI Boot Sources
is selected.
Press enter. No response.
Try each item in sequence.
SATA2
is selected. Press enter. System attempts to boot from CD/DVD drive.
Result:
Non-System disk or disk error
replace and strike any key when ready


Press the button on the computer to open the CD drive. No CD inside.


In the boot menu, these are the three general options:
1: CD/DVD Drive
2: Hard Drive
3: IBA GE Slot

No USB option, notably. Perhaps if I were to insert a bootable USB memory stick into a USB port, and reboot the machine, it would appear as an option under EFI Boot Sources. I have a vague recollection that EFI/UEFI is associated with booting from USB sticks.

I don't know what IBA GE Slot means.



Excerpt from:
www.britannica.com/technology/SATA
Contributors: William L. Hosch, Amy Tikkanen, Marco Sampaolo

SATA, in full serial advanced technology attachment, also called serial ATA , an interface for transferring data between a computer's central circuit board and storage devices. SATA was designed to replace the long-standing PATA (parallel ATA) interface.

Serial communication transfers data one bit at a time, rather than in several parallel streams. Despite the apparent advantage of the parallel model, in practice serial transmission is less susceptible to interference, allowing SATA to operate at significantly higher speeds than PATA. The serial model also allows for simpler and slimmer cabling.

[...]

PATA dates from the mid-1980s, and it was continually upgraded over subsequent decades until data-transfer rates reached an effective ceiling. Several separate industry working groups began developing SATA in 2000, ultimately consolidating the specification through the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO). The first SATA specifications were released in 2003. An iteration to support external devices, dubbed eSATA, was introduced in 2004.



Excerpt from:
www.pcguide.com/ref/cd/confATAPI-c.html
Author: Charles Kozierok

ATA Packet Interface (ATAPI) / IDE

The most common interface used in modern CD-ROM drives is the AT Attachment Packet Interface, more commonly called just ATAPI. This is a special protocol that was developed to allow devices like CD-ROM drives and tape drives to attach to regular IDE controllers normally used for hard disks.



Excerpt from:
www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/50811/sata

Serial ATA
The standard hardware interface for connecting hard drives, solid state drives (SSDs) and CD/DVD drives to the computer. Introduced in 2001, all computers for consumer use employ the SATA interface. However, for mission critical applications, servers and high-end workstations may use the SCSI serial interface instead.

eSATA and Powered eSATA
SATA drives are internal and cabled directly to the motherboard, while "eSATA" ports on the back of the computer accept external SATA drives. The "powered" version means the drive power comes from the port rather than the wall outlet.

SATA, PATA and IDE
SATA is the faster serial version of the parallel ATA (PATA) interface. Both SATA and PATA are "integrated drive electronics" (IDE) devices, which means the controller is in the drive, and only a simple circuit is required on the motherboard.



Excerpt from:
www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/ide/index.htm
Author: Charles Kozierok

Integrated Drive Electronics / AT Attachment (IDE/ATA) Interface

The most popular interface used in modern hard disks--by far--is the one most commonly known as IDE. This interface is also known by a truly staggering variety of other names such as ATA, ATA/ATAPI, EIDE, ATA-2, Fast ATA, ATA-3, Ultra ATA, Ultra DMA and many more as well.

[...]

"IDE" is a misnomer [...] The "proper" name for the IDE interface is AT Attachment, or ATA.



Excerpt from:
superuser.com/questions/750364/what-is-this-boot-option

Q:

When I try to modify the BIOS boot sequence , I have this option:

Embedded Gb NIC1 IBA GE Slot 0638 v1300

To be honest, I have no idea what is it. Could someone highlights me, please ?

asked May 6 '14 at 14:02
user318055

A:

This is the network card in the machine.

PC hardware can boot from block devices (disks, optical media, usb drives) like you are used to, but can also boot using PXE across a network.

PXE uses DHCP to find a server it can boot from, and often uses TFTP to download the boot image.

This is a common way to boot Wyse and Citrix terminals that may have no internal storage.

answered May 6 '14 at 14:07
Paul



I'm fairly sure then that "IBA GE Slot 00C8 v1363" indicates the option to boot via ethernet network connection.



At this point, I decided to make a Centos bootable USB stick, which was complex enough to become a project by itself. [link]


Insert Centos stick in a USB port on Kalkin.

Press the power button. Hold the ESC key down as it boots.

In Startup Menu, choose Boot Menu (F9).

I see this screen:

Please select boot device:

EFI Boot Sources
Legacy Boot Sources
- ATAPI CD/DVD Drive
-- SATA2
- Hard Drive
-- TOSHIBA TransMemory 1.00
- IBA GE Slot 00C8 v1363

[up arrow symbol] and [down arrow symbol] to move selection
ENTER to select boot device
ESC to boot using defaults


Hm. The stick is a Toshiba stick. I'm surprised that it appears under
Hard Drive
, rather than
EFI Boot Sources
.

EFI Boot Sources
is selected.
Press enter. No response.

Press the down arrow until
TOSHIBA TransMemory 1.00
is selected.
Press enter. "Automatic boot in 10 seconds" screen appears. The Centos splash screen is loaded (indicating Centos is booting) and, after automatic login, a Centos desktop is loaded.


Hm. Shut down the computer.

Press the power button to turn it on again. Hold the ESC key down as it boots.

In Startup Menu, choose System Information.

Press any key to go back to the Startup Menu.

Choose Boot Menu (F9).

I see:

Please select boot device:

EFI Boot Sources
Legacy Boot Sources
- ATAPI CD/DVD Drive
-- SATA2
- Hard Drive
-- TOSHIBA TransMemory 1.00
-- HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA
- IBA GE Slot 00C8 v1363

[up arrow symbol] and [down arrow symbol] to move selection
ENTER to select boot device
ESC to boot using defaults



I don't why HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA wasn't shown the first time I was looking at the Boot Menu with the Centos stick inserted.

Choose HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA and press enter.

Centos boots. Odd.



Shut down the computer. Remove Centos stick.

Press the power button to turn the computer on again. Hold the ESC key down as it boots.

In Startup Menu, choose Boot Menu (F9).

I see:

Please select boot device:

EFI Boot Sources
Legacy Boot Sources
- ATAPI CD/DVD Drive
-- SATA2
- Hard Drive
-- HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA
- IBA GE Slot 00C8 v1363

[up arrow symbol] and [down arrow symbol] to move selection
ENTER to select boot device
ESC to boot using defaults



Choose HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA and press enter.

Some messages, and then:
Non-System disk or disk error
replace and strike any key when ready


Press the power button to turn the computer off.

Hypothesis: After a boot-and-shutdown run with the Centos stick inserted, some admin information was created somewhere that a) meant that the hard disk HDS722020ALA330 RSD HUA was displayed again as an option in the Boot Menu and b) caused the command to boot from the hard disk to be redirected to booting from the Centos stick.

I'll stop there.