[LinuxBIOS] What to implement "system recovery" features in bios

Al Boldi a1426z at gawab.com
Fri Jan 19 19:28:12 CET 2007

li pan wrote:
> Hi, guys
> I want to implement system recovery features in bios.
> The basic idea is:
> When booting, the user hit some key to enter our program, or else go
> for the normal boot process.
> The user can use the bios to back up his os. If the os fails and can't
> boot, he can fix his
> os using the backup. And he will be able to use bios to browse his hard
> disk. Basically like some features found on some HP,IBM's pcs.
> I have done windows and linux system programming but have never touch
> BIOS, I think maybe linuxbios can help me. Here is my questions:
> 1 Can linuxbios do this stuff? I think most likely it is yes:-)


> 2 This will be installed on some pcs which run linux, windows or other
> os. So maybe we need the award/ami bios coexist with linuxbios on the
> same pc. ( We will assemble these pcs, we can choose which type of
> mainboard to use, so there will be only one type of "old" bios)
> Is this possible?


> I mean we want to  let award bios to serve normal os,
> and linuxbios to do the system recovery stuff. Maybe change some part
> of award bios to let it boot linuxbios once user hit the key.

You basically need a DualBIOS system, that allows you to switch between a 
main and backup bios.

> We don't mind if we can simply throw award bios away, but we want to
> make sure our pcs can run any "normal" os.


> 3 How much space will all these take? Can we fit them is one bios
> chip? I don't know how IBM do these, maybe they use another chip to
> store their system recovery program,  this feature can be found on old
> ibm pcs, but in those days, bios chip was small.

It depends.  I you want to go for the DualBIOS approach, then you need a 
double size ROM.  If you only need a recovery module (i.e. extension ROM) 
without an additional BIOS, then all you need is FILO (~50kb) plus your 

> 4 Most import, am I on the right track? I am not familiar with low
> level programming ( not this low), sorry if my idea sounds too crazy.

It's a great idea.



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