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1. (WO1997018505) METHOD AND ARRANGEMENT FOR OPERATING A MASS MEMORY STORAGE PERIPHERAL COMPUTER DEVICE CONNECTED TO A HOST COMPUTER
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CLAIMS

1. In a computer system including a host computer having system RAM and a particular peripheral computer device connected to the host computer, an arrangement for operating the particular peripheral computer device, the arrangement comprising;
a) means for loading operating parameters associated with the particular peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system,
b) means for allowing at least the particular peripheral computer device access to the operating parameters during the operation of the system such that the particular peripheral computer device may use the operating parameters to control its operation during the operation of the system.
2. In a computer system including computer means for controlling a particular peripheral computer device connected to the computer system and including system RAM somewhere in the computer system other than on the particular peripheral device, an arrangement for operating the particular peripheral computer device, the arrangement comprising:
a) means for loading operating parameters associated with the particular peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system; and
b) means for allowing at least the particular peripheral computer device access to the operating parameters during the operation of the system such that the particular peripheral computer device may use the operating parameters to control its operation during the operation of the system.
3. An arrangement according to Claim 1 or 2 wherein the host computer or computer means uses the operating parameters stored in system RAM to control the operation of the particular peripheral computer device.
4. An arrangement according to Claim 1 or 2 wherein the system includes a mass memory storage peripheral computer device and wherein the operating parameters associated with the particular peripheral computer device are stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device and loaded from the mass memory storage peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system.
5. An arrangement according to Claim 4 wherein the particular peripheral computer device is the mass memory storage device.
6. An arrangement according to Claim 5 wherein the operating parameters include defect lists containing information on the defective memory locations of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
7. An arrangement according to Claim 5 wherein the means for loading the operating parameters during the start-up of the system includes means for allocating a portion of the system RAM for use by the mass memory storage peripheral computer device during the operation of the system as a read ahead cache.
8. In a computer system including a host computer which is operated using a particular operating system and a system BIOS, the computer system having system RAM associated with the host computer and a mass memory storage peripheral computer device which is connected to the host computer using a peripheral bus in which relocatable expansion BIOS location addresses are allowed, an arrangement for allowing the host conputer to operate the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, the arrangement comprising:
a) a loadable device driver including data address translating means for translating data address information communicated between the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device; and
b) means for loading the loadable device driver into the system RAM during the start-up of the system for use during the operation of the system
(i) such that the loadable device driver is in communication with the operating system in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the operating system in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the operating system and
(ii) such that the loadable device driver is in communication with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device through the peripheral bus in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the mass memory storage device in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the mass memory storage device.

9. An arrangement according to Claim 8 wherein the loadable device driver is in direct communication with the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device without any translation mechanism between the loadable device driver and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
10. An arrangement according to Claim 8 wherein;
a) the loadable device driver is stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, and
b) the means for loading the loadable device driver into the system RAM during the start-up of the system includes means for loading the loadable device driver from the mass memory storage peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system for use during the operation of the system.
11. An arrangement according to Claim 8 wherein the translating means translates data address information between (i) logical address information used by the operating system which is associated with a theoretical location of the data within a theoretical mass memory storage device and (ii) physical address information used by the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, the physical address information being associated with the actual physical location at which the data is stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
12. An arrangement according to Claim 8 wherein the peripheral bus is a PCI or serial bus for connecting peripheral computer devices to the host computer and wherein the system utilizes PCI protocol for using the PCI bus.
13. An arrangement according to Claim 10 wherein the mass memory storage peripheral computer device is a hard disk drive and the loadable device driver is contained within the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive.
14. An arrangement according to Claim 13 wherein the loadable device driver is stored in a portion of the hard disk drive mass memory storage which is not user accessible.

15. An arrangement according to Claim 13 wherein the hard disk drive includes a particular number of cylinders, heads, sectors, and zones which precisely define a particular data storage area within the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive and wherein the physical address information associated with the actual physical location at which the data is stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device includes information giving the correct cylinder, head, sector, and zone within which the data is stored.
16. An arrangement according to Claim 13 wherein the loadable device driver includes permanently stored defect information identifying defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive and wherein the loadable device driver uses the permanently stored defect information and the translating means to translate the data address information between the operating system and the mass memory storage device such that the defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive are not utilized during the operation of the system.
17. An arrangement according to Claim 16 wherein:
a) the system includes means for detecting additional defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive during a given period of operation of the hard disk drive; and
b) the loadable device driver includes means for storing additional defect information identifying those additional defective memory locations, the additional defect information being stored during the given period of operation of the hard disk drive
(i) within the system RAM for use by the loadable device driver and
(ii) within the hard disk drive such that the additional defective memory locations become part of the permanently stored defect information.
18. An arrangement according to Claim 16 wherein;
a) the loadable device driver uses the permanently stored defect information and the translating means to always access the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive at an initial non-defective address location forming part of the data address information being translated between the operating system and the hard disk drive, and
b) the loadable device driver includes means for using the defect information to identify at least the first successive defective memory location on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive which is associated with the data address information being translated between the operating system and the hard disk drive.
19. An arrangement according to Claim 8 further comprising means for loading additional operating parameters associated with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device from the mass memory storage peripheral device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system for use by the system to operate the mass memory storage peripheral device.
20. An arrangement according to Claim 5 and 19 wherein the mass memory storage peripheral computer device includes a controller for controlling the memory storage functions of the mass memory storage device and wherein the additional operating parameters include settings for the controller. 21. An arrangement according to Claim 19 wherein the means for loading additional operating parameters during the start-up of the system includes means for allocating a portion of the system RAM for use by the mass memory storage peripheral computer device during the operation of the system as a read ahead cache.
22. A loadable device driver for use in a computer system including a host computer which is operated using a particular operating system and a system BIOS, the computer system having system RAM associated with the host computer and a mass memory storage peripheral computer device which is connected to the host computer using a peripheral bus in which relocatable expansion BIOS location addresses are allowed, the loadable device driver comprising:
data address translating means which may be loaded into the system RAM for translating data address information communicated between the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the operating system in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
23. A loadable device driver according to Claim 22 wherein the loadable device driver is in direct communication with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device without any translation mechanism between the loadable device driver and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
24. A loadable device driver according to Claim 22 wherein the loadable device driver is stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
25. The arrangement of claim 5 wherein the mass memory storage peripheral computer device is for use in the computer system.
26. A computer memory storage medium for use in a computer system including a host computer which is operated using a particular operating system and a system BIOS, the computer system having system RAM associated with the host computer and a mass memory storage peripheral computer device which is connected to the host computer using a peripheral bus in which relocatable expansion BIOS location addresses are allowed, the computer memory storage medium comprising
a portion thereof containing a loadable device driver which may be loaded into the system RAM, the loadable device driver including data address translating means for translating data address information communicated between the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the operating system in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
27. A computer memory storage medium according to Claim 23 wherein the memory storage medium further includes means for loading the loadable device driver into the system RAM during the start-up of the system for use during the operation of the system a) such that the loadable device driver is in communication with the operating system in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the operating system in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the operating system and b) such that the loadable device driver is in communication with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device through the peripheral bus in a way which does not require the system

BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the mass memory storage device in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the mass memory storage device.
28. A computer memory storage medium according to Claim 23 or 24 wherein the computer memory storage medium is a floppy disk.

29. A computer memory storage medium according to Claim 28 wherein the loadable device driver contained on the computer memory storage medium is an updated and revised loadable device driver which may be transferred from the floppy to the mass memory storage peripheral computer device thereby updating an original loadable device driver already existing within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
30. In a computer system including a host computer which is operated using a particular operating system and a system BIOS, the computer system having system RAM associated with the host computer and a mass memory storage peripheral computer device which is connected to the host computer using a peripheral bus in which relocatable expansion BIOS location addresses are allowed, a method for allowing the host computer to operate the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, the method comprising the steps of:
a) providing a loadable device driver including data address translating means for translating data address information communicated between the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device;
b) during the start-up of the system, loading the loadable device driver into the system RAM for use during the operation of the system
(i) such that the loadable device driver is in communication with the operating system in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the operating system in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the operating system and
(ii) such that the loadable device driver is in communication with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device through the peripheral bus in a way which does not require the system BIOS, any protocol translation, or any other type of data address translation mechanism to be provided between the loadable device driver and the mass memory storage device in order for the loadable device driver to communicate with the mass memory storage device; and
c) using the translating means of the loadable device driver, translating data address information communicated between the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device during the operation of the system.
31. A method according to Claim 30 wherein the step of loading the loadable device driver includes the step of loading the loadable device driver such that the loadable device driver is in direct communication with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device without any translation mechanism between the loadable device driver and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
32. A method according to Claim 30 wherein;
a) the step of providing the loadable device driver includes the step of providing the loadable device driver which is stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, and
b) the step of loading the loadable device driver includes the step of loading the loadable device driver from the mass memory storage peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system for use during the operation of the system.
33. A method according to Claim 30 wherein the step of translating data address information includes the step of translating data address information between (i) logical address information used by the operating system which is associated with a theoretical location of the data within a theoretical mass memory storage device and (ii) physical address information used by the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, the physical address information being associated with the actual physical location at which the data is stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device.
34. A method according to Claim 30 wherein the peripheral bus used to connect the mass memory storage peripheral computer device to the host computer is a PCI bus and wherein the system utilizes PCI protocol for using the PCI bus.
35. A method according to Claim 30 wherein the peripheral bus used to connect the mass memory storage peripheral computer device to the host computer is a serial bus and wherein the system utilizes a particular protocol for using the serial bus.
36. A method according to Claim 32 wherein the mass memory storage peripheral computer device is a hard disk drive and wherein the step of providing a loadable device driver includes the step of providing a loadable device driver stored within the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive.
37. A method according to Claim 36 wherein the step of providing a loadable device driver includes the step of providing a loadable device driver stored in a portion of the hard disk drive mass memory storage which is not user accessible.
38. A method according to Claim 36 wherein the hard disk drive includes a particular number of cylinders, heads, sectors, and zones which precisely define a particular data storage area within the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive and wherein the step of translating data address information between logical address information and physical address information includes the step of translating data address information between logical address information and physical address information giving the correct cylinder, head, sector, and zone within which the data is stored on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive.
39. A method according to Claim 36 wherein the step of providing a loadable device driver includes the step of providing a loadable device driver which includes permanently stored defect information identifying defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive and wherein the step of translating data address information includes the step of using the permanently stored defect information to translate the data address information between the operating system and the mass memory storage device such that the defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive are not utilized during the operation of the system.
40. A method according to Claim 39 further including the steps of ;
a) detecting additional defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive during a given period of operation of the hard disk drive, and
b) storing additional defect information identifying those additional defective memory locations during the given period of operation of the hard disc drive
(i) within the system RAM for use by the loadable device driver and
(ϋ) within the hard disk drive such that the additional defective memory locations become part of the permanently stored defect information.
41. A method according to Claim 39 further including the steps of:
a) using the permanently stored defect information and the translating means, accessing the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive at an initial non-defective address location forming part of the data address information being translated between the operating system and the hard disk drive;
b) providing means for identifying at least the first successive defective memory location on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive which is associated with the data address information being translated between the operating system and the hard disk drive; and
c) using the means to indicate the locations of defective memory locations, translating data address information communicated between the operating system and the mass memory storage peripheral computer device during the operation of the system such that the defective memory locations on the mass memory storage of the hard disk drive are not utilized during the operation of the system.
42. A method according to Claim 39 further comprising the step of loading additional operating parameters associated with the mass memory storage peripheral computer device from the mass memory storage peripheral device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system for use by the system to operate the mass memory storage peripheral device.
43. A method according to Claim 42 wherein the mass memory storage peripheral computer device includes a controller for controlling the memory storage functions of the mass memory storage device and wherein the step of loading the additional operating parameters into the system RAM includes the step of loading settings for the controller into system RAM.
44. A method according to Claim 42 wherein step of loading additional operating parameters during the start-up of the system includes the step of allocating a portion of the system RAM for use by the mass memory storage peripheral computer device during the operation of the system as a read ahead cache.
45. In a computer system including a host computer having system RAM and a particular peripheral computer device connected to the host computer, a method for operating the particular peripheral computer device, the method comprising the steps of:
a) providing operating parameters used for the operation of the particular peripheral computer device stored within memory associated with the system,
b) loading the operating parameters associated with the particular peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system,
c) during the operation of the system, allowing at least the particular peripheral computer device access to the operating parameters such that the particular peripheral computer device may use the operating parameters to control its operation.
46. A method according to Claim 45 wherein the step of allowing at least the particular peripheral computer device access to the operating parameters stored in the system RAM includes the step of allowing the host computer to use the operating parameters stored in system RAM to control the operation of the particular peripheral computer device.
47. A method according to Claim 45 wherein;
a) the step of providing operating parameters used for the operation of the particular peripheral computer device stored within memory associated with the system includes the step of providing a mass memory storage peripheral computer device having operating parameters associated with the particular peripheral computer device stored within the mass memory storage of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, and
b) the step of loading the operating parameters associated with the particular peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system includes the step of loading the operating parameters from the mass memory storage peripheral computer device into the system RAM during the start-up of the system.
48. A method according to Claim 47 wherein the particular peripheral computer device is the mass memory storage device, wherein the operating parameters include defect lists containing information on the defective memory locations of the mass memory storage peripheral computer device, wherein the mass memory storage peripheral computer device includes a controller for controlling the memory storage functions of the mass memory storage device and wherein the operating parameters include settings for the controller.
49. A method according to Claim 47 wherein the step of loading the operating parameters during the start-up of the system includes the step of allocating a portion of the system RAM for use by the mass memory storage peripheral computer device during the operation of the system as a read ahead cache.