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"Pre-boot" applications

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by J de Boyne Pollard, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. RP> As for "not to drives directly," this eliminates some software
    RP> tools from being written. Simple OSes such as DOS have
    RP> many disk testing, disk formatting, and memory testing
    RP> programs written by users and commercial companies. Windows
    RP> and Linux, due to security, don't have such programs written
    RP> for them. If they have programs with such functionality, they
    RP> came with the OS and were written by the OS vendor.

    The security aspect is not who wrote the program. It is whether
    applications-mode code is permitted by the operating system to perform
    the necessary low-level hardware access. That applies _irrespective_
    of whether the utility programs were written by the operating system
    vendor or by someone else. Operating systems such as Linux and
    Windows NT impose restrictions upon what applications mode code can
    do, with respect to such things as direct I/O access to DASD.
    Operating systems such as MS/PC/DR/Free-DOS do not.

    In years gone past, utility programs such as you describe would as a
    consequence of this often come with versions of MS/PC/DR/Free-DOS on
    floppy disc, which one would boot and then run the (DOS version of
    the) utility program. (Partition Magic used to employ DR-DOS on its
    "emergency boot" discs, for example.) Nowadays, modern firmwares have
    sufficient support to enable such utility programs to be written as
    standalone executables based solely upon firmware services, without
    need for any operating system to be bootstrapped and without need for
    the utility program vendor to supply an operating system on a utility
    disc along with the tool itself. That is the way to proceed nowadays
    if one wants to write a utility program for hardware testing,
    diagnosis, update, and repair. That is the way that people are
    proceeding. For examples:

    * Intel publishes EFI executables for partitioning discs
    (DISKPART.EFI), formatting FAT volumes (EFIFMT.EFI), and repairing FAT
    volumes (EFICHK.EFI) -- <URL:http://intel.com./technology/efi/
    diskutil_overview.htm>.
    * The tool to update the firmware for an HP Smart Array P400
    Controller is an EFI executable named SAUPDATE.EFI -- <URL:http://
    docs.hp.com/en/AD397-9001A/ch01s03.html>. In fact, HP Integrity
    machines come with a whole raft of EFI tools on a utility disc --
    <URL:http://docs.hp.com./en/AB216-90001/ch04s06.html>.
    J de Boyne Pollard, Sep 19, 2007
    #1
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  2. "J de Boyne Pollard" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > RP> As for "not to drives directly," this eliminates some software
    > RP> tools from being written. Simple OSes such as DOS have
    > RP> many disk testing, disk formatting, and memory testing
    > RP> programs written by users and commercial companies. Windows
    > RP> and Linux, due to security, don't have such programs written
    > RP> for them. If they have programs with such functionality, they
    > RP> came with the OS and were written by the OS vendor.
    >
    > The security aspect is not who wrote the program.


    Never said that.

    > It is whether
    > applications-mode code is permitted by the operating system to perform
    > the necessary low-level hardware access.


    That's exactly what I stated.

    If you hadn't snipped some of Matt's and my prior context, or if you'd
    followed the entire conversation instead of responding to the end of it,
    maybe you would've understood that we were talking about OS functionality
    such as low-level hardware access.


    Rod Pemberton
    Rod Pemberton, Sep 19, 2007
    #2
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  3. RP> As for "not to drives directly," this eliminates some software
    RP> tools from being written. Simple OSes such as DOS have
    RP> many disk testing, disk formatting, and memory testing
    RP> programs written by users and commercial companies. Windows
    RP> and Linux, due to security, don't have such programs written
    RP> for them. If they have programs with such functionality, they
    RP> came with the OS and were written by the OS vendor.

    JdeBP> The security aspect is not who wrote the program.

    RP> Never said that.

    The last two sentences of yours quoted above have a suspiciously
    strong resemblance to saying precisely that.

    JdeBP> It is whether applications-mode code is permitted by the
    JdeBP> operating system to perform the necessary low-level
    JdeBP> hardware access.

    RP> That's exactly what I stated.

    No, it really isn't what you stated in any way at all. You didn't
    write that "due to security" was a matter of hardware access. You
    wrote that it was that the programs "came with the OS and were written
    by the OS vendor". We aren't clairvoyant. We can only read the text
    that you actually wrote.
    J de Boyne Pollard, Sep 21, 2007
    #3
  4. "J de Boyne Pollard" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > RP> As for "not to drives directly," this eliminates some software
    > RP> tools from being written. Simple OSes such as DOS have
    > RP> many disk testing, disk formatting, and memory testing
    > RP> programs written by users and commercial companies. Windows
    > RP> and Linux, due to security, don't have such programs written
    > RP> for them. If they have programs with such functionality, they
    > RP> came with the OS and were written by the OS vendor.
    >
    > JdeBP> The security aspect is not who wrote the program.
    >
    > RP> Never said that.
    >
    > The last two sentences of yours quoted above have a suspiciously
    > strong resemblance to saying precisely that.
    >


    Nowhere did I say the security is due to those who wrote the program. I
    said, due to security, some programs aren't written for an OS by users and
    commercial companies (anymore). If they are written for an OS, they will be
    written by the OS vendor because of security. Basically, you've reversed
    the meaning of the sentences.

    > We aren't clairvoyant. We can only read the text
    > that you actually wrote.
    >


    If that were true, you'd have gone back and read the entire thread. You'd
    have known that context exists relative to the current paragraph which
    didn't make it into the current post.


    Rod Pemberton
    Rod Pemberton, Sep 21, 2007
    #4
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