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                       The Anatomy & Physiology of Memtest86-SMP
                       -----------------------------------------

1. Binary layout
                                            
       ---------------------------------------------------------------
       | bootsect.o      | setup.o          | head.o memtest_shared  |
       ---------------------------------------------------------------
Labels                                _start<-------memtest---------->_end
       -----------------------------------------------------------
addr   0               512        512+4*512 |
       -----------------------------------------------------------

2. The following steps occur after we power on.
   a. The bootsect.o code gets loaded at 0x7c00 
      and copies 
      i.   itself to 0x90000
      ii.  setup.o to 0x90200
      iii. everything between _start and _end i.e memtest 
           to 0x10000
   b. jumps somewhere into the copied bootsect.o code at 0x90000
      ,does some trivial stuff and jumps to setup.o
   c. setup.o puts the processor in protected mode, with a basic
      gdt and idt and does a long jump to the start of the 
      memtest code (startup_32, see 4 below). The code and data 
      segment base address are all set to 0x0. So a linear 
      address range and no paging is enabled.
   d. From now on we no longer required the bootsect.o and setup.o 
      code.
3. The code in memtest is compiled as position independent
   code. Which implies that the code can be moved dynamically in 
   the address space and can still work. Since we are now in head.o,
   which is compiled with PIC , we no longer should use absolute 
   addresses references while accessing functions or globals.  
   All symbols are stored in a table called Global Offset Table(GOT)
   and %ebx is set to point to the base of that table. So to get/set 
   the value of a symbol we need to read (%ebx + symbolOffsetIntoGOT) to 
   get the symbol value. For eg. if foo is global varible the assembly
   code to store %eax value into foo will be changed from
                    mov %eax, foo
                        to 
                    mov %eax, foo@GOTOFF(%ebx)
4. (startup_32) The first step done in head.o is to change   
   the gdtr and idtr register values to point to the final(!) 
   gdt and ldt tables in head.o, since we can no longer use the 
   gdt and ldt tables in setup.o, and call the dynamic linker 
   stub in memtest_shared (see call _dl_start in head.S). This 
   dynamic linker stub relocates all the code in memtest w.r.t 
   the new base location i.e 0x1000. Finally we call the test_start() 
   'C' routine.
5. The test_start() C routine is the main routine which lets the BSP 
   bring up the APs from their halt state, relocate the code 
   (if necessary) to new address, move the APs to the newly 
   relocated address and execute the tests. The BSP is the
   master which controls the execution of the APs, and mostly
   it is the one which manupulates the global variables. 
   i.  we change the stack to a private per cpu stack.
       (this step happens every time we move to a new location)
   ii. We kick start the APs in the system by
      a. Putting a temporary real mode code 
         (_ap_trampoline_start - _ap_trampoline_protmode) 
         at 0x9000, which puts the AP in protected mode and jumps 
         to _ap_trampoline_protmode in head.o. The code in 
         _ap_trampoline_protmode calls start_32 in head.o which 
         reinitialises the AP's gdt and idt to point to the
         final(!) gdt and idt. (see step 4 above)
      b. Since the APs also traverse through the same initialisation
         code(startup_32 in head.o), the APs also call test_start().
         The APs just spin wait (see AP_SpinWaitStart) till the 
         are instructed by the BSP to jump to a new location, 
         which can either be a test execution or spin wait at a 
         new location.
  iii. The base address at which memtest tries to execute as far
       as possible is 0x2000. This is the lowest possible address
       memtest can put itself at. So the next step is to 
       move to 0x2000, which it cannot directly, since copying
       code to 0x2000 will override the existing code at 0x1000.
       0x2000 +sizeof(memtest) will usually be greater than 0x1000.
       so we temporarily relocated to 0x200000 and then relocate
       back to 0x2000. Every time the BSP relocates the code to the
       new location, it pulls up the APs spin waiting at the old 
       location to spin wait at the corresponding relocated 
       spin wait location, by making them jump to the new
       statup_32 relocated location(see 4 above).
       Hence forth during the tests 0x200000 is the only place 
       we relocate to if we need to test a memory window 
       (see v. below to get a description of what a window is)
       which includes address range 0x2000.

   Address map during normal execution.
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
             | head.o memtest_shared  |                                   |RAM_END
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
Labels _start<-------memtest---------->_end
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
addr   0x0   0x2000                   | Memory that is being tested..     |RAM_END
       --------------------------------------------------------------------

   Address map during relocated state.
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      | head.o memtest_shared  |          |RAM_END
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
Labels                          _start<-------memtest---------->_end
       --------------------------------------------------------------------
addr   memory that is being tested... |0x200000                 |         |RAM_END
       --------------------------------------------------------------------

   iv. Once we are at 0x2000 we initialise the system, and 
       determine the memory map ,usually via the bios e820 map. 
       The sorted, and non-overlapping RAM page ranges are 
       placed in v->pmap[] array. This array is the reference 
       of the RAM memory map on the system. 
    v. The memory range(in page numbers) which the 
       memtest86 can test is partitioned into windows.
       the current version of memtest86-smp has the capability
       to test the memory from 0x0 - 0xFFFFFFFFF (max address
       when pae mode is enabled). 
       We then compute the linear memory address ranges(called
       segments) for the window we are currently about to 
       test. The windows are
          a. 0  - 640K 
          b. (0x2000 + (_end - _start))  - 4G (since the code is at 0x2000).
          c. >4G to test pae address range, each window with size 
             of 0x80000(2G), large enough to be mapped in one page directory
             entry. So a window size of 0x80000 means we can map 1024 page 
             table entries, with page size of 2M(pae mode), with one
             page directory entry. Something similar to kseg entry
             in linux. The upper bound page number is 0x1000000 which
             corresponds to linear address 0xFFFFFFFFF + 1 which uses
             all the 36 address bits. 
       Each window is compared against the sorted & non-overlapping 
       e820 map which we have stored in v->pmap[] array, since all 
       memory in the selected window address range may correspond to
       RAM or can be usable. A list of segments within the window is
       created , which contain the usable portions of the window. 
       This is stored in v->mmap[] array.
   vi. Once the v->mmap[] array populated, we have the list of 
       non-overlapping segments in the current window which are the
       final address ranges that can be tested. The BSP executes the
       test first and lets each AP execute the test one by one. Once
       all the APs finish execting the same test, the BSP moves to the
       next window follows the same procedure till all the windows 
       are done. Once all the windows are done, the BSP moves to the
       next test. Before executing in any window the BSP checks if
       the window overlaps with the code/data of memtest86, if so
       tries to relocate to 0x200000. If the window includes both 
       0x2000 as well as 0x200000  the BSP skips that window.
       Looking at the window values the only time the memtest
       relocates is when testing the 0 - 640K window.

Known Issues:
* Memtest86-smp does not work on IBM-NUMA machines, x440 and friends.

email comments to:
Kalyan Rajasekharuni<kc_rajasekharuni@yahoo.com>
Sub: Memtest86-SMP