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The Unabridged Pentium 4 IA32 Processor Genealogy by Bob Colwell, Tom Shanley

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MCA Enhanced

MCA = Error Logging Capability

The Machine Check Architecture consists of a set of error logging registers and the Machine Check exception. During a power up session, a processor may experience one or more hardware-related errors internally or on its FSB. Such errors can be divided into two basic categories:

  • Soft errors that can be automatically corrected by the processor hardware.

  • Hard errors that cannot be automatically corrected.

It is expected that the OS will start a daemon application that runs in back-ground and periodically examines the MCA registers to determine if any soft errors have been logged since the last time the registers were examined. If so, the application snapshots the errors in a non-volatile storage medium ...

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