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Problems with devices on AS/400

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I was recently hired into a AS/400 and windows server 2000 network enviroment. We currently use the IBM i series access program to access the AS/400 remotely. There are devices that are local to us on our network that the AS/400 can gain access to, such as printers, time clock, etc... We are having problems with the AS/400 keeping the devices ACTIVE / WRITER and after about 5 to 10 minutes with no activity it then changes the status to VARY ON PENDING. It does not disconnect or end the seesion with the AS/400, the session will remain connected for as long as we have it up. I found some information about keeping the tcp alive which it seems that it is otherwise it would disconnect the session. I am wondering if there is another command that will keep the session on ACTIVE / WRITER even if nothing is being printed for a longer period of time, such as hours, days, etc... Perhaps it might have something to do with it being a remote session, or an activity setting, I don't know. The only way we know how to bring the device back to ACTIVE / WRITER is to disconnect the session and reconnect and AS/400 will reconize it again. As of now we have a macro running doing just that until I can find the proper way of configuring these sessions. I have very little knowledge of AS/400 systems so please be kind. Thank everyone for their concern and hopefully someone knows what I need to do.

Thanks
Chris
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Question by:CompTech810
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Expert Comment

by:LewisPower
ID: 24092861
Hi Chris,

How have you created your printer ? Is it by creating a printer session trough Client Access software ? In that case, you might be interrupted by QINACTITV system value (type wrksysval QINACTITV, if the value is different than zero, this mean you are using this feature and the system will disconnect inactive session after the time value.

But if you have created a printer using CRTOUTQ or CRTDEVPRT, the system shouldn't stop the printer.
Try to create the printer like this:
CRTDEVPRT DEVD(P999P01) DEVCLS(*LAN) TYPE(3812) MODEL(1) LANATTACH(*IP) PORT(9100) FONT(11) FORMFEED(*AUTOCUT) PARITY(*NONE) STOPBITS(1) TRANSFORM(*YES) MFRTYPMDL(*HP5) RMTLOCNAME('999.999.999.999') SYSDRVPGM (*HPPJLDRV)

*Attention, this suggestion is for HP5 printer...
If you have a different model, choose one in the following link:
http://www-912.ibm.com/s_dir/slkbase.NSF/10aab18fc58a76b486256838006ae1e0/b44a2cf4ba778d83862568250053649f?OpenDocument

Use the STRPRTWTR command to start it.

If I'm totally out of bound, it's because I didn't really catch your question.

I both case, let me know if it helped or if I can give you more info.

Lewis
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Patterson
ID: 24094889
QINACTITV applies only to interactive workstation jobs, not to printer jobs (Client Access or otherwise).

Are the problem printers Client Access printer sessions?
If so, where are the problem workstatons located?  Are they on the same local area network as the AS/400, or are they remote?
If remote, is there a firewall or a VPN?  It is possible that your firewall or VPN is dropping connections after a specified time.

You can try using the CHGTCPA command on the AS/400 to change the keepalive timer (default is 120 minutes).

- Gary Patterson

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by:CompTech810
ID: 24101236
We are using IMB access software to telnet to the AS/400 remotely. The qinactitv is set to *none, the chgtcpa is set to *nomax. The client access session will remain connected to the AS/400, however the AS/400 will only keep the printer ACTIVE / WRITER for 5 to 10 minutes and then say the status fo the printer is VARY ON PENDING even though the session is still connected. I will check my settings on our router but what is weird is that the telnet session will stay connected. Is there any other setting that the AS/400 may have for remote sessions. Is it possible that the AS/400 was not meant to stay connected remotely for extended periods of time? I did not set up the printers on the AS/400 myself they were entered into the system by someone else that has much more experience with 400's.
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Expert Comment

by:LewisPower
ID: 24101317
Chris,

Can we see the config of the printer done by the other guy ?

Lewis
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by:CompTech810
ID: 24101671
Here is a screen shot of some settings, is there a different command that you need me to enter to see other settings?
printer.bmp
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by:Gary Patterson
ID: 24101682
Chris,

*NOMAX isn't an option for the CHGTCPA TCPKEEPALV parameter.

AS400 remote printers, client access workstation sessions, and client access printer sessions all work just fine fine remotely.  I've managed systems supporting thousands of remote users.  As always, you should make sure you are current on PTFs, but odds are this is a configuration issue.

I'm still not clear:  are these Client Access Printer sessions that we are talking about, or are they LAN-attached printers configured via WRKOUTQ or WRKDEVD on the AS/400?  What type of printer(s) (make and model) are we talking about?

- Gary Patterson

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by:CompTech810
ID: 24107170
I had to install IBM iseries access for windows to connect to the AS/400, so I think that is what you are calling a client access. The printers are on our LOCAL LAN, the AS/400 is on a different network so we have to start an access session with the AS/400 to connect the device (printer) to the AS/400 to establish a connection. The session that we start will stay connected for as long as we want, or at least its saying connected. The problem is that the AS/400 will only keep the printer ACTIVE for about 7 minutes with no activity. If we disconnect and reconnect the session it will change back to active again. We do use the wrkcfgsts, wrkoutq, and wrkdevd commands on the AS/400 to work with the printers. We have several different model printers that we are using such as Printronix 5010, Genicom 3840 EP, Printronix Pro Line Series 5 are some of them. I'm sorry that I cant tell you more, I just dont know enough about these sessions and AS/400. I attached the text of the session configuration that we run to connect the printer and AS/400, but like I said it says connected as long as we want it to be or thats what it is telling us.
printer.txt
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Gary Patterson earned 500 total points
ID: 24110428
Good explanation.  The name of the product has changed numerous times over the years, but they are all the same basic product:  PC Support/400, Client Access, iSeries Access, System i Access, etc.

These are what I have been referring to as "Client Access Printer sessions", and I'm going to stick with that nomenclature.

There are a number of things that can cause this problem.  I am surrised that it is only happening for Printere sessions and not for Workstation sessions, too, though, since they both run over the TN5250 protocol.

We need to do some additional diagnosis.

Questions:

1) What is your current AS/400 TCP Keepalive setting (CHGTCPA - TCP Keep alive).  Earlier you said it was *NOMAX.  That is not a valid value for TCP Keep Alive, so I think you must've been looking at something else.  Please take another look.

2) Check the QSYSOPR message queue for disconnect messages containing the workstation address (DSPMSG QSYSOPR).  If you find related messages, put your cursor on one, press F1 for detailed error message information, and post the detailed error message here.  Sometimes there are multiple related messages,and some are more detailed than others, so post anything that looks relevant.  Often, there is detailed troubleshooting or resolution information right in the detailed error message text.

3) Check the Client Access Printer Session's job log for error messages, and post the detailed error message(s) here.  To find the job log of an active printer session, do a WRKJOB (printername).  Again, sometimes there are additional troubleshooting or resolution steps right in the error message.

4) What version of iSeries Access are you running (Help - About) on the iSeries Access printer session menu in Windows.

5) Is the AS/400 behind a NAT firewall from you, or are you on the same WAN?  (Do you use a private or public address for the AS/400?).  If so, what kind of firewall?  You may need to enable debug logging on your firewall, or check the log on the firewall to see if the TCP session is being terminated by the firewall, or if a NAT session is expiring.

6) I don't know what version of iSeries access you are running, but you might want to try editing your Printer session WS file (PRINTER.TXT above) and adding the KEEPALIVE=Y under the [Telnet5250] section:  

http://www.lisug.org/Techtipclientaccess.htm

7) What Windows version are you running on the client workstations that are experiencing this problem?  You may need to enable TCP Keepalives in Windows on those systems, either via Group Policy, or by setting the proper registry entry for your version (HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TcpIp\Parameters\KeepAliveTime in XP).  Note that turning this on causes Windows to send Keepalive packets on all connections, and may increase the load on your network.  You shoudl set the KeepaliveTime lower than the time it takes for your sessions to time out.  If you want to set it to 5 minutes that is 300 seconds, or 300,000 (dont put the comma in) milliseconds.  By default, Windows does not send Keepalives, though applications can turn this on and off by connection.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314053

8) Finally, you'll want to make sure that you are running the latest version and PTF for your AS400 OS and iSeries Access application.  Talk to your AS/400 system administrator (unless that is you, then search EE or post back for help with ordering and applying PTFs).

- Gary Patterson



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by:CompTech810
ID: 24115532
You are the MAN! As soon as I read number 6 I knew that sounded like the fix! Thank you so much for your time!

I got to show those AS/400 Administrators something! HA HA
Thank You Again
-Chris Martineau
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Author Closing Comment

by:CompTech810
ID: 31567714
Number 6 fixed my problem!
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Patterson
ID: 24123905
Chris,

Happy I could help.  

Play nice and try not to make the AS/400 admins cry.

- Gary Patterson
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