How to Capture an IPDS Trace in AS400/OS400 Environments (2011)
AS400 IPDS; How to capture IPDS trace; How to obtain trace; How to trace network traffic; How to determine too much network congestion
Network trace information may prove useful in the analysis and troubleshooting of print errors and anomalies in AS400 and other systems environments.
NOTE: The sample host commands included in this article are based on V6R1 and specific only to AS/400 systems. Hence, host commands specific to customer's mainframe may need to be requested.
Click here for the English Only (.PDF) version of this procedure.
What you will need
Do the following to ensure the most reliable trace outcome. (Failure to follow these prerequisites will lead to an inaccurate trace and further complicate troubleshooting procedures.)
Connection topology illustration
IMPORTANT! There is no need to disconnect the AS/400 from the network during this setup.
To locate the printer IP address:
To perform ping test, click Start > Run, enter cmd, press Enter or click OK.
Click here for illustration.
|AS/400 is unable to print...||The AS/400 operator will have to verify that the IP address on the Device Description is the same as the printer's IP address (as gathered in Step 5 under Preparation above).||The AS/400 operator will have to edit the device description's IP address.|
Explanation: The IP may have changed when printer was reattached to the network.
|1||Log in to the AS400.||N.A.*|
|2||End the print writer to be used by typing "ENDWTR Name_of_writer".||Click here|
|3||Wait or refresh until the writher status is END.||Click here|
4 Start Wireshark
|Launch Wireshark application.||N.A.|
|5||Select the Capture menu and then Options.||N.A.|
In the Capture Options dialog:
Note re: "Promiscuous Mode": This mode will capture ALL network traffic regardless of intended target.
7 Start Writer on AS/400
|Start the writer by typing "STRPRTWTR Name_of_writer".||Click here|
|8||Wait (and refresh) until the writer status is STR.||Click here|
|9 Send Job||Send job to the printer; check printer to see whether job has started printing.||N.A.|
|10 Stop trace after job.||
|11||Click on File in menu bar, and then Save As to lauch save dialog.||Click here|
*N.A. – Not available
A successful capture does not always indicate that the correct records have been captured. Thus, verification is
NOTE: Use 9100 for non-IPDS jobs.
For example, if the AS/400 IP is 188.8.131.52 and printer IP is 10.194.76.88, then the packets captured should
show Source and Destination info like this (for bi-directional communication between server and printer):
Send the trace file to TSC Level 3 who in turn sends it to PE.
Please send the trace with the following information:
Example of good submission:
Example of better submission:
“Captured the following traces of a 20-page job first sent to T654 and then to T644: T654_missing_barcode_pg3.pcap and T644_OK_barcode.pcap”
Both examples are good and acceptable. However, the second example is better because the filenames are descriptive enough to be easily understandable and unambiguous. That is, you know exactly which file is which after downloading from database or email.
If you've performed the steps correctly but still fail verification (Step 3), repeat Steps 1 and 2 to see if there are items that you missed.
If you are not able to capture the trace, please report the problem to PE with the following info:
1. Sample of trace that was captured so we can cross-verify.
2. Description of what job was performed when trace in #1 was captured.
3. Diagram or description of setup used during network trace capture
4. Description of problems encountered during network trace capture.
5. Description of any limitations or restrictions in customer's current network setup; e.g., customer does not want to detach printer from network, etc.
You may need to set up port mirroring on the switch; otherwise, it may be necessary to use a simple hub to make the traffic reach the sniffing system. It should be noted that some devices advertised as hubs are in fact switches that use various filters or intelligence to prevent the workstations from seeing each other's packets; with this type of device, getting a good trace may not be possible.