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Big Iron Print Troubleshooting

Incorrect Output

Printing of the job output occurs independently from job execution. Typically, problems which interfere with a job printing, such as resource not found, result in the job output being flagged as unprintable and an error listing being produced. If there are problems with the default resources associated with the printer, then messages may appear in the system log for the FSS (Functional Subsystem) associated with the printer.

The error listing typically includes a description of the problem, information about what resources were involved and the active printing environment. Typical problems are:

Often, for performance reasons, error reporting for some printer-detected error conditions may be disabled. The printer defaults can be overridden with an OUTPUT statement: see the description of the DATACK option.

Normally, a well-behaved AFP printer should not lose output, even under catastrophic circumstances. A print job is not normally reported as complete by the printer until the output is stacked. Some AFP emulation products may not exhibit this behaviour. There is a feature sometimes known as "early print complete" where a printer can report a job as complete before the output is actually delivered to the output bin; this can provide improved throughput but at the expense of reliability and recoverability.

The checkpoint interval specified in the printer's JES2/JES3 configuration specifies how frequently the status of an active print job is recorded for recovery purposes. Too small a checkpoint interval can result in performance issues; too large a checkpoint interval can mean that a larger number of pages are reprinted after a printer, network or system problem.

The ACIF utility can be used to combine print data with AFP resources. It can be useful as a diagnostic aid since it performs similar processing to PSF without actually communicating with a printer. It can detect problems related to missing or incorrect AFP resources.

SDSF can be useful for inspecting the datastream being generated by the application.

No Response

If all else fails, it may be worthwhile stopping the printer or forcing the FSA (in extreme cases) and doing a power-on reset for the printer. In particular, IPDS printers connected over TCP/IP seem to get into situations where this is the only remedy.

The NETSTAT command can be used to display active TCP/IP connections. For example,

NETSTAT CONN (CLI FSS* would show connections to address spaces with names beginning with FSS.

For more information

z/OS, PSF and AFP are trademarks of IBM Corporation.

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