The Four Hundred
OS/400 Edition
Volume 11, Number 11 -- March 18, 2002

IBM Puts Out, Then Withdraws Updated DASD Fixpack

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Now you see it, now you don't. IBM quietly announced a new DASD Availability Fixpack for its iSeries and AS/400 disk subsystems in late February, and many OS/400 shops (such as my company and yours) were unaware that IBM had put out a new collection of software patches to fix disk-crash problems that have been affecting OS/400 servers since early last year. By the time I got around to checking it out this week, the new DASD Fixpack was gone. What's the deal?

That's a good question, and none of the OS/400 techies that I talked to last week had an answer. We searched through IBM's technical support databases and all evidence of the DASD Fixpack was removed. I did print it out, however, and you should be aware of these PTFs in the event that you saw and downloaded them when they became available on February 28. These PTFs might be fine, or they might not.

For OS/400 V4R4, the ghost DASD Fixpack was released under the MF27634 PTF number; it included PTF MF27634 as well as PTFs MF27063, MF26365, MF26280, MF25473, and MF25473. The ghost DASD Fixpack for OS/400 V4R5 is MF27635, and this includes MF27635, MF27053, MF26366, MF26281, MF25472, and MF25703. For OS/400 V5R1, the ghost DASD Fixpack was available as PTF number MF27623 and it included PTFs MF27623, MF27051, and MF26336. At press time on Friday, The DASD Fixpack download page showed the same releases of the DASD Fixpack that date from July 30, 2001.

Without any information to go on to the contrary, it is likely that the ghost DASD Fixpacks had something to do with the substantial engineering changes IBM made to its various 10K RPM and 15K RPM UltraStar disks, which were experiencing abnormally high failure rates in the field last year. The ghost DASD Fixpack might also have been related to changes necessary for supporting the new 35.2 GB disk drives for OS/400 servers, announced a few weeks ago.

For the latest in PTF information, be sure to check out the latest OS/400 PTF Guide, created by our partner, DLB Associates. The March 9 edition of the OS/400 PTF Guide details the changes IBM has made for OS/400 V5R1, V4R5, and V4R4. This shows the new DASD Fixpacks being available, which they might be soon.

Just a reminder: We will soon launch PTF News, produced by DLB Associates and published by Guild Companies. This newsletter, which will provide in-depth analysis on software bugs and updates for OS/400 and its related programs, will go out automatically to subscribers of The Four Hundred. We appreciate your patience.

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