[rescue] AS/400 newbie questions

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Fri Apr 3 16:02:36 CDT 2009

On Fri, 3 Apr 2009, Scott M wrote:

> Via craigslist, I got an IBM AS/400e 9406-170, an IBM 3476 InfoWindow,
> and a length of twinax cable for $33.  The AS/400 has 4-port and 8-port
> twinax breakout boxes (or "expansion units").

Nice score.

> I plugged the 3476 InfoWindow into port 0 of the 4-port twinax breakout
> box, checked that the workstation address of the 3476 was set to 0,
> turned on the power, hit the white button, and it booted OK.  The first
> screen had 4 or 5 choices.  I selected "1. IPL".  It continued to boot.
> Then, it said something about a console change since last IPL, and I
> just hit "Enter".  It continued booting.  Now it want 5 fields filled
> in:
> Of course I tried user = ROOT, but it said "User name does not exist".

Try QSECOFR or QSYSOPR for the username with either the same thing as the
password or some other passwordy-type-thing[0].  The remaining fields may
be left blank; they'll default to something reasonable.

> So ... I am a bit in over my head here.

Once you get in, you won't have a hard time getting around.  The menus
aren't organized in the most intuitive way, but it's pretty simple to poke
about and find ways to modify accounts.  By default, security management
is -all- QSECOFR can do, so you'll want to use that to pop open the
QSYSOPR or one of the system programmer accounts before you get to
actually play with the system.

> Since I'm on port 0 console, shouldn't there be a way to bypass security
> and reset the passwords?  Will I need to boot from CDROM to do this?
> (I don't have any OS/400 CDROMs, yet).

Heh.  You'll probably have an easier time finding QIC tapes.  However, I
think the '170 has its OS keyed to the chassis ID, so you may want to see
if you can find the OS restore tapes from whomever sold you the system.  I
have a '150, whose OS is -not- keyed (up until V5?  I think?), so I was
able to order an OS/400 tape from some bloke in the UK via eBay.

> Is there a way to do a clean shutdown without logging in?
> If I just cut the power, will that damage the data on the disks and prevent
> a clean boot next time?

I doubt it.  These things are built to survive anything.

> Any docs you can recommend at ibm.com or on the Internet to get me started?

Do you know what release of OS/400 you have?  It's likely V4R3 or later.

[0] Bear in mind the sort of suits that tend to own these things; the
     QSECOFR password may be written on a label stuffed inside the chassis
Jonathan Patschke ( "They don't have the right to read a book out loud."
Elgin, TX         (                  --Paul Aiken
USA               (                    Executive Director, Authors Guild

More information about the rescue mailing list