Live Blog: i V5R4 to i 6.1 Upgrade: Upgrade Verification and PTF Load (Part 4)

This is part four of my live blog on updating an i5/OS V5R4 machine to i 6.1. You can view all the posts for this upgrade by clicking here.

Back from lunch.

Used GO LICPGM, Option 50 (Display Install History) to view installation history for the OS upgrade. This screen tells us that the new OS installed correctly and that all licensed programs were updated (however, the new license keys aren’t applied yet…that comes later).

Next step is to use a GO LICPGM, Option 10 (Worked with Licensed Programs) to ensure that all programs loaded correctly and are at least at an *INSTALLED or *COMPATIBLE Installed Status. If we had seen a program with a status of *ERROR, we would have had to investigate and take action and possibly even called IBM.

At this point, our system upgrade is complete. However, we have to perform the following post-upgrade steps before we can let anyone use it.

  • Apply PTFs
  • Apply IBM licensed program keys
  • Convert all objects to i 6.1 format
  • Perform vendor-supplied post-upgrade instructions to allow 3rd party software to run on the new OS

To load the PTFs, we take option 8 (Install Program Temporary Fix package) off the GO PTF menu. As part of our planning process, we had loaded all the PTF DVDs into an image catalog so we’ll be installing from that image catalog (another benefit to this is that we can move this image catalog to another system when we update our production and CBU IBM i boxes). The image catalog PTF install should go faster than a DVD install because we don’t have to constantly be changing DVDs (we did that on the front end) but I still expect this process will take an hour or more.

Even though we also used an image catalog for the OS upgrade, there is one difference between loading PTFs from an image catalog and loading the operating system upgrade from an image catalog. For the operating system load, I had to specify the image catalog name as the load source for my PWRDWNSYS. For the PTF load in GO PTF, option 8, I have to load my image catalog to a virtual optical device and then specify the virtual optical device name in the Option 8 screen. It’s a small but important difference.

The relevant parameters I need to use on the Option 8 Load PTF screen are:

  • Device = Virtual Device name that PTF image catalog is loaded to. This device must be varied on and the first image file name must be Mounted and the rest of the image files must be in a Loaded state.
  • Automatic IPL = Y (Yes) – IPLs the machine after loading the PTFs
  • Prompt for Media = 1 (Single Volume PTF Set) – Even though the image catalog contains both cumulative and a number of group PTFs, Option 8 will treat it as one PTF set
  • Restart Type = *SYS – With this, the operating system determines how much of the server and operating system to restart. It will only restart the hardware if there are hardware PTFs that require a restart to be applied. *SYS is the default because it results in a faster IPL than *FULL, which specified that all portions of the system, including the hardware are restarted.

After putting in the parameters, we hit ENTER and the PTF application process starts. The process loads the PTFs, then applies whatever PTFs it can, and then IPLs the system to apply the rest of the PTFs.

One interesting note that my partner Scott told me about image catalog PTFs. When Scott loaded the PTFs into the catalog, he loaded the cumulative PTFs first and then the group PTFs we wanted to apply. When he verified the PTF image catalog, the operating system rearranged the PTFs to be applied in a different order. Scott called IBM, who told him not to worry about it. The system knows what it’s doing. This is interesting because I always have conversations about whether the cumulative or group PTFs should be loaded first. The correct answer may be that it doesn’t matter because the system knows what it’s doing.

While the PTFs are being applied, there’s nothing else to do but wait until the system comes back. Perfect time to go for a smoke, make some calls, read a book, or write a blog post.

Will check in later. 


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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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