Everyday backup checks

KB article ID: 5011 (permalink)

Check ALL your backups EVERY DAY

Failure to confirm your backups risks losing your data. Don't take that gamble. Assign this daily task to multiple staff to increase the chance that it actually gets done, so that if an error arises it will be found out, so that it can be dealt with it.

Check your iSeries/AS400 tape backup using a "green screen" display session

  1. Identify the time your backup is set to run. 
    • At a green screen command line, type GO BACKUP and enter
    • Take menu option 10
    • Take menu option 20
    • Note your daily “Backup Time” (in military time) and the days backup is set to run.
    • F3 all the way out
  2. At a command line, type DSPLOG and strike the F4 (Cmd 4) key
    • At “Beginning time”, type the "military time” you identified above, e.g. 23:00:00.
    • At “Beginning date”, type the date you wish to check, e.g. 11212016 (for November 21, 2016), and Enter.
    • What you will see is a very specific section of a 30-day log that the iSeries/AS400 maintains. You specified the date and time.
    • Find the start of your backup job.  It should look something like this:
Job 779320/QSYSOPR/QEZBKTMTHU started on 11/21/16 at 23:00:00…
      • Beyond this entry, look for entries that resembles the following. You may need to page down.  What's more, these entries may be interspersed with other entries. You may need to visit several pages to find all of the sort of entries shown here.
    Display History Log Contents
    401 objects saved from library GALADR.
    2164 objects saved from library GALCRT.
    5 objects saved from library GALCST.
    40 objects saved from library GALDEF.
    18 objects saved from library GALDRG.
    93 objects saved from library GALEMP.
    694 objects saved from library GALIDP.
    321 objects saved from library GALJUR.
    27 objects saved from library GALMAC.
    20 objects saved from library GALMSG.
    277 objects saved from library GALNOT.
    575 objects save from library GALPRB.
    201 objects saved from library GALSTA.
    7 objects saved from library GALZIP.
    14 libraries saved at 11/21/16 23:00:02.
        3. A critical entry to note should resemble the last line shown here, "14 libraries saved at 11/21/16 23:00:02".  It tells you the number of libraries saved, and the date and time. Your number of libraries will vary, depending on your setup.
        4. Another critical matter to note is all libraries beginning with GAL***.  These are the libraries we really care about.  If any objects did not back up from any of these libraries, the entry would resemble the following:  
    691 objects saved from library GALIDP.  3 objects not saved.
        5. An occasional message of this sort likely indicates that someone forgot to sign-out of the system, which prevent a file from backing up. But if such a message appears day after day, there's an issue and you should call us.
        6. If you cannot locate entries such as those described here, or if you see anything radically different, such as, "Backup Failed or Backup Error," or if you are not sure, call us.
        7. Another critical thing to note is an entry that reads
    Device TAP01 needs to be cleaned."  
    • Do not ignore this message.   Run the appropriate cleaning tape cartridge in the iSeries/AS400 tape drive.

        8. The DSPLOG command can be run at any time without interrupting other iSeries/AS400 operations.

    Check all your other GAL backups using the GAL PC

    Click here for instructions. The GAL PC consists of menu options that provide a variety of administrative functions. Included are options to check the status of other types of backup you may be using. Whether you participate in the GAL iSeries/AS400 Online Backupthe GAL IMAGING Online Backup, or the PC JIMS IMAGING tape backups, you should use these menu options every day to check their status. Click here to access GAL PC instructions.

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    Using PC JIMS to check your iSeries/AS400 tape backup (not quite as thorough a check as the green screen method) 

    1. Go to “Technical” at top, and Select “Utilities”
    2. Click “Check Save Status”.
    3. Use the down arrow at “Check for save date” to check ONLY your previous night's backup. 
      1. Do not use this to check prior backups, not even your Friday night backup on a Monday. To check any tape backup other than the one that ran last night, use the alternate "green screen" instructions below.
      2. Explanation: If you enter a date other yesterday's, you'll get a message telling you that your backup didn't run "on the given date". Unfortunately, this can be misleading, because your tape backup may have run perfectly well on that date. But because of the way Check Save Status works, it's actually reporting on your most recent save date. It does this by looking at markers left behind on your data files/libraries to indicate when they were last backed up, as indicated in the columns in the background at left of your Check Save message. These markers are left behind when your tape backup runs, AND when your GAL Online Backup runs. Sorry for the confusion.
    4. Click “Load”. The program may take a minute or two.
    5. If all is well, you will receive a Check Save message that reads, "All *FILE objects in GAL libraries were saved on the given date." 
    6. If you receive save errors, call Goodin Associates.

    Optional: Setup a user to receive an Automated Daily Backup Report at first sign-on

    1. To help keep tabs on your backups, setup a user ID to receive an Automatic Daily Backup Report when they first sign on to the iSeries/AS400. Note that this report takes several minutes to run, delaying the initial activation of the user ID. While the information presented in the Automated Daily Backup Report printout is certainly indicative of whether or not your backups are active, it is NOT an adequate indicator of backup success. Use the printout as a reminder to run the green screen DSPLOG command, as described above. 
    2. To Setup the user ID
      1. At a green screen command line, type WRKUSRPRF *ALL and enter. 
      2. Locate the user ID to associate with the automated report, and type a 2 beside it, and enter. 
      3. At “Initial program to call”, type CHKSAVCL 
      4. At “Library” directly beneath this, type GALCRT and enter.
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