IBM Books

Diagnosis Guide

Making effective use of the IBM Support Center

There are several things you need to know in order to make effective use of the IBM Support Center. You need to know when to call IBM, how to contact IBM, and what information to collect before calling.

When to contact the IBM Support Center

Contact the IBM Support Center for the following situations:

A single node or infrequent software failure that is not mission-critical may not be a cause to contact the IBM Support Center immediately. These problems may be caused by conditions that can be remedied through administrative techniques. Investigate these failures, using this manual as a guide for conducting the investigation. Follow these steps:

Log information about these failures that you discover in the course of your investigations. This information can be used for your own future reference, and by the IBM Support Center if this failure becomes frequent enough or critical enough to require their assistance, as follows:

Problems and failures may appear to be unrelated at first, but they may have some relationship that is not immediately evident. Examine the conditions that were recorded for previous infrequent failures to see if there may be a pattern to them, even if the failure seem to be unrelated. Consider the following items when looking at the historical data on problems and failures:

Contact the IBM Support Center when you discover any patterns in infrequent failures because:

Information to collect before contacting the IBM Support Center


Read this section in its entirety and perform ALL of the instructions listed here before placing a call to IBM. Some of the required information must be captured immediately before system conditions change, the data is lost, or the data is overwritten.

  1. Your Customer Information, which should be in the log discussed earlier. See Create a log of your SP structure and setup.
  2. Your Product Information:
  3. Information about your problem. Different information is needed for different kinds of problems. Therefore, you cannot collect the same set of information for all problems. Here are some general rules:

How to contact the IBM Support Center

IBM Phone Numbers

In the United States:

The number for IBM software support is 1-800-237-5511.
The number for IBM hardware support is 1-800-IBM-SERV.
The number for the PC Help Center is 1-800-772-2227.

Outside the United States, contact your local IBM Service Center.

Contact the IBM Support Center using the phone number above, for these problems:

The person with whom you speak will ask for the information from Information to collect before contacting the IBM Support Center and give you a time period during which an IBM representative will return your call.

For failures in non-IBM software, follow the problem reporting procedures documented for that product.

For SP hardware failures, contact IBM Hardware Support at the number above.

For PC problems, contact the PC Help Center at the number above. Have your machine type and serial number ready.

For any problems reported to the IBM Support Center, a Problem Management Record (PMR) is created. A PMR is an online software record used to keep track of software problems reported by customers.

Be sure that the person you identified as your contact can be reached at the phone number you provided in the PMR.

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