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z/OS Dumps and Debugging Workshop


Duration: 5 Days

Method: Instructor led, Hands-on workshops

Price: $3250.00

Course Code: MF5090


Systems programmers or applications programmers that need a better understanding of the z/OS dumps and dump reading.


This class is an introduction to reading dumps. Topics will include examining control blocks, recovery/termination management, using IPCS, and abend types.

The course will focus on several dumps to extract various causes of failures, and examining control blocks for pertinent run-time information. Specifically S0C4 abends will be examined, as being more variable than many of the common errors.

Diagnosis will focus on using formatted printed dumps, as well as dumps that are processed by IPCS. Using IPCS, various tools and commands will be reviewed to illustrate how diagnostic data can be extracted from a machine-readable dump. Exercises include several dumps, as well as examining memory contents using various tools.


Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify relevant component control blocks
  • Use documentation to locate control blocks
  • Process program check abends
  • Process service-related abends
  • Use IPCS to process a dump
  • Use IPCS to process trace data
  • Gain familiarity with service aids available for collecting diagnostic data


TSO/ISPF knowledge and z/OS basics.


  • I. Introduction to dumps
    • Types of dumps
    • Indicative dumps
    • Data representation in memory
  • II. PSW and Registers
    • PSW functions and definitions
    • Register usage and conventions
  • III. Interpreting Instructions
    • Basic machine language instruction structure
    • Machine language instruction formats in memory
    • Identifying instructions
    • Interpreting instructions
    • Using Principles of Operations documentation
  • IV. SVC and Abend Processing
    • Invoking SVCs
    • Interpreting SVC usage and macros
    • Basic program debugging
    • S0Cx abends and S0C4 abend interrupt codes
    • Recovery/Termination management (RTM)
  • V. IPCS Basics
    • IPCS navigation
    • IPCS menu options
    • IPCS VERBX commands
    • IPCS comamnds
    • IPCS undocumented options
  • VI. z/OS Architecture
    • Basic control blocks (PSA – CVT)
    • CPU related information
  • VII. Control Blocks
    • Storage related control blocks
      • GDA
      • Virtual storage mapping
    • Task related control blocks
      • TCB, PRB, CDE
      • TCB fields
      • PRB fields
    • I/O related control blocks
      • DCB interpretation
      • TIOT, UCB
  • VIII. Traces
    • System trace
    • Master trace
    • Generalized Tracing Facility (GTF)
    • Component trace
    • Storage traces (GFS)
  • IX. Service Aids
    • SPZAP
    • Disassembly