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How To Initiate a PARSEC Tech Support Call

and Get the Most out of your Support Services Contract

Here at PARSEC Group, our Technical Support Teams – OpenVMS, Unix and Linux – receive many new trouble/support calls from customers daily.

We – your Technical Team specialists – want to provide timely and efficient feedback and resolutions for any and all technical issues, but we need your help to do so, as you'll be our “eyes-&-hands” with your computer system.

Here's how you can help us to make each case resolutions effective and efficient…

  • Important Note: You (your company or organization) must have a current PARSEC Support Agreement in place to open any Technical Support issue.
  • If you do not have a Support Contract, please contact your PARSEC Account Manager, or call 888-472-7732 (888-4PA-RSEC).
  • Other ways to reach PARSEC Sales and your Account Representative: You can email, or inquire at
  • You can also talk directly with a sales rep via our chat-box on – find it at the bottom right of our home page.
  • If you call PARSEC Tech Support without a current Support Agreement, or your Support Agreement has lapsed/expired, your tech specialist must direct you to PARSEC Sales.

Initiating a Support Call via Telephone

For immediate assistance, and especially for urgent issues (system down, performance or operational impact, etc.),
call PARSEC's 24×7 Support Line:

866-372-7732 (or 866-3PA-RSEC)

If you've registered as a PARSEC Member, you can also log a new case at

This call will be answered quickly by a non-technical support representative; their job is to get basic contact information, a quick problem description, and then get you in contact with the next-available tech-support specialist from the PARSEC Support Team for your operating system.

Have the following contact information at-the-ready:

  1. Your name (please spell it for the phone-rep, if necessary)
  2. Company or organization name
  3. Your direct phone number – the one where we can reach you again “now” (please, no corporate switchboard or “main” phone#s; provide either your cellphone (preferred), or your direct-to-desk phone if you're there)
  4. Your operating system: VMS, UNIX, LINUX
  5. A very-brief problem description (save the technical details for your PARSEC tech support specialist)

Initiating a Support Call via EMail

For less-than-urgent issues – things that you want to check out or ask a question about – send an email message to one of these:

Include the same contact information and brief problem description as above.

A specialist from the Tech Support team for your operating system will get back to you either by email (likely) or telephone.

Basic Operating System Information

Be prepared to provide a few basic items of “getting started” information to the PARSEC VMS Tech Support specialist who answers your call – Click on the following link for your operating system for the list of this information:

The Problem Description -- The Basics

Your initial communication of the problem, whether by phone-conversation or email message, to the VMS Tech Support specialist who answers your call must include:

1. A simple, concise and focused description of the problem.

Stay objectively focused on what's happening, on symptoms, not on what you want fixed, or on what you “think is wrong.”


a) Good: "When a user attempts a directory command on disk DQA1:,
          he gets an error message, device not ready."
   Bad:  "We're getting a not-ready message."
b) Good: "Last night's routine BACKUP command file failed, and when
         I investigated this morning, I've found a flashing red-LED
         light on disk DKA100.  I've got the BACKUP command file
         script for you if needed."
  Bad:  "I guess backups are failing... Can you fix it for me?"
c) Good: "One of my authorized users, JSMITH, cannot login to VMS
         using SSH from her PC and a PuTTY terminal emulator.  She
         last logged in two days ago using Telnet.  Can you help me
         troubleshoot this?"
   Bad: "Users can't login, my system's down."

2. Where available (and this is nearly all the time), be ready to provide exact operating system error messages, or error message text from whatever layered software or third-party software is failing.

Also, where possible, provide the exact command (command line text) which is generating the error. Can the problem be reproduced at-will?


a) Good: $ directory /size /date $32$dqa1:[bjones]
         %DIRECT-E-OPENIN, error opening $32$DQA1:[BJONES]*.*;* as input
         -RMS-E-DNR, device not ready, not mounted, or unavailable
   Bad:  "We get a bad-directory error."

What Happens Next

3. The PARSEC Technical Support specialist will contact you within your support contract's SLA window, either by phone or by email. Your specialist will likely follow your case all the way through to resolution, although s/he will likely consult with the rest of the operating system team as needed, and draw on the team's overall experience and expertise.

Because you've previously provided the basic information specified above, exchanging this additional information will be much more efficient.

During the initial contact, your specialist will likely ask questions to clarify understanding of the problem, and will also ask you to provide and/or generate additional information about the problem, the operational environment, and the system itself.

You may be asked to execute one or several commands at the command-line prompt – it is always best to do these commands from the privileged account (SYSTEM or root), or from another sys-admin account (such as your own) which can activate the necessary privileges.

Your tech specialist will rely on you for “eyes-&-hands” on the system, so be careful to execute the commands/requests s/he makes and to cut-&-paste all relevant output, plus any other information which can help shed light on the problem and its solution/resolution.

Your specialist may send additional email requests for more information as the overall picture of the problem emerges and builds. Be patient, but also be forthcoming with additional information if/as things do occur to you which might help. More information is (usually) better than less…


4. As soon as a clear picture of the problem emerges from this conversation, your specialist – backed by the PARSEC Tech Support team – will usually offer a best-effort diagnosis of what the underlying problem is, what may have caused it, and how to remedy or repair the problem. Proscriptive (preventive) steps may also be offered. It will be up to you to implement whatever steps and/or remedies your specialist will offer.

Closing the Case

5. Your Tech Support specialist will likely ask you for permission to close the case when you both agree that a successful resolution has been reached. It's okay to confirm permission to close at this point.

Of course, any previously closed case can be re-opened with a future recurrence of the problem, or to supply more newly-available information if/as needed.

how_to_initiate_a_parsec_tech_support_call.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/17 21:22 by lricker

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