When launching a print session (or other IBM iSeries Access terminal session), you receive a "PC5250 License Error" with an error code (actual code varies depending on session) after you enter your username and password.  The issue lies with a temporary PID file that IBM writes to the My Documents directory.  The file is located at "My Documents\IBM\Client Access\.cwblmsrv.pid" -- the actual path to your My Documents folder may vary depending on your network's configuration.

This file is a temporary file used by the IBM software to check on the licensing for your workstation.  The PID file contains the process ID (hence the name) as well as the port that the cwblmsrv.exe program is listening on.  The cwblmsrv.exe program is the IBM Client Access License Management Server.  It uses the port within the PID file to communicate with the license server. On a good day, that’s how it works at least.

When the License Error occurs, the PID file is not properly being overwritten by the new instance of the cwblmsrv.exe program.  This results in the port number within the PID file not matching the actual port number assigned to that program and the program thus can’t communicate.  That’s a simplified version of what’s happening, of course.  The end result is that the PID file isn’t overwritten and doesn’t match the new instance of the program and everything falls apart.

There are several possible causes.  The most common two causes are either permissions to the My Documents folder, or the file itself is corrupt.  Here are some possible scenarios and fixes:

  1. If you believe the file to be corrupt, simply delete the file.  Restart your print session and it should connect.  You receive an "Access denied" error when deleting the file, you have incorrect permissions on your My Documents folder.

  2. There are times that a user doesn't have Full Control over their My Documents folder.  The user needs the ability to read, write, modify, and delete the contents of their My Documents folder.  Please check with your network administrator if you believe permissions to be the issue.

  3. The My Documents folder is unavailable due to server or network issues.  This would only affect users with their My Documents folder being automatically redirected to a remote fileserver.  In this scenario, you would most likely not be able to view the contents of your My Documents folder.  Please check with your network administrator to resolve this issue.

  4. If none of the above resolves the issue, please contact your technical support provider for further troubleshooting.

(Note that this is not the same issue as when you have two print sessions but can only sign one in at a time.)