Restoring Allworx 6x from backup after system failure.

We had a power surge that damaged the memory card or system and rendered the entire phone system useless.  Luckily, we had the OfficeSafe backup system running.  Allworx shipped a new unit to replace the damaged unit and rather than attempt to restore the older one (which was booting to safe mode) I just unwrapped and used the new one.

The frustrating part of this process is that when in safe mode, the Allworx units will only use the 192.168.2.254 default IP (192.168.2.254:8080 for the interface) and there is no way to alter this.  The issue there is, that if your OfficeSafe system resides on any other subnet, other than 192.168.2.0, the Allworx box will not be able to reach that system to perform a restore.  You cannot edit the network settings and you cannot enter alternative router information.

I ended up having to set the OfficeSafe system (our main server, of course) to the 192.168.2.0 subnet in order to get the safe mode restore to work.  You also have to launch the OfficeSafe Administrative console on that system, go to Options–>Restore and choose the actual restore file you want the Allworx system to use before you tell the Allworx to contact the OfficeSafe PC for restoration.  So in summary:

1.) Get the system that is running the Allworx OfficeSafe software and set it to the same subnet as the Allworx running in safe mode.  In a Windows system, this is as easy as setting the network adapter to 192.168.2.253 with a mask of 255.255.255.0 and leaving all other fields blank.

2.) Connect the Allworx LAN  port directly to the system running OfficeSafe with an ethernet cable.

3.) Reboot the Allworx into safe mode.  Turn off the unit and turn it back on while holding down the power button for a few moments.

4.) Use the PC with OfficeSafe to open the OfficeSafe Admin Console.  Go to “Tools–>Options” and select the type of restore (I used a specific file) and click “OK”.

5.) Go back to the browser and type in 192.168.2.254:8080 and select to restore the allworx system from the OfficeSafe PC (this is the very first option on the left side).  Type in the IP of the PC (192.168.2.253) and leave the port as 5001 unless you manually changed that when setting up OfficeSafe.

6.) Proceed with the restore.  You can view the event log in the browser and see it on the PC under “View–>Current Activity” to make sure it is working.

7.) When the restore is complete, select “Reboot into normal mode” and turn off the Allworx.  Set your server/PC back to the original network settings and plug the Allworx back into the network as it was before the failure and power it on.  After a few short moments, you should be back in business.  Reboot phones if necessary.

I also had to go into the “Feature Keys” section of the admin tools to re-download all the feature keys to restore multi-site functionality and a few other things, but that was extremely simple.

 

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About JoeDania83

IT Administrator for a three campus non-profit.
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6 Responses to Restoring Allworx 6x from backup after system failure.

  1. The best way to handle this situation without messing with the entire network or taking your server down is to get on a laptop or desktop that is close by and make a direct connection (plug a network cable into the LAN port on the Allworx and other end into the PC’s LAN port… the Allworx box handles crossover so no switch is needed in between). Change the network settings on the LAN card of the Laptop/Desktop to something in the 192.168.2.x subnet (ex. 192.168.2.253). Now you will be able to communicate directly with the Allworx box without changing the rest of your network or server settings. The Allworx box and your Laptop/Desktop will communicate with each other just fine while the rest of the network and server infrastructure hums along like usual. Transfer the backup image (.bck file) you want to use for restore purposes from the computer/server you use to do scheduled backups to the laptop/desktop you are using to perform the actual restore (a flash drive is usually the easiest). If you haven’t done so already, install the EXACT version of OfficeSafe on the Laptop/Desktop as well. Now, resume with the rest of your directions, and you’re good to go. Worth noting, the most common reasons for data corruption on the Allworx box is from a CF card that has bad sectors (dying) or a power supply that is going bad and sending dirty power to the Allworx box. The Allworx box is extremely resilient and is almost never the culprit itself, but the power supplies are a weak link, and the CF cards can be at times as well. ALWAYS keep a standby CF card and extra power supply on the shelf. You’ll need them eventually, and it’s cheap insurance. Also, put the Allworx box on its own high quality dedicated UPS to soften the blow of any power surges or lightning strikes.

    • JoeDania83 says:

      I’ll give that a shot next time. Just had another box’s CF card go bad. I do like the system itself, but the phones are another story.

      • The scenario I described is what I have to do when a restore is needed. It works out well in my case. Oh, I forgot to mention… ALWAYS do FULL BACKUPS, not incremental. They are tiny anyway, and restoring from the incremental backups can be really sketchy (been there, hated it… haha). Also, when you have to move a backup image from one machine to another to perform a restore, it’s a lot easier when you only have to deal with a single .bck instead of the entire collection. I actually found your blog on this subject because I have a 6x box that is starting to go non-responsive at random times, so I wanted to brush up on the full restore procedure before putting in a new CF card and power supply. Haven’t done it in a while myself (lucky? haha). What problems are you having with the phones? I support 2 Allworx 6x systems. They’ve both been in operation for 5+ years. One has about 40 9224 phones with sidecars. The other is a smaller install that has 6 phones that are a mix of 9212, 9112 and 9224 models. I’ve been mostly pleased with the phones, but I’ve learned a LOT of workaround and fixes along the way in terms of their sometimes finicky configs. Maybe I can share some tips to help.

  2. JoeDania83 says:

    The small spring under the switchhook stops making clean contact with the circuit board and the phone only works on speaker. It doesn’t answer calls when the handset goes off hook and continues to ring or if you pick up the handset to make a call, it will wait 5-6 second for a dial tone or never provide one. If you trigger the switchhook 10 times or press it really hard, it’ll work for that call. They are all 9204 or 9212. I’ve replaced probably 40-50 phones for this same issue over 4 years. We’re under contract, so the replacements are “free” and replacing them always fixes the problem. They never argue with me on it so it seems like it must be a known issue. One tech a few years back confirmed that theory but oddly, I don’t see much on this problem online.

    • Interesting. That’s actually not a problem I’ve really encountered, and the 40 station install I support is a very heavy use environment. It’s basically a high volume smaller call center type environment and most users refuse to use headsets, and are constantly slamming those handsets down, so wear and tear on the phones tends to be pretty high. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the phones have weathered the harsh use, and I can only recall one station having an issue with the on-hook switch you’ve encountered (lucky I guess… haha). We are outside of a support contract now (it expired a few years ago), so we handle support in house, unless there is a major emergency we can’t sort out, and then we just pay hourly “out of contract” support rates… a very, very rare thing to have to do, so it’s more affordable financially that way. The bulk of the phones in current use are actually used phones I’ve picked up on ebay for around $40 a station. If you pay attention you can find some great deals on them there. I once scored a lot of 5 9224’s with sidecars for about $25 each on a “make offer” deal, but I never pay more than $45 a station. The nice thing is that this allows me to also keep an inventory, at a very low cost, of several additional phones on the shelf for quick replacements or new setups, rather than waiting on a vendor to get me a new one. I also have quite a bone yard of spare parts now, which is also nice to have on hand when something does break.

  3. Also, I’ve found that when the CF card appears to be going bad and the system is becoming unstable, it’s often just the power supply and not the CF card itself. Unreliable power really reeks havoc on those CF cards and causes them to corrupt, but not necessarily damage them, just the data on them. The original power supplies were known to be pretty low quality and unreliable. They changed over to a better design later on, but most of us got the old problematic ones (basically, it’s just a matter of time until those old ones start causing issues… but can be after a month of service or if you’re lucky 4 or 5 years… random but problematic and totally unpredictable). I believe the originals were 1 amp output (which is actually a bit under powered for the Allworx’s needs). Upgrading to a 1.5 amp output one will provide more stable power, and it won’t hurt the Allworx box (it only uses however much power it needs and won’t be force fed too much… so no worries). A better designed power supply with a bit more amperage to spare for when the box is working hard really contributes to substantially more reliable operation, and far less chances for CF card corruption.

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