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ubet007

Help me with CISCO phone MAC address issue

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Hi

I have an old faulty Cisco IP phone 7960 that has an assigned MAC address (also visible on the sticker). Since CISCO has discontinued support for it, I tried to debug the problem with it myself.

I figured out that the mac address of the device is most likely corrupted. Is there a way (or a software program) that I can use to reset the MAC that is apparently stored in a flash chip on the phone PCB?

Appreciate any quick help on this.

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->I figured out that the mac address of the device is most likely corrupted.

How?

Shouldn't matter what the MAC address is, as long as the router is configured to give it an IP address.

a quick google gives

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/voice-unified-communications/unified-ip-phone-7900-series/5710-phone-reg.html/index.html#topic10

Edited by mSparks
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how do you figure it is corrupted? 

 

you can factory reset the phone by holding down the pound key while you power cycle the phone, then it will say something like "factory reset key sequence detected" (going from memory actual wording might be slightly different) then you would press 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 * 0 # and the phone will factory reset

 

these phones have been discontinued a LONG time ago.. and in my opinion they are shit, they suck so bad, especially when you use them for SIP... they work a little better when used with Cisco's proprietary SCSP protocol

 

if you want to stay with cisco i would recommend getting a SPA508g or SPA504g.. but any polycom would be better in my opinion,  

 

you can always check the MAC of the device from the status screen if you do not believe that it is the same as on the sticker (or you could always scan your network to find the mac address of the device) 

 

how's the back flap, i guarantee the spring inside of it is broken and will not hold the phone up any longer... not only was the software of these phones shit, but the build quality was shit as well... 

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->I figured out that the mac address of the device is most likely corrupted.

How?

Shouldn't matter what the MAC address is, as long as the router is configured to give it an IP address.

a quick google gives

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/voice-unified-communications/unified-ip-phone-7900-series/5710-phone-reg.html/index.html#topic10

 

mSparks thanks for your reply. I inferred that the MAC address is corrupted because the flash chip that stores it has gone bad...Sorry for sounding like a 'newbie' but does your above suggestion mean I could have same MAC addresses assigned to 2 or more phones but unique IPs configured in the Call Manager and the phones should still work fine and not produce any conflict on the network? Is there any software utility that helps re-assign/update MAC addresses on the phone a.k.a. reset?

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how do you figure it is corrupted? 

 

you can factory reset the phone by holding down the pound key while you power cycle the phone, then it will say something like "factory reset key sequence detected" (going from memory actual wording might be slightly different) then you would press 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 * 0 # and the phone will factory reset

 

these phones have been discontinued a LONG time ago.. and in my opinion they are shit, they suck so bad, especially when you use them for SIP... they work a little better when used with Cisco's proprietary SCSP protocol

 

if you want to stay with cisco i would recommend getting a SPA508g or SPA504g.. but any polycom would be better in my opinion,  

 

you can always check the MAC of the device from the status screen if you do not believe that it is the same as on the sticker (or you could always scan your network to find the mac address of the device) 

 

how's the back flap, i guarantee the spring inside of it is broken and will not hold the phone up any longer... not only was the software of these phones shit, but the build quality was shit as well... 

 

Yes, nyphonejacks - not a good piece of communication equipment to have, but I am intrigued by the challenge to fix this fault. Notwithstanding the poor build quality, I guessed there would be a utility to change/update the MAC address as reset doesn't probably work if the EEPROM chip that stores the MAC is corrupted. Polycom is the way to go after this I agree.

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how do you figure it is corrupted?

you can factory reset the phone by holding down the pound key while you power cycle the phone, then it will say something like "factory reset key sequence detected" (going from memory actual wording might be slightly different) then you would press 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 * 0 # and the phone will factory reset

these phones have been discontinued a LONG time ago.. and in my opinion they are shit, they suck so bad, especially when you use them for SIP... they work a little better when used with Cisco's proprietary SCSP protocol

if you want to stay with cisco i would recommend getting a SPA508g or SPA504g.. but any polycom would be better in my opinion,

you can always check the MAC of the device from the status screen if you do not believe that it is the same as on the sticker (or you could always scan your network to find the mac address of the device)

how's the back flap, i guarantee the spring inside of it is broken and will not hold the phone up any longer... not only was the software of these phones shit, but the build quality was shit as well...

Yes, nyphonejacks - not a good piece of communication equipment to have, but I am intrigued by the challenge to fix this fault. Notwithstanding the poor build quality, I guessed there would be a utility to change/update the MAC address as reset doesn't probably work if the EEPROM chip that stores the MAC is corrupted. Polycom is the way to go after this I agree.
Aside from that link I found saying you can change it in the management interface

a mac address is just a number, e.g.

01:23:45:67:89:ab

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address

if this has been corrupted, for example the 8'th bit dropping to 0 instead of 1, making it

00:23:45:67:89:ab

layers.jpg

MAC address is layer 2 Hardware address

@worst case@ would seem to be just have to rename a config file to bring it back up. all MAC's do is let two devices on the same wiring network (layer 2) identify each other, as long as no two devices on the same link have the same one there is no problem whatever it is (no problem if two are the same once you cross a level 3 - IP threshold for example)

and you can easily see what it is by plugging it into a router which reports the MAC's of the devices on its link.

->That flash chip will hold more than just the MAC, it will also hold the program code the "network card" processor runs to manage the TCP/IP stuff.

assuming it is a flash chip

http://www.batronix.com/shop/electronic/eprom-programming.html

(been a decade or so since I really got my hands dirty with any electronics), should be plenty of programmers around that will let you read it and write your own contents (board may even have an interface to do exactly that)

More fun googling

http://blog.johnath.com/2006/12/05/hacking-the-cisco-79xx-series/

Edited by mSparks
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I guess for an educational point of view if you wanted to mess around with this hardware... but being that they have been discontinued for so long, you can probably get one rather cheaply... the VoIP provider i work for has a stack of these in the back room that we only hold on to for some of our legacy customers who have not yet been switched over to our newer SIP servers.. basically the only thing worse than a 7960 is a 7960 running on SIP 

 

flashing the chip on the device is currently beyond my knowledge of this device... and being that it is a useless pile of shit in my opinion i do not see me ever wanting to attempt to figure it out with this hardware... 

 

sorry i could not be of more assistance 

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I guess for an educational point of view if you wanted to mess around with this hardware... but being that they have been discontinued for so long, you can probably get one rather cheaply... the VoIP provider i work for has a stack of these in the back room that we only hold on to for some of our legacy customers who have not yet been switched over to our newer SIP servers.. basically the only thing worse than a 7960 is a 7960 running on SIP

flashing the chip on the device is currently beyond my knowledge of this device... and being that it is a useless pile of shit in my opinion i do not see me ever wanting to attempt to figure it out with this hardware...

sorry i could not be of more assistance

if you were a real hacker you'd be flashing those phones in the back room with your own custom images :P

http://esec-lab.sogeti.com/post/2010/11/21/Presentation-at-Hack.lu-%3A-Reversing-the-Broacom-NetExtreme-s-firmware

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