Load SIP Firmware to Cisco 7900 IP Phones.

Introduction

In this post we will learn how to upload SIP firmware to Cisco 7911 IP Phone. This will make possible using the phone with third party SIP servers. The instruction below applies to all Cisco 7900 series IP phones.

Step 1. Download the SIP firmware.

Before we start, let’s download the required SIP firmware files.

Go to Cisco Download Page and get the required SIP firmware files. Make sure you download the right SIP firmware for your phone model in a ZIP package. Below is a screenshot showing the 8.5.2 version firmware package for 7911 IP phone.

Firmware Download Page 7911

Step 2. Download TFTP server.

Go to http://tftpd32.jounin.net/tftpd32_download.html and download the TFTPD32 or TFTPD64 server, which is a tiny TFTP server, required to serve the firmware files to the IP phone.

Extract all files from the previously downloaded package to the TFTP directory. The image below shows the content of the TFTP root directory.

TFTPD64 root directory

Step 3. DHCP server. Option 150

Before we reset the IP phone you we need to configure our DHCP server to provide the IP address of TFTP server to the IP phone. Otherwise, the phone will not know where to download the firmware files from once it boots.

I’m using Cisco switch in my lab and configured very primitive DHCP server like this:

ip dhcp pool TEST
network 10.0.0.0 255.0.0.0
option 150 ip 10.0.0.10

The IP address of my laptop running TFTP server is 10.0.0.10. Option 150 should point to the IP address of TFTP server. You may use any other DHCP server, just make it provides option 150 to your phone.

Step 4. Reset the phone.

Now let’s hard reset the phone:

  1. Unplug the power cable(or Ethernet in case of PoE) from the phone. Hold # and then plug it back in.
  2. Continue to hold # until the message LED on the handset flashes on and off in sequence in red.
  3. Release # and press 123456789*0#

Once the phone boots up it will download the SIP firmware files from the TFTP server and activate the new firmware.

Step 5. Verification

The Menu of the phone running SIP firmware looks a bit different from the phone running SCCP firmware. It will show some new SIP related menu entries. You can find the information about the new firmware on the web interface of the phone which is enabled by default:

7911 web interface

Conclusion

Now your Cisco IP phone is ready for use with any third-party SIP server. Thank you for reading 🙂

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