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Imaging a BCM 50 Hard Disk
Replacing a Hard Disk on a BCM 50 System
Posted: 22 Jun 09 (Edited 10 Jul 10)
How to replace the Hard Disk on a BCM 50 system
The details listed below are intended to guide you through the process of determine if the Hard disk is faulty in the first place & how to replace it. Also I'll explain how the restore is done & other useful tips found recently.
Before reading this guide, you may want to see if you can download the full version at..
I was called out to a site that had lost all of the lines & that the Phones weren't functioning. We couldn't even remotely access the system & 2 power resets failed to restore the system, although the customer reported that it looked to be running OK. Upon reaching site, I looked at the front of the BCM unit. All the LED lights were green except for the one below the Nortel Symbol. This was a constant Red / Orange. I tried connecting my Laptop via the OAM port using the default IP address of 10.10.11.1. This failed!. I also looked at the phones, which were all IP I 2002 phones & they had server unreachable on them.
A full power reset made no difference again!. The computer room was very noisy & If anybody is able to hear a screeching noise from the BCM 50 along with the other errors listed, then it's highly likely that the Hard Disk inside the BCM 50 has failed.
Make sure that you are able to order a replacement to site & that the stores send you a complete unit with the correct software version on the hard disk!.
The trick is to swap over the hard disk from the replacement unit with the faulty one!. However you will need to have the Nortel keycode "*lic" file. This will be explained in more detail later.
The best way to open up the BCM 50, is to unplug (mark all of the cables first!) the Ethernet cables etc. Turn the BCM on it's back to view the 5 screws. There are 3 at the top & 2 at the bottom.
Another useful thing to note is that at the bottom of the base is a Nortel label that lists out the systems site ID & MAC address. This is very important as you will need either of these to obtain the keycode lic file for that site ID.
Remove the top 3 screws, marked with an A & an arrow pointing upwards!. Turn the unit to slide the top cover towards the end with the Nortel symbol on.
The original BCM 50 Forty Gig hard disk sits in a holder with 4 screws & has the cable for the fan attached. The full details of this disk is as follows..
Nortel Item Code label = E1721ETNZ9999 NT9T4006 05
3.5 SERIES Maxtor DiamondMax 8S SATA150 HDD 40GB
Another SATA hard disk that was used later on in BCM 50 production was a
Nortel BCM 50 Release 3.0 S/W Item Code label = NT9T4124E5 01
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80GB SATA
Just unplug the disk's SATA & Power cables & list out the disk holder. Swap over the disk from the replacement unit & reassemble it back in reverse order.
Plug in the cables & power up the BCM. I was lucky in that I knew the IP address of 10.10.11.1 from my replacement disk, but you may find that you don't have the IP address's for the OAM LAN ports. In this case, use the guide below as an example of viewing, changing the system settings via a BCM Terminal. This can also be an IP phone, but it's best you use a wired port e.g. an M7310 phone.
How to find out system IP address details on an unknown BCM 50 system
The guide is intended to be used when working on a BCM 50 that you have no knowledge on its history, IP or Account / Passwords etc.
Find a M7310 / 7324 programming terminal which is connected to the BCM.
Press the Nortel / Feature key followed by 9*8.
The display will show ... User ID:_
Key in the Nortel default telset ID of "setnna", which is also 738662 on the phones keypad. Then key in the default password associated with it of "config" or (266344).
If it's successful, then the display will change to Feature Codes
Press OK to list out the systems site ID SID:xxxxxxxxxxxx
Write down the site ID, in case you need to get the Keycodes!. Then press BACK.
This time at "Feature Codes", press NEXT 2 times to get to the IP Address menu.
Press OK. Display shows.. IP Address
Display shows.. DHCP:Disabled
IP ENL BACK
Press IP. Display shows.. 192.168.0.150
NEXT CHNGE BACK
Press CHNGE, key in the new IP address. Use "*" as the "."
Once you have done that, the display will show "Subnet Mask". The current setting will be listed after a few seconds. i.e. 255.255.255.0
Press NEXT or CHNGE as required. The display will show "Default Gateway". The current setting will be listed after a few seconds. i.e. 192.168.0.1
Press NEXT or CHNGE as required. You will end up at the IP Address. If you have made any changes, then you will get a message "Restart Required", followed by..
Press "YES" to get another message Are You Sure?
Press the "YES" button & you will see the display change to "Restarting ..."
Any active calls will be lost & the normal time & date will appear in a minute. Wait for a good 5 minutes, before trying to see if it's possible to "ping" the BCM system.
At this stage, you have 2 options. Option one is to change the IP address of LAN 1 & reboot the BCM, or you can change your Laptop & BCM Element Manager to the LAN 1 IP address found in the guide above. The main thing is to be able to connect to it. Check that you are able to ping the BCM via your pc first!.
Open up your Element Manager & either use the existing connection, or add in a new one with the required IP address. You must use the default Nortel login & passwords!. During the power up sequence the BCM will default any other password that would have existed!. One of the first things that had to be done, was to enter in the *.lic file containing the keycodes for the system site ID. The reason for this is that the hard disk has to be paired up with the BCM motherboard for the licensing to function. To do this, go to "Configuration", "System" & select the Keycode tab.
Select the load File button & browse to the location where you have the systems lic file & if it's successful, you will get a confirmation OK message. The next thing is to reload back in via a recent backup image the Customers database. This can be either from your computer or a USB memory stick etc. e.g. "Administration", "Backup & Restore", Restore. Click on the Restore from drop down box to select the required storage medium & then press the Restore button.
Follow the instructions as given for uploading the file. You will be given details of the time taken, before you should try & log back in. Remember that the LAN 1 & OAM IP address's may change during the power up sequence. The Customers backup database should now load up & you should be at a point of being able to check that lines & phones are working.
Useful tips found
Remember to use the Nortel default login & passwords. Then change / add in new accounts again before leaving site.
Also I found that the previous database still listed out the other sites Advertisement/Logo name. Change this to the new name. i.e. default = Nortel Networks.
If after doing this you find that the ISDN2 / ISDN 30 is not working, then just reset the BCM 50 expansion module. It's a good idea to check that the Remote Access is working if it's been provided.
I've also found that any patches that had existed on the replacement Hard Disk will still be active & this will save time in having to re install them all again.
Advance Hard Disk imaging information
Whilst carrying out the disk replacement, I did a search on eBay for any USB to SATA / IDE convertor cables. You can get various types such as..
USB 2.0 to SATA / IDE Cable Adapter Power DVD Connector
This clever gadget cost me just under £8 inc P & P. With this tool, you can connect most add on items i.e. Disks, CD-Rom's etc to your computer via the USB port. What I've done now is to connect up the good working BCM 50 SATA disk &
Whilst playing about with this, I decided to take another look at the original hard disk, which I still had. My computer displayed a bad sector message!.
An excellent disk imaging program that I've used is Acronis (www.acronis.com). I've been able to successfully image and compress via the sector by sector method a BCM 50 Version 2 Image to be just over 4 Gigs in size. This Image can be stored onto a DVD disk. The Image that I did for a BCM 50 Version 3 was over 5 Gigs. I've done a step by step guide at the end of this section to explain how it's done.
One very useful thing that you can do is to upgrade your old BCM 50 version 1 to e.g. version 2 & then use the existing keycode. This works fine, although you can't use a backup file from your old version!. You will have to reprogram the system again, or use a backup copy from another site with the updated software version.
I have also Imaged a BCM 50e release 3.
The only problem that I found was that I could enter in the keycodes OK & the message stated that it had accepted it fine. However when I looked in the Alarm table, there was a message stating that I had used the wrong software release or the keycodes were incorrect etc. This may also be due to the older hardware being present on my system that was originally at release 1 & I understand that Nortel has stated that newer hardware is needed for all release 3 BCM systems.
Also, you can get the same Nortel type Hard Disk via eBay for around the £15 mark inc P & P. e.g.
Maxtor Diamondmax SATA 150 40gb 40gig 3.5" Desktop Hard Drive
Slim design only 17mm thick Fully tested and in good working order
NTFS formatted and securely data wiped WITH FREE SATA CABLE !
I've recently brought 2 40 Gig Diamondmax 20 SATA drives for £12 which also worked fine when imaged with Release 2 & 3 software versions.
I have done a full document with screen shots if anyone wants a copy & it should be possible to contact me at
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