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Power Outage Paranoia

Power Outage Paranoia

Power Outage Paranoia

No plea for help, just an issue I worked through this week that I thought some may be interested in.

At the beginning of the week we had some major outages in our area. Had a customer with a BCM50 R6 that wouldn't boot so I took a spare unit along to do a temporary replacement.
It didn't quite have enough licensing but would at least get them up in limp mode.

Since there was no backup for the system and they had three separate departments with three line pools and lines incoming individually to these departments I really didn't want to reprogram everything.

I took the bad system home and noticed that it went quite a few minutes into the boot cycle before it gave up. I stuck the hard drive into my computer and fired up my imaging program of choice (Macrium Reflect). Sure enough it showed all the partitions on the drive but partition 7 (~500 meg) said extended partition not formatted. So I stuck a drive from another system in the computer and fired up linux to see what lived on that partition in a good system.

Interesting... it looks like that partition was only used for log files. So I copied all partitions except 7 from the bad drive onto a new ssd that had a virgin R6 image on it.

Stuck the new ssd back into the BCM and YESSSSSS up she came with all programming intact minus any logs of course. It's been running for two days now and no complaints. Oh, I do have a backup for it now. profile smiley


RE: Power Outage Paranoia

A star from me for that useful tip. We tend to try and get customers to part with cash to purchase a USB stick and have the BCM set for Monthly backups. It's not always easy to get this done and often someone takes the USB stick away.

I did a guide on how to access the BCM 50 using a serial port that helps with odd boot up problems.

What SSD drive did you use?.

Firebird Scrambler

Nortel & Avaya Meridian 1 / Succession & BCM / Norstar Programmer

Website = http://somertel.myfreesites.net

RE: Power Outage Paranoia

Thanks for the star.

I've thought of using a USB stick for backup but have never gotten around to doing it.

The vast majority of systems that I've serviced were originally installed by the local telco. They had backups scheduled to go to a dialup ftp server. Since they abandoned servicing their Nortel equipment years ago the only thing that happens now is alarm logs stating the backup failed.

Thanks for that serial port guide. I've used it before and now take much care with it as I cooked the serial ports on 2 BCM's once. The ground lead from the serial adapter fell off which cooked the adapter and then every BCM that I connected it to there after.

I use the Intel X-25 80 gig SSD's. I bought a lot of 11 of them for a very reasonable price off ebay a few years ago.

RE: Power Outage Paranoia

I include a USB stick with my BCM50 units (bury the price) with my direct clients (that I service) and also have it pre-programmed for monthly backups out of the box.

I think what you are saying is there was no "external" backup but there was on the hard drive.

I have the backup (on box) pegged at being in location: Volume 4\cleartext\workarea\ name of backup.tar.

So I wonder if just copying that file to the new HD would work too.


Toronto, Canada

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RE: Power Outage Paranoia

Thanks Curly, I never thought of the fact that a backup was probably sitting on the unit itself even though it couldn't upload it to the FTP server.

Since I still have the defective drive I took another look at it when mounted in Linux and sure enough there was a backup.tar file from Nov 16th in the location you specified.

One more way to resurrect a downed system that I have no prior info on.


RE: Power Outage Paranoia

I've only been able to use older USB sticks in the BCMs. They don't recognize the higher speed USB 2.0 or 3.0 memory sticks, most likely because of the Linux device driver. FYI, the USB memory stick has to be formatted as FAT32 in order to work.

Brian Cox
Georgia Telephone

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