System suddenly restarted, stuck in startup/reboot loop

(Itzik) #41

If it’s that small of a PBX, you can probably use a vultr $5/mo instance and you should be good to go.

(Communication Technologies) #42

I also recommend a hosted soloution, but if you wanted a very cheap (~$35) on-prem, for just 10 extensions and an IVR you could try the Raspberry Pi route. A Pi 3 or 4 could work:

You’ll want to update it to boot from USB. While it has never happened to me, there are reports of SD cards being more susceptible to corruption.


It’s not so much the cost, it’s a matter of getting back up and running right now… like today. We literally just stuck an old phone with an answering machine in the middle of the office and every time it rings someone has to go get it. Our company is missing calls. All of our desk phones are down, and we are too busy to migrate to a whole new system at this point. I appreciate the suggestions, I really do. :blush: If we can upgrade to something better down the line then great [side note, we looked into a hosted solution yesterday instead of me installing it here, but that would also require migrating our landlines and a commercial phone contract I’m not sure we can break, and moving to VoIP, which unfortunately was not in the cards right now] but today we need to get our phone system working on this old server that we have.

Since I can’t rescue the old hard drive and FreePBX 15 won’t work on it, I suppose I’m going to try that 32-bit version 10 from 2016. IF I can get that to work, then hey, at least it’s 3 years newer and several versions newer than the version 4.211 from 2013 that this box was built on… which was getting us by and worked fine until this happened. I guess I can still consider this an upgrade — moving from PBX 4 to 10, from Asterisk 11 to 13, plus using an SSD instead of an old spinning mechanical hard drive.


My main question for right now is, if the old system was built on Asterisk 11, should I go ahead and choose 11 again in the new 2016 setup? It gives me the option of Asterisk 13 or 11, and I just don’t want to have to reconfigure a whole lot in all the individual phones. Will upgrading from Asterisk 11 to 13 require Polycom handset configuration changes? Or not so much? Thanks!


Hi Cwaz13,

Sangoma has a odd relationship with resellers. They like having them but they don’t seem to be too upfront on letting you know who they are. Going to the Sangoma site you can only get a list of distributors. I’ve noticed that this forum has resellers participating you might want to provide the business location and someone may have and idea of a local contact. I’ve tried Googling this in the past but it’s a hit or miss.

My 2 cents…

(Moussa) #46

Can you describe how your old system was set up/connected FreePBX server, telephone line, the phones you use, and anything else?


My main question for right now is, if the old system was built on Asterisk 11, should I go ahead and choose 11 again in the new 2016 setup? It gives me the option of Asterisk 13 or 11, and I just don’t want to have to reconfigure a whole lot in all the individual phones. Will upgrading from Asterisk 11 to 13 require Polycom handset configuration changes? Or not so much? Thanks!


We have a landline account with Frontier… 3 phone lines, with 3 physical RJ11 phone wires coming into the FreePBX server box. We have nine Polycom SoundPoint IP330 SIP phones and one SoundPoint IP560 for the main secretary.

Our PBX setup was pretty straightforward but we had a lot set up… an IVR where people could “press # for X” or dial any extension, a company directory, after hours and holiday greetings, custom music, and some other stuff I had tinkered with. Not anything out of the ordinary, just frustrating to lose it all and have to set it all back up again from scratch.

And yeah, I fully know those phones are old as **** and it would be great if we could get a new system some day. When I googled that model number just now, they were no longer available for purchase after 2009 and stopped support in 2014. Trust me, I totally get it. :slight_smile: But for our purposes — a small business with fewer than 10 employees, who just needed a nice little upgrade over the aforementioned “one-phone-that-everyone-has-to-run-to-pick-up” so we could have an IVR greeting and all have desk phones with extensions and voicemail — this was an affordable (<$500 on Craigslist) system that could work for our purposes. Maybe even as soon as next year we can afford a full upgrade with all new phones or a new server or hosted solution, etc, but for now this is what we’ve got to work with.

(Communication Technologies) #49

It seems like you will spend more time/money in labor trying to make this work than it would be to just upgrade. Regardless I appreciate the situation you’re in. When it is time to upgrade, maybe consider a softphone?
FreePBX UCP has a “Free” phone module built in. You can also review your VMs from there too.

Check it out when you have time:


If you were not able to rescue anything, go with the 32bit install with asterisk 13. If you are familiar with FreePBX you should be able to recreate a working environment in a couple of hours. Just as a side note, this solution though is not something you will be able to use later to upgrade in a straightforward way because there is no direct upgrade path for 32bit installs.
I have been running 32 bit installs until a couple of months ago and they were working perfectly for me. When I decided it was time to upgrade, I started from scratch with SNG7 distro with FreePBX 14 and asterisk 13.

(Luke C) #51

I have moved companies off Frontier and the savings are tremendous, they are a terrible company and their support is one of the worst. Your company is making poor decisions if you don’t switch to a SIP Trunk Service(Assuming you have decent internet on-site). [This is where I give a plug]

As for getting back up and operational for the moment, even Frontier has a call-forward option, to forward the calls to a cell. Drawback is when forwarding the call, the line will be busy until that call is terminated.


Oh, yeah, Frontier is terrrrriiibbblllle. We hate them with a fiery passion. Last I checked I think they were locked into a 2 or 3 year contract so I’m not sure what the status is at this point. We can’t move/upgrade today, but I will give them the link to sipstation, thank you. Our internet service here is… okay. We are in a small town that is not serviced by any of the “big guys” with super fast internet.

(Lorne Gaetz) #53

You’ve known for many days that the hardware was EOL, the drive was dead and there are no backups. Your first task could have been to grab an old windows box, set up a new system and configure it from scratch with a SIP account and forward your analog lines to a VOIP DID. That would have taken about a half day for someone with experience.

Every minute you spend tinkering with 32 bit hardware and IDE drives is quite literally wasted. This system was EOL on it’s first day of service 5 years ago.

(Dave Burgess) #54

I hate to agree with Lorne on this specific case but you’re best option would have been to head to the closest “spares closet/garage/Goodwill” and grab a PC and start over. In my day job, I work on some old equipment (IBM Series-1) and all of our support PCs are 64-bit capable. There’s a guy here in Omaha that sells “Windows 10” machines for $40 a piece that are more than capable of getting you back up and running. Toss in a FXS/FXO card to plug in your phone line, and you’re golden. The call-forward/forward-on-busy thing to your SIP carrier thing is an easy kill too.

On “cost savings” - get off dial-up. The basic charge per month is more than you’ll ever spend on a SIP trunk provider, and you’ll get “unlimited” (if you get a good provider) calling for literally parts of a penny per minute.


I’m not opposed to doing any of those things; however you guys have to understand that I don’t know ANYTHING about this stuff. I’m not an I.T. guy or a “phone guy” and just kind of inherited this thing because I’m reasonably PC and tech savvy.

I appreciate the “should’ves” but the whole “all you needed was a VOIP DID SIP FXS FXO SOL” may as well be you speaking in tongues to me. Coming into this, I would not even know where to start; the idea of blowing it up and starting a new phone system from scratch seems (seemed?) so far beyond me. And no IT company or phone company within 50 miles of us (Northwest Indiana) deals with this either. Trust me, we’ve tried to find someone who knows about FreePBX systems so it wouldn’t have to be me, but no dice. All we’ve gotten is one company who came in to look at our setup and is now working on a quote for an all-new NON-freepbx phone system and new phones which we’re pretty sure will be cost prohibitive.

So alas, here I am. I know the system is ancient but it’s all we have, and it’s worked fine for us. So without the knowledge or the personnel to do the “should’ves” my top priority was trying to get the old system back up and running. That has now failed every attempt, including with a brand new hard drive with a brand new 32-bit FreePBX install. I’ve tried an SSD with that SATA adapter, I’ve tried a “new” IDE drive, and no matter what, even with a new install, it keeps rebooting. Which tells me not only did the old drive have a partition failure, but the server unit itself is failing. Whether it’s the motherboard or RAM or whatever, it looks like the whole thing is going down.

So while it was not my top priority to build a new unit, this process of trying to fix the old one has inadvertently taught me a little more about how this system is built. Most of the jargon and terms and abbreviations are still mostly gibberish to me, but I’m trying to figure it out. I still don’t know Linux very well. And the idea that it would take half a day for someone “with experience” does not apply to me, as I do not have experience with this. Nor does anyone we’ve called in our region, so it’s still going to be me and I have no choice now. This learning process has gotten me a working FreePBX install in an old Windows tower we had at an unused desk. I removed the Windows hard drive and installed FreePBX on an SSD. I can log in to the IP over the network.

I’m going to try ripping the FXO card out of the old server unit and plugging into the PCI slot of this old Windows tower, then we’re going to put this tower in the server closet and hook up the phone lines and see what happens.

(Dave Burgess) #56

As you’re working your way forward, just keep coming back when you run into issues. We really want to help.


I appreciate it. I do have one right up front. I’ve gotten the server set up (64-bit FreePBX 15, Asterisk 16), old FXO card installed, static IP set, and am logged in to the admin with all green checkmarks in the system overview and no alerts. I think it is functioning.

However, I have no idea what kind of extensions to set up. Even using the “Quick Extensions” feature, I have a list of types:


and as I mentioned, since I don’t know much about these terms, I don’t know which type to select for our system. Again this is a landline setup with three RJ11 cables coming in; no VoIP or anything. How do I tell which type to use?


(Moussa) #58

By the end of this, you will be able to add “phone guy” to your work experience :slightly_smiling_face:


I hope so… though as of right now I don’t even know where to start with what type of “trunk” to set up. :upside_down_face:

Looks like the trunks are the same types as the extensions — DAHDi, IAX2, SIP (chan_pjsip), or SIP (chan_sip) — but I honestly have no idea what these mean or what would be correct for our landlines.

(Moussa) #60

I wish I can help, but someone will reply with how to set up Trunk and extensions for your FXS/FXO card.

Things to consider in the future (using as an example ):

  • Phone number: $1.25/month
  • Inbound calling: $0.012/min
  • Outbound calling: $0.0098/min
  • No limit on simultaneous calls (you can have three lines at $1.25/month each, with one you can have unlimited caller on wait or on other extensions)


  • Your monthly charge for three line with Frontier