Upgrading VVX Phones with Old Firmware

Our edge device was updated last year about this time & when it was, the Cisco 7960 phones (flashed to SIP) we’ve used for years began having troubles. Meraki update happened and the very next day, the phones started playing silence for 2-5 seconds at the beginning of random calls. Nothing changed on either the phones or the PBX. I fought to understand and fix this, but it turned out to be hopeless. Gave the SCCP module a whirl, but that has it’s own problems & sadly the bug report I made had no responses after several months. Management finally decided that I could spend the money to replace all 70+ phones in our building, despite our people loving the 7960 phones.

I’ve heard good things about Polycom phones, so bought a small number of VVX400, VVX410, and VVX500 phones, testing each with a few different people to get their opinions on them and if they’d work well for us. After working through a few quirks, they behaved well and I decided on the VVX410. I ordered a bunch of them from ebay and over the course of a few weeks, replaced all of our old Cisco 7960 phones with VVX410 phones.

While I was doing this, I didn’t really pay any attention to the firmware revision that was on the phones themselves… figured that I could address it if there were issues, but they were likely all the same or similar given that the phones were pulled from a corporate environment. Things worked well, but I have received a few reports of goofiness that’s directly related to the phone’s firmware & has been fixed by upgrading it to the latest 5.9.8.5760. I decided that I was going to migrate all of our phones to this revision, but do this after hours so as to create as little disruption as possible. This is when I ran into a problem.

The phones have a wide mix of firmware revisions on them. So far, I’ve found phones with versions ranging from 5.2.2.1522 to 5.9.6.2996. Here’s the kicker - any phone with a firmware older than 5.5.3.2169 flat out refuses to upgrade. Even a phone running version 5.5.2.8571 will not apply the update. It affects all the phones I have - VVX400, VVX410, and VVX500 - with older firmware. Tried looking for a change log for modifications made between these two revisions in the 5.5 branch, but haven’t been able to find anything as HP seems to have removed most of the Polycom resources from the internet. :frowning:

So far, I’ve tried upgrading the phones firmware through the phone’s GUI to the latest version hosted by Polycom (now owned by HP). They have a slightly older version on there as well, but the phones won’t apply this either. Found a third party telco that hosts a wide variety of firmware versions for these phones and tried updating to 5.7 through there, but it also would not work - phone says that there’s no firmware available for the phone. (I take this to indicate that there’s a problem with the XML.) I tried loading the latest firmware available on my PBX onto the tftp drive of the PBX using the Firmware Management feature & assigning this to the template for a single phone, but this also does not work. Also set the custom firmware version in the Firmware Management tool, but this also did not work to update a phone’s firmware. Finally, I downloaded the firmware archive for 5.7.something & loaded this on my PC, extracted it into the main apache directory, allowed incoming connections from the phone in my firewall, verified through a browser that everything was readable, and told the phone to use this location as a ‘custom server’ when looking for firmware. Unfortunately, I cannot get the phones to recognize that there’s firmware there for it - depending on exactly what I put in for custom server, it tells me either that it cannot read the XML or there is not firmware available for it. I feel that the latter is likely a problem with whatever XML the phone is looking for on the server, but this is nothing more than a hunch really. Also tried loading 5.9.8.5760 on my PC in a different directory, but with the same result. I’ve also tried threatening as well as yelling & swearing at the phones, but this had about as much effect as the rest of what I’ve tried. :rofl:

Does anyone know how I could update the phones with the older firmware revisions, even just to an intermediate version that I could then jump to the latest from Polycom?


My hunch is that HP disabled communications using older SSL versions after they took over Polycom… because you know it’d be an absolute tragedy if anyone were to intercept communications, be able to decrypt it because an older version of SSL was in use, and find out that we downloaded a firmware updates for old IP phones. :roll_eyes: Here is the type of thing in a phone’s log when triggering an update through the GUI:

Default settings (TLS1.0) -

0628003751|cfg  |*|00|RT|Changed prov general
0628003751|cfg  |*|00|Prov|Starting to provision
0628003751|cfg  |*|00|Prov|Starting to update 
0628003752|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003752|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003752|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003753|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003753|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003753|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003754|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003754|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003754|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003755|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003755|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003755|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003755|cfg  |*|00|Prov|Starting to update 
0628003756|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003756|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003756|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003757|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003757|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003757|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003758|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003758|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003758|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003759|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003759|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003759|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.error:1409442E:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert protocol version
0628003759|cfg  |5|00|Prov|cfgProvStatusSet: Unknown status 52

If I enable SSL2/3 in the network options of the phone & then attempt to update -

0628004507|cfg  |*|00|RT|Changed prov general
0628004507|cfg  |*|00|Prov|Starting to provision
0628004507|cfg  |*|00|Prov|Starting to update 
0628004507|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004507|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004507|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004508|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004508|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004508|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004508|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004509|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004509|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004509|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004509|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004510|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004510|cfg  |*|00|Prov|Starting to update 
0628004510|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004510|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004510|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004511|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004511|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004511|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004511|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004512|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004512|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004512|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004512|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004513|copy |4|00|SSL_connect error SSL connect error.Unknown SSL protocol error in connection to downloads.polycom.com:443 
0628004513|cfg  |5|00|Prov|cfgProvStatusSet: Unknown status 53

I’ve had no issues upgrading those phones from 5.2 all the way to 5.9. Keep in mind the 400s and 410s cannot upgrade to any firmware that starts with 6.

Based on your logs, it looks like you are dealing with SSL errors and not firmware errors. I don’t know how EPM applies firmware so I can’t help you there, but you can also login to the phone directly in a web browser using the devices IP address and go to Utilities > Software Upgrade and do it from there.

1 Like

That’s exactly how I started updating it and how I would like to do it, but like I said it just refuses to download for versions if the revision on the phone is older than 5.5.3.2169. My hunch is that something was changed between 5.5.2.8571 & 5.5.3.2169 that allows the phone to connect using whatever is different. Everything I’ve tried has been to try to get it to a version that could then be bumped to 5.9.8.5760 using the phone’s GUI.

It’s interesting that you say you can update phones with older firmware without issues… how recently have you done this? (Wondering if it’s related to HP’s takeover of Polycom.) Don’t see how, but maybe it’s something with our ISP or the Meraki is being stupid again??? I’ll bring a phone home next time I’m in the office and see if it’ll upgrade when on my home network to eliminate that as a possibility.

I discovered that one has to manually create an XML file for the phone to read when updating from a local server. To help others in this same situation, here’s what it’s supposed to look like:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″ standalone=”yes”?>
<PHONE_IMAGES>
<REVISION ID=””>
<PHONE_IMAGE>
<VERSION>1.2.3.4</VERSION>
<PATH>http://localip/directory/</PATH>
</PHONE_IMAGE>
</REVISION>
</PHONE_IMAGES>

The 1.2.3.4 is the version that is reported in the drop-down box when the phone checks for firmware on a custom server. The path is exactly that - where the firmware is on your LAN. This file MUST be saved with DOS newlines - phone doesn’t recognize the file when it’s saved with unix/linux newlines.

I tried this on a single phone and found that I had to copy the 3111-46162-001.sip_57x.ld to 3111-46162-001.sip.ld because the phone was looking for that file. After that, the phone got the file and even though it looked like it wasn’t updating, it did! The one phone I left connected on my bench that was running 5.4.something is now running 5.7.1.2205 :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, when I tried to update it from the Polycom server to make the final jump to 5.9.8.5760, it fails - “Failed to fetch available software from the Polycom Hosted server. Please try again later or contact your Network Administrator if the problem persists.” :man_facepalming: Maybe they’re having network problems and it’ll fix itself… :man_shrugging: (Regardless, I’m done with this for the week. :laughing: )

While I’m fairly confident that I can dump the 5.9.8.5760 into a directory accessible to the web server on my PC, I would rather update directly from Polycom’s server if possible.

Scratch that - I tried bringing a production phone up to 5.7.1 & it was able to grab the final update from Polycom no problem. Must be something goofy with the phone on my bench; I rednecked it into our network last minute the other day, manually setting the network without going through the entire provisioning process, so likely just missed something while doing that. :man_facepalming:

So while I don’t have an answer as to why the phones with old firmware won’t upgrade directly from the polycom servers other than it’s something to do with SSL, I found a viable workaround. :slight_smile: