Friday, January 6, 2012

Recovering Cisco IP Phone 7940 / 7960

These Cisco IP phones are a pain to setup. I was given the task to setup 6 Cisco IP phones. Out of the batch 2 did not boot up to the point where we could access the settings. On the Cisco 7940 we received TFTP timeout o / A and just remained there. The other was a Cisco 7960 and gave an error Application Protocol Invalid. I was able to recover the phones by doing the following:

CAUTION: The instructions configure phone to work as SIP Phones not Skinny SCCP.

You will need the following:

  1. TFTpd32
  2. Cisco IP Phone firmware (I used P0S3-8-12-00)
  3. Cisco IP Phone configuration files If you do not know how to setup config files, check out the site
  4. Switch
  5. Computer


  1. Download TFTpd32 at and firmware and configuration files.
  2. Grab a computer and install TFTpd32. Unzip firmware and configuration files to a folder. To be safe, setup configuration files to have SIP[Phone MAC Address].cnf and SEP[Phone MAC Address].cnf.xml (Check website above if you don't know how to setup configs)
  3. Disconnect computer from network and plug into switch (Switch should only have computer and phone. Leave Cisco Phone powered off while you setup TFTpd32)
  4. Set the computer IP address to MASK Bring up TFTpd32 and go to settings.
    • Under Global Tab, only enable TFTP Server and DHCP Server.
    • Click on TFTP tab. Set Base Directory to the location of the folder where Cisco IP firmware and configuration files are. Set TFTP security to none.
    • Click on DHCP tab and set IP pool starting address to Set pool to 5 or something like that. Default router put mask Additional option 66 in small box and ip in the box next to it. Uncheck Ping Address before assignation and Persistant leases.
  5. Hit OK and Restart TFTpd32.

  6. While your TFTP is running, power on the Cisco IP phone. If all goes well, TFTpd32 will log the connection and show the files it requests.

  7. The phones will show upgrading firmware.

  8. Phones should now boot up completely once installation is complete.


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  2. Thank you very much for this short manual! I was able to recover my Cisco CP-7960 from 'TFTP timeout' problem.

    1. Hi, thank You very much for this Short Info , but very much helpful for me . I was looking for this info since a year . Thank you.
      I have another Cisco 7960 with SIP 8.9 version and it also have the same TFTP ERROR. This is not working out for the phone . Can you please help me .


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  4. once it is configured do i need to configure all phones? and do i need to have the phone hooked up to pc all the time? or once its configured i can use it without pc