One of the big improvements with the release of Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2 was the new Device Update Service, much more simple than the previous version. Goodbye Windows SharePoint Services on a different server, no more additional complexity in order to update the UC devices deployed in an organization. Now, the Device Update Service is automatically installed on the Web Components Server, which is part of the Front-end server, on a consolidated topology (the only one supported in R2).

Device Update Service supports two types of UC devices: OCS 2007 R2 Communicator Phone Edition (OCPE or Tanjay) and RoundTable (must be manually configured).

Device Update Service is mostly used to upgrade OCPE phones (LG-Nortel IP8540, Polycom CX700 and older Microsoft branded), so one could expect this process to be the most common cause of troubles and frustration. And that is, in fact, the case! Now even more, since there is a new version of the firmware for OCS 2007 R2.

Before we dive into the troubleshooting process, let us know better the Device Update Service Architecture and how it works:


In the default configuration, Communicator Phone Edition connects to Device Update Service in the following manner:

  1. The first time a user starts Communicator Phone Edition and signs in, the device gets in-band provisioning information from the server or Enterprise pool hosting the device user account. The information contains the internal and external URL of the server running Device Update Service.
    If the device is turned on, but no user signs on, and no user has ever previously signed on to the device, the device sends a DNS lookup request to ucupdates-r2.<DNS domain name that was provided by DHCP> and obtains the internal and external URL of the server running Device Update Service.
  2. Thereafter, when the device is turned on as well as every 24 hours by default, Communicator Phone Edition checks for updates by sending an HTTP request over port 443 to the Web Components Server hosting Device Update Service. The request includes the current version that Communicator Phone Edition is running.
  3. Device Update Service returns a response containing one of the following:
    • If no approved updates exist for the current version of the firmware, the response contains downloads=0. For test devices, updates must be pending rather than approved for this to occur.
    • If an approved update exists for the current version, the response contains an internal and external URL for Device Update Service. For test devices, updates must be pending rather than approved for this to occur.
  4. In the latter case, Communicator Phone Edition sends an HTTPS update request over port 443 to Device Update Service.
  5. The update image is downloaded to the device.
  6. The device waits for five minutes of idle activity, and then restarts to complete the update.


Obtaining and approving new OCPE updates

The latest firmware version, (3.5.6907.0, by the time this post was written), can be downloaded from the Microsoft site. The downloaded file is a self-extracting executable that contains a .cab archive with all the supported phones.

In order to upload the update file, we must run the Device Update Service Management Console: open the OCS R2 Management Console, right click the pool and select Device Updater. From the Tools menu, click Upload .cab File, navigate to the .cab file that you want to upload, and then click Open.

Check the Pending tab of the Device Update Service Management Console to verify that the new update is listed.


You can also verify that the upload process went OK by checking the shared updates folder (if you’re using Enterprise edition). For the Standard edition, the default path is %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2\Web Components\DeviceUpdateFiles. There should be a folder hierarchy like the one depicted in the following picture. Note that there are some Logs folders that I’ll cover a little bit ahead.


After the update file is uploaded, the corresponding firmware can be approved for all devices in the organization by selecting it and then clicking Approve. The revision should be more recent than the revision for the last update the UC devices received.

Prior to making the update widely available, it is recommended that you test it on some devices. To add a test device, go to the Test Devices tab, click Add, type a Friendly Name and then fill up the MAC address or serial number of the device (there’s no need to approve the update).


Restart the device and that should trigger the update process, as described before.

If the previous version of the device is less than 1.0.522.98, it will first get updated to an interim build (1.0.522.103) that comes with OCS 2007 R2. This means that, in this case, 2 upgrade cycles are necessary before the device gets the approved/pending build.


Log Files

You can use the logs in the Logs\Server\Audit\imageUpdates\ folder to audit software update requests from UC devices. There you can find some files named RequestHandlerAuditLog_<server_name>_<date>.log with the information you need to troubleshoot the update service. You can view server log files in a text editor or Microsoft Excel.

In the following example, an LG-Nortel device with version 1.0.522.34 is configured as a test device and will receive the most up-to-date firmware. Since 1.0.522.34 is lower than 1.0.522.98, the device must first be upgraded to the interim version (1.0.522.103), then reboot and finally it receives the most recent version available on the server.

Logging DateTime,User Name,User Host Address,Device Type,Request DateTime,Mac Address,Serial Number,Vendor,Model,Revision,Locale,Requested<FileName;Version;TimeStamp>[# Seperated for Multiple],Response<FileName;Version;TimeStamp>[# Seperated for Multiple]
03-06-2009 17:07:20,ruisilva@demo.local,,UCPhone,06-03-2009 09:07:20,"0021630F207B","C185H001209","LG-Nortel","IP8540","A","ENU",cpe.nbt;;01-01-1601 00:00:00,
03-06-2009 17:10:39,ruisilva@demo.local,,UCPhone,06-03-2009 17:10:39,"0021630F207B","C185H001209","LG-Nortel","IP8540","A","ENU",cpe.nbt;;01-01-1601 00:00:00,http://ocs.demo.local/DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/OCInterim/ENU/CPE.nbt;1.0.522.103;16-12-2008 04:43:58
03-06-2009 17:18:54,ruisilva@demo.local,,UCPhone,06-03-2009 17:18:53,"0021630F207B","C185H001209","LG-Nortel","IP8540","A","ENU",cpe.nbt;1.0.522.103;16-12-2008 04:43:58,http://ocs.demo.local/DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/UCPhone/LG-Nortel/IP8540/A/ENU/3.5.6907.0/CPE/CPE.nbt;3.5.6907.0;16-12-2008 04:43:58

In the first line, the device gets in-band provisioning information from the server or Enterprise pool hosting the device user account. After a *manual reboot*, on the second line, it gets the interim version. Finally, on the third line, and after an *automatic reboot* (notice the 8 minute gap) the phone receives the 3.5.6907.0 version.

But besides the logs from the update service,the IIS logs can be extremely valuable to the troubleshooting process. This is the corresponding IIS log from the example above (I removed some unnecessary lines):

#Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.0
#Version: 1.0
#Date: 2009-03-06 16:00:51
#Fields: date time s-ip cs-method cs-uri-stem cs-uri-query s-port cs-username c-ip cs(User-Agent) sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status time-taken
2009-03-06 17:07:20 POST /RequestHandler/ucdevice.upx - 443 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 124
2009-03-06 17:10:39 POST /RequestHandler/ucdevice.upx - 443 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 171
2009-03-06 17:12:57 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/OCInterim/ENU/CPE.nbt - 80 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 137810
2009-03-06 17:12:57 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/OCInterim/ENU/ - 80 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 15
2009-03-06 17:18:54 POST /RequestHandler/ucdevice.upx - 443 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 187
2009-03-06 17:21:45 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/UCPhone/LG-Nortel/IP8540/A/ENU/3.5.6907.0/CPE/CPE.nbt - 80 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 170679
2009-03-06 17:21:45 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/UCPhone/LG-Nortel/IP8540/A/ENU/3.5.6907.0/CPE/ - 80 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 15

Notice the line where the interim file CPE.nbt is downloaded to the phone. It takes some time (137.810 ms), because the file has a few megs.

2009-03-06 17:12:57 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/OCInterim/ENU/
CPE.nbt - 80 - Microsoft+UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 137810

And then, notice  the line where the phone requests the most recent version available. It took 170.679 ms to download the file.

2009-03-06 17:21:45 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/UCPhone/
LG-Nortel/IP8540/A/ENU/3.5.6907.0/CPE/CPE.nbt - 80 - Microsoft+
UCPhone+Device 200 0 0 170679


Troubleshooting Process

Now that we have a pretty good understanding of the Device Update Service, what can we do if something doesn’t go as expected? Let’s look at the troubleshooting process:

  1. Reset the device and sign in with a user that is not signed in anywhere else (my advice is to create a special account for this purpose… And make sure it’s configured for Enterprise Voice!!!).
  2. Make sure the Device Update Service is well configured and that the DHCP options required by OCPE are in place:
  3. Read Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 Phone Edition Release Notes. Read this document all the way till the end, because there are important notes and suggested solutions for some common problems.
  4. Confirm that a VDir named OCInterim is created under the DeviceUpdateFiles_Int and DeviceUpdateFiles_Ext folders in IIS. This folder contains the interim version (1.0.522.103) necessary for devices that are currently with version 1.0.522.98 or lower.
  5. Open a browser and navigate to the URL that contains the update (for example http://ocs.demo.local/DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/UCPhone/LG-Nortel/IP8540/A/ENU/
    ). You should be able to download the CPE.nbt file.
    A common cause of problems for the Enterprise version has to do with permissions in the shared updates folder. If that’s the case, you’ll get a 500 HTTP error in the IIS log:
    2009-03-06 12:35:36 GET /DeviceUpdateFiles_Int/UCPhone/
    LG-Nortel/IP8540/A/ENU/3.5.6907.0/CPE/CPE.nbt - 80 - Microsoft+
    UCPhone+Device 500 19 5 62
    One solution is to modify the ACL: add the Everyone group with Read permissions to the shared folder. Or you can also try this method, as explained by Jens: HTTP Error 500 19 when accessing OCPE firmware URLs on Windows 2008.
  6. Make sure you’re using a supported device. Microsoft DV1 is no longer supported and even the interim update will not work.
  7. If you’re trying to update a really old version of the software, make sure that’s not blocked by the Client Version Filter. Using the OCS Management Console, right click the pool name, select Filtering Tools and then Client Version Filter. Edit the OCPhone field accordingly.
  8. Use the available audit update server logs and IIS logs. I’ve never used the client logs, because they require further processing, but I admit they can be useful if everything else fails.
  9. On the phone About screen, validate when the device last checked for updates. On the About screen you’ll see: Last Update Status: (0x####/0x#####). The normal state should be 0×00/0 or 0x0/200. The first field is a WinInet error code. An error here would indicate a problem contacting the server. The list of possible values can be found in this KB article: WinInet Error Codes. For further explanation of these codes,please read this post: Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 Phone Edition Status Codes.
  10. If you’re upgrading version 1.0.452.0, you may need to create a virtual dir called UCDeviceUpdates on the OCS server running the update service. Check the IIS logs to confirm the device is requesting that specific URL. Read this post with detailed instructions: How to upgrade Polycom CX700 1.0.452.0 using the OCS 2007 R2 Device Update Service.
  11. If you’re brave enough, try to approve the update, instead of using Test Devices. Please be aware that this means that all qualified devices will be upgraded, before you properly test the update.
  12. Wait 5 minutes! Remember the device will automatically update itself and reboot after 5 minutes of idle activity.

And this pretty much covers the troubleshooting process for the OCPE devices. I would like to hear from you if you have ever encountered a distinct situation that you managed to solve in a different way.