ShoreTel Communicator Not Installing Properly – Fixes

If you’ve got a new ShoreTel system install, there are a few things that can go wrong with installing Communicator on people’s machines. Several problems I’ve run into are the following:

  • ShoreTel Communicator install isn’t writing the registry key. It seems to install fine otherwise.
  • Communicator fails midway through the installation.
  • Communicator demands to have .NET Framework 3.5 installed, but can’t download it.
  • Some other dependency won’t install.
  • Pushing Communicator out through Group Policy doesn’t work.
  • Pushing Communicator out through Desktop Authority (or similar software) doesn’t work.
  • Communicator asks for a password to install.

Most of these problems are not actually problems with ShoreTel Communicator, they’re security policy conflicts. Here’s how to remedy these 99% of the time.

  • Turn off UAC in Vista if you can. This is a big one, it screws up some older versions of the install package. Most of the stuff UAC controls, you can control with group policy. This assumes you have a domain.
  • Try to install Communicator from a local administrator account. Sometimes running it as Administrator won’t cut it, especially if you’ve got roaming profiles and such.
  • Do a Full Uninstall of Communicator. You must be logged in as an Administrator account. I use the local Administrator account when I do this for speed reasons. Here are the steps:

Step 1– Uninstall Communicator the normal way. If this fails, just skip to the next step. If it succeeds, well you need to do the following steps anyway.

Step 2 – Delete the following folder: “C:Program FilesShoreline Communications”. Delete all of it. Use one of those disk wipe utilities if you have to. If ANYTHING is in here, this can cause the install to fail. If you see a Shoreline Teleworks folder here too, get rid of it.

Step 3 – Delete the following registry key: “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareShoreline Teleworks”. Usually you’ll find one under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREShoreline Teleworks. You may also see a “Shoreware Communications” or similar key. This is usually because of an older install on the computer. Shouldn’t see this with a brand new install.

Step 4 – Go into Control Panel and click on Phone and Modem. You may have to set this up, just entire an area code, the number 1, and the number 9 in the blanks.

Step 5 – Once you have the Phone and Modem thing set up, click on the Advanced tab and make sure to delete any entry here with “ShoreTel” in the name. Normally you will see one entry: “ShoreTel Remote TAPI Service Provider”. If you see two like this, that’s why ShoreTel isn’t installing right, or isn’t working right once installed.

Step 6 – Click OK and Reboot your computer.

Step 7 – Once you’ve done this, log back into the computer under the same local administrator account and re-install Communicator. It should install just fine.

Step 8 – Log into the user’s account, run ShoreTel again and let it finish setting up.

  • Sometimes it’s not Communicator or any security policies but a corrupt user profile. Remove the user profile and many times that will fix the problem as well.

I’ve found that if you get to step 8 of the “Full Uninstall” and it isn’t remembering settings, meaning it won’t write the registry values, that you need to turn UAC off if at all possible.You may need to delete the ShoreTel registry keys from the current user as well. You might have to log in back as an administrator and load that user’s hive if your permissions don’t allow you to do this from their account.

A tool that can help is Privilege Authority from ScriptLogic. That’s cleared up a lot of problems for us. They have a free version that will help you solve this.  There is a ShoreTel Communicator rule in the Community. If you have a 64 bit version of Windows you’ll need to alter the path of where it looks for the program (just add (x86) to the Program Files part of the path).

If you’re upgrading your ShoreTel installation you’ll get some similar problems to above. The Full Uninstall method will clear these up too. One odd problem I’ve found when pushing Communicator through Group Policy or Desktop Authority is that it doesn’t always uninstall the old version correctly. You’ll know this happens when you see two entries for ShoreTel Communicator, and one may or may not have the icon filled in. This requires you to do a Full Uninstall and then delete all the registry keys. After you’ve done this you’ll need a tool like CCleaner to remove any entries in Programs and Features.

 

PRI Trace on ShoreTel Switch

This post is about how to do a PRI trace on a ShoreTel T1 switch. I couldn’t find good text instructions on how to do this on the internet. Dr Voip has instructions on how to debug caller ID but if you need a trace log, it won’t help much. It’s probably in the ShoreTel knowledge base, but I’ve been a little disappointed with this in the past. I won’t go into how to interpret the output either, this is just instructions on how to get a log easily for sending to your ShoreTel partner for analysis.

ShoreTel Partners: Feel free to send this page to your customers for instructions. I feel this is a thorough explanation of how to do this.

First things first, you’ll need some special software for this one. You’ll need a telnet client with logging ability, what comes with Windows is difficult get to log easily. Personally I like PuTTy. It’s a nice standalone application, and doesn’t need you to install it anywhere, just copy the putty.exe file wherever you want it, it’ll run from there. I keep it on my desktop at work, and on a shared folder.

The second thing you need to know is that you MUST do this from the ShoreTel server itself. This can be accomplished with a Remote Desktop session, you can not do this from a session on another computer.

  1. Remote into the ShoreTel server (or log in from the console), and fire up PuTTy. I keep a copy of PuTTy on my ShoreTel server, on the desktop of whatever admin account I’m logging in with.
  2. You’ll want to make a saved session for your T1 switch. So open ShoreTel Director and open the Quick Look page if it doesn’t go there by default. Click on whichever site has the T1 switch you need to get the log from. Make note of the IP address of that T1 switch. You’ll need it a lot.
  3. In PuTTy select “Telnet” and type (or paste) in the IP address of the switch up top under “Host Name (or IP address). One trick you can do is add an entry in your DNS server called “priswitch” and connect it to that IP address. Makes things a lot easier, just never change the IP. Go ahead and give it a label in the “Saved Sessions”  and click save. If you need to, select what you just saved and click “Load” to make sure it’s the session that is now active. You’ll know if you need to if the IP address field is blank.

    PuTTy settings for connecting to a ShoreTel switch.
    Yes, I censor IP addresses.
  4. Click the Logging item under “Session” and make the options look like below (click on the image for a better look). The file will be saved wherever the PuTTy.exe file is located.
    PuTTy Logging capture settings.
  5. Click on the Connection Item, and set the Seconds between keepalives box to 30. The ShoreTel switch will kick you out after about 60 seconds, so having it send a null packet every 30 seconds is handy.
    PuTTy settings for insuring connection stays up.
  6. Go back to the Session screen and click save. Now you have a session that’s automatically configured to keep whatever output comes from your PRI switch telnet session. Don’t open the session just yet, you have to allow access to the PRI switch.
  7. Open a command prompt and type this in and hit enter: “cd pro*sho**ser*”. This will take you to the ShoreTel server directory under Program Files.
  8. Type this in the command prompt: “ipbxctl -telneton [IP address of T1 Switch] ” and hit enter.
  9. It will ask you for a password. You can google this or get it from your partner. It’s not a hard password to figure out. If it was correct it will say something like “Telnet enabled”
  10. Open the session you saved in PuTTy. It will ask you for a username and password. This item is documented in your ShoreTel administration guide under how to set up a switch.
  11. In an old switch it will probably dump you right into the VMX shell. Most newer switches will give you an ASCII ShoreTel logo and a numbered menu. If this is the case, type “gotoShell”.
  12. This will give you a prompt that looks like this ->.
  13. You’ll probably get some random output at this point so you just need to type the following commands and hit enter and keep in mind you may not be able to see what you are typing. My advice is to just type slow and not worry about it. Most switches won’t allow the use of a backspace. So just be careful.
  14. Type in the following commands one right after another.trunk_debug_level=5
    pri_trace=10
    pri_log=10
  15. You’ll get a LOT of stuff just scrolling up the screen if you did this right. Now all you need to do is run it for however long you need the log for, or whatever your partner tells you to do. PuTTy will constantly dump the output in this window to a log file.

 

One thing I have found out is that it’s a good idea to have 7zip installed on your ShoreTel server as the log files you have to send to ShoreTel are huge. These log files will compress down very small since they are just text files and allow you to simply e-mail them to TAC or your partner.

 

How To Look Up Phone Service Providers By Area Code and Extension

Sometimes you need to not only know where a phone number is dialing from (area codes tell you this) but who provides the phone number, and whether it’s a cell phone or not. Typically you can get all this information from one website. Here’s how to do it and how to interpret what comes back. This works for the United States, Canada, and Caribbean countries.

This particular site gives a lot of information. It’s main use is for finding out whether a call is local or not. This can help with assigning local prefixes to your ShoreTel system. I have a script that’ll clean the site’s output up and allow you to import it into your ShoreTel system. If anyone wants it please comment and I’ll post it!

  1. Go to Local Calling Guide
  2. Click on the Area Code/Prefix link under the search section to the right.
  3. Type in the area code in the NPA box, and the prefix into the NXX box. If you know the first digit of the last four digits of the phone number you can put it in the block box but that isn’t needed.
  4. Click on Submit

 

You’ll get a table of items back. This is how you tell what kind of phone number this is.

The NPA-NXX-X block is the area code/prefix blocks. In the case above Pathwayz has the entire 806-350 block. If multiple carriers own a block it will look something like 806-350-1, 806-350-2, and it would have who owns each block listed next to it. If your phone number was 806-350-1xxx it would be in the 1 block.

The Rate Centre box will tell you what city the phone number is located in.  The Region box will show a state. The Switch is what switch the phone number is on. If the Switch is blank, many times this is a cell phone but that’s not always a good indicator.

The OCN will give you the carrier of the phone. This is how you tell whether it’s a cell phone or a land line. If it says something like “Southwestern Bell” it’s usually a landline, if it’s a cell phone it will give a wireless company’s name, and will usually have “wireless” or “cell” in the name. Verizon wireless will show up as “Verizon Wireless” but their land lines will show up as just “Verizon” most of the time. The example above is a land line block from a local phone company.

The LATA code is used to figure long distance rates. I have no idea what this means in Canada, but in the US that’s what it means on a basic level. This isn’t always exact either so click on the block link for local vs. long distance calls, not trying to match the LATA.

The other fields aren’t very important but can tell  you when a block of numbers was discontinued. I haven’t ever seen these filled in, but in bigger cities they might be.

The map link will give you a Google Map of where the rate center is. Not terribly useful but convenient.

 

How to Swap out a T1 Voice Switch Shoretel

Short one today. I’ve been having a few issues with phone calls here, so after getting a new circuit and all that the problem didn’t resolve, so i’m thinking it’s our T1 switch. I wanted to make a few notes on how to go about swapping them out.

 Step 1 – First set up the switch in ShoreTel Director. You don’t need a new set of trunk groups or anything, just the new switch.

Set your switch up however you normally do, personally I use static IP addresses for my switches and program them through the serial port. Honestly you could set up DHCP reservations in your DHCP server too. You might have to enter the server IP through the console, but when it boots into the server the first time the server actually changes this, so it might not be necessary (I’ve seen it do it on a packet sniffer and yes it kept changing it to the wrong IP).

Step 2 – Make sure the T1 settings are the same on both switches as you are setting up a replacement, and you’ll be hooking the existing T1 into the new switch, not adding any additional capacity. It’s also not a bad idea to check with your phone company on these settings if you can.

You can just set up the first Trunk in the T1 switch and use “Fill Down”. Make sure they are set up on the existing trunk group, again it’s best if you don’t make a new trunk group as you’ll have to re-enter everything.

Step 3 – When you’re ready all you should have to do now is move the T1 from one to the other. I always like to unplug the old switch just to make it show “offline” and not “D-Channel Down” as that can freak out other people getting into the Director.

I like to leave the old settings in place in Director for several days when I do this just to make sure everything is fine. Once you determine the new switch works fine, just delete the old one. That’s really all there is to it.