3CX Phone System Backup and Restore Troubleshooting

This article helps you recover from Backup and Restore Errors including some tips to make this operation quick and seamless:

  1. The option “Include voice prompts and music on hold” should be enabled in the 3CX backup and Restore Tool.  This will ensure that all your custom and system prompts along with voicemail intro-prompts are fully backed up and eventually restored.  Delete any prompts that you are not using in your 3CX configuration, such as customized prompt-sets which were downloaded but never used, old IVR’s in the system, etc. When an IVR is deleted from the system, the associated prompt file is not removed from the system. This is done purposely to avoid having to record it again.
  2. It would be a good idea to configure Voicemails in your extensions with the option to “Send the voicemail to the extension’s email address and delete from mail box”.  This way you will not have voicemail clutter on the server.  Using this option the backup is reduced in size by 20%.
  3. If you depend on Call recordings, take measures to record calls in a different location.  This option can be found in: Settings > General > Global Options tab, “Recording Path”.  Configure the recording path to another drive or location.  Each minute of recording is approximately 1 Mb of disk space.
  4. “Include call history”: This should be backed up with each backup.  However at one point it would be a good idea to open the call reporter, Export the logs of 6 months ago for example to pdf or excel format and then delete those call logs from the database.  The next version will have an option in the Call Reporter to delete the call logs either by date or delete all call logs.  This will keep the the most often populated tables clean and organized.
  5. Review the above, and make a backup.
  6. When the backup is complete, check for any notifications or error messages that have been generated.  If you encounter an error, do not proceed to uninstall 3CX Phone System. Any potential error will be reflected in the new update. Contact 3CX support regarding the issue.
  7. If the backup operation is successful, uninstall 3CX Phone System, download and install the latest version and restore the backup from the 3CX Wizard.

List of errors and their meaning:

The below is a list of the errors or notifications that can occur during a 3CX backup or restore procedure:

  • Backup failed because some of the files could no be backed up – some files are still in use by the system (Maybe a call is still recording, a voicemail being accessed).  It is important that the backup is made when the PBX is idle.
  • Prompt set information was restored. To avoid errors in the IVR and voicemail sessions, the new prompts were added in English. Please consult the 3CX Wiki, Documentation, General section for more information – This is a message that is generated from a Version 7 backup to a version 8 restore.  Since we added more voice-prompts in Version 8, we had to avoid blank gaps in the IVR or Voicemail when users restore their old Version 7 Prompt sets.  Therefore In version 8 the new prompts are added in English.  This will reduce prompts not playing, gaps in the audio stream and errors in the IVR session.
  • Some database objects could not be created.Please look over the Db list to see the failed objects. For more details please check the following log files: 3CxBackupAndRestore.log 3CXConfService.trace.log – Contact support when this message is generated. Attach the backup file and also generate support information.
  • Restore failed because some of the files couldn’t be restored – Take a backup and contact support.  Attach backup and support information.
  • Corrupted archive. Please select another one – The backup package is corrupted.  This only happens when you modify the package manually.
  • The connection to the database was refused – If you see this error close the backup, stop all 3CX Services.  Then start the 3CX Database service, followed by the configuration service.
  • Files backup failed because the provided path is invalid – the path where the backup was has changed.  You are either entering a wrong path or saved the backup file somewhere else. Could also be that the path cannot be accessed if it is on a remote location.
  • Could not backup the call history because the database is not connected – this means that there was a healthy connection with the database at first but the connection is no longer there during Call history restore/backup.  In this scenario, exit the 3CX backup application, restart all the services and start the 3CX Backup and restore again.  If this does not help a machine restart is required.

When the Restore is complete, your PBX is ready to use.  The first thing you should do is to log into the management console and click on Server Activity log.  The starting point of the pbx is crucial.  Here you need to confirm that

  1. License is activated
  2. Local Ip addresses are recognized by the server and
  3. Confirm that Stun resolution is sent and resolved
  4. Confirm that all the External endpoints like Bridges, Tunnel connections. PSTN gateways, Voip Providers System extensions and extensions are registered.  System Extensions should be the first to register.  After that the extensions will start to register.  How fast extensions or external entities register  depends on two main factors:
    1. The re-registration time set on the phones (optimum time for re-registration is 5 minutes.  (300 seconds)
    2. The time from the moment that the backup was taken, to the moment the backup was restored on the new version and services started.  When the backup is taken, it assumes that you are either taking a backup for storage and roll back reasons or that you are in the process of moving on to a newer version.  In both cases, it takes a backup of the PBX’s current cached registrations.  This is done so if the restore is done immediately, (within the next 15-30 minutes) the PBX’s cache will be pre-populated with these registrations and this will speed up registrations of Bridges, Tunnel connections, and extensions.  This is done to inform the new updated PBX core of its connected peers.

List of things not to do

1) Do not in any way extract and then re-package a backup zip file.
2) Do not modify the XML file in the Backup package – this is the file that contains all the entities with their distinguished name in the 3CX Phone system.  If this file is modified, the restore will be broken.
3) Do not add files in the backup package.

Backup Version Information

Between each 3CX Phone System major release we make and another  a lot of updates, new features and bug fixes are developed.  This means it is only feasible for us to support backups from the previous version. If a user has a backup of a Version 6.1 3CX Phone System, this backup can be restored on 3CX Version 7 but not on 3CX Version 8.  Backups from one version to another are supported in sequence. 3CX Phone System version 8 accepts Backups taken only from version 7.1.  Older backups will be accepted in the backup and restore however there is no guarantee that the data will be restored in full.  Again this is because of the new features that are added.

Backup and Restore from the Command prompt

You can also trigger a backup or a restore using the command line.  This is very useful if you want to trigger a backup/restore using windows scheduled tasks.

Performing a full backup of the system (runs in the background and exits after it is complete)

>3cxbackup.exe hidden backup c:\backupNov09.zip /callrecordings /voicemails /voiceprompts /callhist /exit

This will start a backup process in the background (hidden) and will backup up: call recordings, voicemails, voiceprompts, and call history details. It will create the backup file in the following location: C:\, it will name the file backupNov09.zip and it will automatically exit the process after this is complete. Note: The switches: /callrecordings /voicemails /voiceprompts and /callhist can only be used in the backup procedure only.  The Restore procedure needs no switches because it restores what you have backed up earlier.

Restoring a backup:

>3CXBackup.exe restore c:\backupNov09.zip

Accessing help options for Backup and restore command line

>3CXBackup.exe -h

This will show the list of options that you can input in the backup and restore utility from command prompt.

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