Cisco CUCM: Turn Non-bootable ISO images Into a Bootable ISO

Posted: May 1, 2010 in CUCM

As many of you know that I have not posted anything for a while. That doesn’t mean that I have been hibernating! lol Simply I was busy doing a lot of other new non-UC stuffs.
Recently, I have written a few workbook chapters for one of the CCIE training vendors and didn’t have time to do anything about online.

Now what is the deal with the bootable disk and Cisco CUCM?

Well, have you ever stuck at the customer site and feel/saw the  non-recoverable CUCM and wanted to install it from scratch?
Then tried downloading Cisco CUCM ISO images from and then got worried about it’s not booting when popped into the physical server?

Keep on reading… The simple solution for you is to keep this (click here to download boot.blf) small bootable file in your pocket and download CUCM ISO image from CCO and then use UltraISO software to make non-bootable into bootable disk. No more hassles or waiting for a disk shipped to you via snail mail.

The Concept!

It’s very simple, I guess one of those black magic which Cisco wants to keep secret for obvious reasons!. Insert a boot info file (see instruction below how to get it)  into a CUCM ISO image.
Make sure you download CUCM non-bootable disks and join both downloaded files (copy -b or cat command on Linux). Then use a free software called UltraISO and insert the boot it into the CUCM non-boot disk and burn it as a regular way!
You’ll only need
a) Boot info file (BIF)
b) Cisco non-bootable CUCM ISO image (combine them)
c)  A UltraISO CD burning software from
d) A few dead brain cells (well its that simple)

Here are the steps for you:

Step#1:  extract the bootinfo file from exiting Linux destroy!

Download above makelinuxboot.bif file.  Sorry if the URL link is broken, I can’t guarantee. Alternately, you can extract it from existing CUCM or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 or above bootable disk.
To extract boot info file from a bootable disk
– Install UltraISO on  PC/Laptop
– Insert the existing CentOS 5 or RHEL or existing CUCM Bootable disk.
– Open UltraISO and then go to>Bootable> Extract Boot File from CD/DVD. Save file as a “makelinuxboot.bif” (you can name it anything u like but remember the extension must be .bif)

Step#2: Insert above extracted makelinuxboot.bif file into the non-bootable CUCM image.

Click on UltraISO> Bootable>Tick on “Generate Bootinfotable”
-Click on UltraISO>bootable> Loadbootfile. Then, once it prompts you, select the makelinuxboot.bif file

Step#3: Save the bootable ISO file

– Go to UltraISO>File>Save-as>CUCM-Linux boot. ISO

Burn the CUCM-BOOTABLE.iso. Pop the bootable CUCM disk into the server and then Finish.. and bingo!

Hue.. Isn’t this simple black magic?

Note: just make sure that the bootable disk of any LINUX OS you are going to extract bootfile info is EL-TORITO standard. The ISO9660 won’t work. I spent about 8 hours just on this issue.


  1. Hug says:

    boot.bif file is no more available on the link which you have provided.
    Can you please upload it again?


  2. Thanh says:

    Dear Puskar,

    I followed your step to make CUCM 6.1(5) from non-bootable to bootable. When I insert it to my server, it successfully booting and run but a problem occurs. It says “Hardware Detection Fail” then I press OK, it says “Please insert USB storage key to continue”

    Can you check this procedure with CUCM 6.1(5)?

    Thank you,

  3. YT.Zhang says:

    I have read nearly all of your post, and it’s very useful, but I still have some questions on some of that, like IPMA, could you send me back an email to help me sovle my doubts. Thanks.

  4. Vanessa says:

    Hello sir ..I read your article and I found it very interesting , since I have a bootable file that is not booting for some strange reason. If you can make this file boot (in a macbook pro 2010) I will pay you whatever you ask me for literally. I’m no computer saavy like you . This is very important to me so please reply asap. My email is I will give you the details when you reply. Thanks

  5. alexis says:

    just a note to save others work. I am not sure if i was doing anything wrong but I have tryed this with uccx 8.0 and 8.5 and it dosent seem to work for that product.

  6. Rajan says:

    Nice catch……

    Thanks for sharing.. I have a question…

    The md5 checksum will not pass for the bootable file made this way. WIll that create any probs in installation ?

    • Good question Rajan.
      I take you’re talking about MD5 checksums that you downloaded from CCO when you download a file.
      Obviously that is not gonna to match after all these tweaks!

      It should not be a problem.

  7. reader says:

    did i miss something here before step #3?
    don;t we have to load the non-bootable iso into ultraiso first, and then load the bif?

    could you rewrite your instructions?
    it seems there should be a couple of more steps

  8. Reddy says:

    Are there any other freware alternatives for UltraISO that will work?

  9. Forced into voice says:

    Hi would you know if this method still works on the CUCM 9.1 UCSInstall_UCOS_9.1.1.10000-11.sgn that im downloading from CCO atm

    • Hi RC,
      The process of making bootable file is very generic. I dont’ see why it won’t work.
      I have not tried on v9.1. You can try. Please let me know how you go.

      thank you.

  10. Carl Mayne-Wheeler says:

    Hi there, I have tried the steps above, but I cannot find a BIF file on a CUCM 6 DVD. Can you post this or send me a link as to where I can get this? Cheers..

  11. Keith Keilholz says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have all of this working fine and i can boot a VMWare server (on windows) and it all works fine and installs CUCM version 8.6
    How can i now get this bootable ISO onto disc so i can use it in a lab server running ESXi
    Burning it fails because its bigger than a standard DVD at 4.8 Gb.

  12. Florentina says:

    This way you restrict other users – who might have access to your computer or
    server location where you have stored the file. You can enter
    any of these passwords and gain access to your lost data.
    The use of outdated versions of can be injurious regarding
    your data’s security. Unauthorized individuals trying to access password-protected PPS files will
    be required to key in the correct password
    upon opening the files. You can create a password
    to open the presentation or a password to modify the

  13. Chris C. says:

    I tried to download the non-bootable ISO from Cisco. It appears they now require a “service contract”, presumably on a hardware server, as I can’t imagine what else.

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