Help for Asterisk AA50 including issues, how to rebuild compact flash filesystem, and workarounds

First, I would like to say that the AA50 is not a recommended product.  Actually, I think it's the opposite of it.  I would recommend an analog Phone with a voicemail recorder before I would recommend one of these things.  Why do I have such harsh feelings towards it?  Well, support personnel is unable to realize that a PBX has major issues if it reboots randomly and prevents you from leaving voicemails or getting voice prompts.  I even tried to make them understand by explaining to them that the problem is not an advance or unsupported feature, but one that's critical to the basic intended functionality of the device itself.  My response was "It's not meant to be used as a full PBX".  Secondly, they told me the issues are being worked on, but they haven't figured it out yet.  Uhh… my support ticket was created about a year ago!  Response "Do you know how hard it is to rewrite a firmware?"  I'm a very patient and understanding person, but if you fail to recognize a critical issue with a product at such a simple level, I feel my point will never be accepted.  Just imagine if Toyota took a year to fix their brake problems or say the cars weren't suppose to be fully used that way…. 

I'm proud to do Digium's job for everyone by providing the public community a work-around and documenting what I've learned.  Hope this help others.  As for the AA50, I will never buy anything solely and directly made by Digium again.  Buy Sangoma and use open-source Asterisk.



  1. The system reboots randomly and frequently
  2. The system loses access to the compaq flash filesystem frequently, thus no voicemails or voicemenu prompts or even backups.
  3. The system prevents you from deleting voicemails due to the issue with Symptom 2.

Detail Description:

Basically, the reasons are:  Memory leak(s) (Symptoms 1) and Memory card write-locks (Symptoms 2,3)


Create an automated cronjob to reboot the system on a nightly basis.

  1. Create a script ( in /etc/config (use this directory because it's backed up to the local storage; not flash storage)
    sleep 86400
    /bin/asterisk -rx

Edit /etc/config/rc.local and add /etc/config/ &

What if you wanted to rebuild your compact flash card?  The answer is simple:

  • The appliance on startup (/etc/rc) mounts the compact flash using this command:  "mount -t ext3 /dev/hda1 /var/lib/asterisk/sounds"
  1. /sbin/create_sounds (Formats the compact flash memory card and creates the proper sounds directory.  It also downloads the files from the Internet)
  2. /sbin/update_tz (Downloads time zone files from the Internet)
  3. /sbin/update_phoneprov (Downloads phone provisioning files from the Internet)