So I ran into a problem in which I have hit an absolute dead end. I will list it first, then I will follow it up with various methods I attempted to solve it.
The phone in question is a 7931G, I can't tell you what boot software it tries to boot to because it doesn't go far enough into the boot process for me to tell. I performed the factory reset as recommended by the documentation: Give power to the phone (in my case through PoE out of a UC540), hold down the '#' key until the side buttons begin to flash sequentially upwards. At that point, hit the keys 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-*-0-#, and wait for the process to complete. The UC540 had DHCP enabled, all the latest software on it (Software pack 8.6), and tftp-server was operational as well.
What happens: The phone begins the boot process, and goes into screen that says "Updating.." then, it quickly flashes on screen that it is requesting 'term31.default.loads ...... 0%' and then it begins to boot (Cisco logo appears). On bottom left where usually it shows a box with a checkmark, now it shows a solid circle within a slightly bigger circle. It would sit at the boot screen for roughly 2 minutes, shutdown, and attempt to do upgrade once again.
I don't know what boot image it used prior to factory reset, but this time around its supposed to pull the "SCCP31.9-1-1SR1S.loads" image. I read in a seperate support thread that the 7931 needs to first be upgraded to "SCCP31.8-5-4S.loads" before it can boot from 9.x software. So I tftp'd the entire 7931 folder from UC540 8.2 software pack to the UC540. I created tftp-server entries and aliases and set the 7931 to load the newly uploaded software. Nothing. (The newly uploaded had the corresponding term31.default.loads file that pointed to the 8.5.4 files).
I rolled back the entire UC540 back to 8.2 software pack, with all default configurations. Connected a different 7931 phone to it (currently connected as my personal phone and registered with CUCM), that phone auto-registered just fine. I assigned it lines, performed test calls, and all functions worked as expected. The problematic 7931, however, still remained with the same problems.
I tried to connect the problematic 7931 to the office's CUCM, but the problem prevailed regardless what port I used.
Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My goal here is to get the phone to boot up properly, and eventually register with the UC540.
EDIT: adding debugs for tftp
001095: Aug 2 22:19:45.928: %LINK-3-UPDOWN: Interface FastEthernet0/1/1, changed state to up
001096: Aug 2 22:19:46.928: %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface FastEthernet0/1/1, changed state to up
001097: Aug 2 22:19:52.400: TFTP: Server request for port 49152, socket_id 0x87903524 for process 160
001098: Aug 2 22:19:52.400: TFTP: read request from host 10.1.1.11(49152) via BVI100
001099: Aug 2 22:19:52.400: TFTP: Looking for term31.default.loads
001100: Aug 2 22:19:52.400: TFTP: Opened flash:/phones/7931/term31.default.loads, fd 3, size 655 for process 160
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The below trick might come handy when you have to add a new node to a cluster but you don't have or is unsure of the security password for the publisher. This procedure has been around for ages.
1) Login into the CLI of the Publisher.