Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Restore Fortigate firewall and gain admin access

I'm not sure what happened, but at one point I ended up losing all access to one of our firewalls. It was a Fortigate-60, and there really was nothing I could do. It started out as not being able to login at all, but then it progressed to no web access, and even telnet wouldn't work. I contacted Fortinet support and they were able to help. You can reload the firmware by connecting to the firewall with the console cable (provided with the unit), and using a TFTP server to host the firmware image. You can find free software to create a TFTP server on your machine. The one I used is here from SolarWinds. Hopefully you have a backup of your configuration file though, because reloading the firmware this way will wipe out any information you may have already saved. I didn't have a saved config when I ran into the problem, but to me, it was either do the restore or have a useless piece of equipment so it was a no-brainer.

The instructions for the restore are found here, at Fortinet's official site. I had problems with my cable when I did it, but I didn't have the one provided so I had to make my own. It was a mess, but it accomplished what it needed to do if I held it in just the right position... If you're like me and end up misplacing cables, you can make your own too. Hopefully it comes up better than mine did. The pin-outs for the cables can be found here. The process ended up being pretty simple, and afterwards my firewall was as good as new. Hopefully this doesn't happen to you, but if it does and you find this post, you should be able to get it back up and running. Good luck!

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