SBS Fax Services with Fax Machine as backup?

Posted on 2009-05-01
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We are experimenting with using our existing SBS 2003 server to handle fax services for our business instead of the IntelliFax-2820 we currently use.

My goal is to have the computer answer faxes and put them in a folder, so far this is working. I would also like to keep the existing Brother IntelliFax-2820 machine connected for SENDING faxes and receiving them only in the event the server goes down. I setup the server to answer in 2 rings, and the fax machine to answer in 4 -BUT the fax machine still answers instead of the server, if I disconnect the fax machine the server answers and routes the fax to the folder fine.

Is there a way to do what I want? I would be fine with disable receiving faxes on the Fax machine if possible, we really only need it for sending.
Question by:TSchug
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    I have this setup running here as you describe it. To make it work, I had to reconfigure the PBX.

    How it works here:
    The fax service on the SBS server responds to extension 99 and the backup fax machine on 98.

    My first attempt was to create a calling group so that both the server and the fax machine receive the call simultaneously and could answer the call but I had the same issue as you. The fax machine always answered the call.

    To make it work I removed the calling group and had to configure a call forwarding in the PBX after three rings.  That way if a fax comes in on extension 99 only the fax services on the server receives the call at this time and answers it after two rings. If the service is down for some reason the PBX forwards the call to extension 98 after three rings and the fax answers the call then.

    Hope this helps.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, we do not have a PBX in place for the fax line. Is there any other way to make the Fax machine not pickup?
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution


    You said you would be fine if receiving faxes is disabled on the fax machine. Normally every fax machine can be set to manual mode, so that it doesn't automatically answer to incoming calls.

    Have you tried that already?
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    I finally got around to trying your solution, BUT now the fax machine doesn't pickup but neither does the computer, it just keeps ringing until the sender gives up.

    I tried switching the order that the devices were connected in, but it didn't seem to make a difference?

    There has to be a way to do this? maybe a line filter or something? Something that can make the fax send but not receive.

    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    It turns out I didn't set the fax machine to manual mode properly. On certain Brother Fax machines you also have to disable Easy Receive. Hopefully this helps someone else who is having a similar problem.

    Thanks again!

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