So...after scouring the web....
I found this:
I proceeded to test, and yes, pfSense 2.5.2 does boot in legacy mode on the Zotax CI-323 to install, you are just unable to see it booting as the console output stops after you see the message can't find file '/boot/entropy'.
The solution was shown in the above link to be:
hit [esc] during initial pfsense boot.
At the prompt, type "set kern.vty=sc"
At the prompt, type "boot"
I was able to see the boot and prompts to install once this was completed.
There is likely an issue with a kernel driver, but this solves the problem for now.
Once I installed with the updated realtek driver, I my /boot/loader.conf.local config is as follows:
The system is now booting in legacy mode and I have the updated CI-323 driver 1.96_04 installed as a module.
The system is stable.
For what it's worth, I have used a pfsense Zotac CI-321 for more than 2 years with a recompiled kernel and loaded the updated realtek drivers in the kernel. This box achieves 1Gbps throughput routinely and hasn't been rebooted for months. I run it on AT&T Fiber for basic firewall with NAT.
I will be recompiling the FreeBSD kernel to include the updated realtek drivers for the CI-323 as well with hopes of duplicating the performance I get on the CI-321.
It's a shame we have to do this.
I do agree with you. The Intel NICs are mostly painfree with respect to pfsense functionality.
Realtek needs some love to get working properly.
I encountered this same problem in 2.5.2 running on a Celeron J1900 4-port fanless mini PC (purchased back in 2017 from AliExpress -- link). It has an American Megatrends BIOS dated 2015. After looking at the various responses in this thread, I tried toying with the UEFI settings.
The available UEFI configuration options in my BIOS were:
The problematic configuration was the currently-selected Win8 UEFI setting. The Legacy options didn't work for me, as no boot device was found (I would have needed to reinstall pfSense, which I didn't want to do).
Thankfully, selecting Win7 UEFI resolved the issue for me, and pfSense will now boot headless.
I know the thread is very old, but I'm adding to it because this was the most relevant search result when I went looking for information on my problem. I hope this helps someone in future. Happy 2022, folks!
@johnpoz Well, it was early last year that I upgraded my SG-2440s. I may recall incorrectly. But, I remember seeing that it was CE on the one afterwards and wishing I had done it correctly (Plus) like the other one. It's just more of a pain now to upgrade.
@stephenw10 I was able to solve it. I was using the serial install file when I should have used the VGA install file. It was probably working just fine, but when it got to the point mentioned above, it was displaying to the serial port and not my monitor. Once I used the VGA install file, it worked perfectly.
That’s good feedback, thanks guys. I see nothing now to discourage me from upgrading to 2.5.2. Even the prospect of 2.6.0 perversely steers me towards 2.5.2. I don’t really want to be two generations behind, but I am always nervous of dot zero releases.
First, what version of pfSense are you currently running?
Second, what package (or packages) are you looking to have updates for?
Packages for the current pfSense versions are updated, but not every package is updated at the same frequency. But if you are running an outdated pfSense version, (meaning not the current RELEASE or DEVEL branch), then package versions will indeed be "frozen" as package versions are tied to specific pfSense builds. The packages associated with older pfSense versions are not updated.
@jimp I did the following and still without luck to get the v5.0 running.
removal of all ntop packages
deletion of all ntop folders
reinstall ntopng package
However, I can tell the interface is looking like v5.0. v4.0 wouldn't be giving me some screens that I'm familiar with. At least my company is running both v4.2 and v5.1 so I could identify the difference.
I hope I have a chance to get it up in a VM. Or perhaps if I can pay to get it fixed because I run out of time for work.
@stephenw10 It was apparently a problem with the motherboard and or cpu. Switched to a different system( AMD a10 apu vs. original FX6300 ) and was able to compete boot DVD. Now thinking of using it as a 10Gb router/switch instead of firewall if possible.