PfSense is FUCKED; Start clean by getting context.xml



  • My pfSense install is completly fucked and I rather just start from 0. But I am stuck at the F1 pfSense screen and I want to get context.XML before continuing. Ideas?



  • Yank the hard drive and plug it into a machine that can read those partitions? If you don't have a machine that supports PFSense's partition format, try this:

    -Install PFSense to another drive temporarily, a USB stick would do
    -Boot the other drive, configure PFSense
    -Mount the original HDD, copy/import all the files you need
    -Create a backup image of the original HDD if you know how, or just make a folder on the temp HDD
    -Shutdown, disconnect the temporary drive
    -Install PFSense on the original drive, destroying all partitions on the drive
    -Plug both drives in, boot from the original, copy/import your files from the temp drive
    -Shutdown, remove temp drive

    If you didn't fiddle with anything to break PFSense, I would suggest running short and long SMART tests on the boot drive if it supports SMART (can be done in PFSense's Diags tab). Running Memtest from a USB stick wouldn't be a bad idea either.



  • While all of the above may work, I think your original thought of re-installing from scratch may be the best choice from both a time and a clean config standpoint.

    Also, you've already established there's some sort of issue.  So, if the issue is hardware, presumably hard drive, then you may not be able to recover your config anyway.  If it's a config issue, why would you want to import bad config?

    On the other hand, if the hard drive is still good, you should be able to boot off any live cd that will read the file system to recover the files you need.  But again… you will end up spending way more time recovering old files then it would've taken you to just re-install and re-configure from scratch.

    Once you're up and running, start doing regular backups.


  • Banned

    During install, there's a "Rescue config.xml" option, IIRC.