I must be a dafty - Watchguard Firebox x750e

  • Hi folks,

    After reading a lot of posts on this excelent forum, I bought a Watchguard Firebox x750e from eBay with the intention to stick PfSense on it, since my current rig with a USB nic for the internet side can't keep up with what my line is capable of.

    I think I'm following the instructions, but try as I might, I can't get the machine to boot into FreeDOS.  I've tried 6 different CF cards now, but all the box ever does is pass the memory test and the screen sticks on BootingOS…  I never get the mythical 3 beeps and terminal output of FreeDOS (the speaker works - I hear the POST beep).

    My box didn't come with a CF card (I bought it from one of those IT recycling firms on eBay).
    My pal's FireBox x700 standard CF card boots most of the way in my rig, but not being the same model, I can forgive it not getting all the way.
    I can't seem to read the card from the x700 in any of my computers (mac, win10, and two CF readers) so I assume it's written in some crazy format.  Since I can't read his, I don't want to try to burn the FreeDOS image to it just in case I can't then restore the current data to it, and I break his firewall (assuming I could find hardware/software combo to read the image from it in the first place).
    If I plug a blank card into my x750e and start it, I get exactly the same as when I try with a card written with the FreeDOS image (a couple of flickers of the Storage light).
    The BIOS in my box has x017 stickered on it.

    That's about all I can think of to say here.  Please help super firewall geeks of the Interwebz!

  • Right, so even just the process of writing this down made me think on about which combinations I hadn't tested - a FreeDOS card in the x700.  I just tried it, and sure enough, beep….beep beep beep.

    So it's my x750e being super picky about what kind of card it'll boot from then, yeah?
    Any suggestions where I could lay my hands on a compatible card?

    Thanks again.

  • How many Gb is your CF card ?
    If you use to big, i won't be recognized.
    I use a very old 16Mb CF card for Bios flashing these boxes, and this works everytime.
    Also, the original Sandisk CF wich normally come with these boxes is good for Bios flashing.
    You can also try to reset the Bios by removing the battery for a minute,
    and try again for booting the CF card.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes, the card size is all important when booting from the original BIOS.


  • yes, in the documentation on wiki you can found next:

    Write the image to a small CF card, 256MB or less. Larger cards will not boot. You can use Physdiskwrite directly or ungzip the image and use Win Disk Imager.
    Connect up a serial console cable (null modem cable) set to 9600 8N1. Turn on the firebox. When it has booted into FreeDOS it will beep three times. If you can't see a dos prompt after the beeps you are connected wrong. If your serial console works fine with the Watchguard OS but not FreeDOS you may have a null modem cable that doesn't support hardware flow control.

    I hope it's help you with next steps. I use 32Mb card and 3 beeps inform me that device is started.

  • @kobzar:

    yes, in the documentation on wiki you can found next:

    Write the image to a small CF card, 256MB or less. Larger cards will not boot.

    Up to 512Mb will work, because the original CF card thats installed in the X E-core series, is
    usally a Sandisk CF card with 256Mb or 512Mb.


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