My pfsense box started crashing after 1 year of trouble free service.

  • Hello All
    I have a pfsense box running 2.3.3 in a IBM thinkcentre 8183.
    I am just using it as a simple router with 2 wan inputs.
    The pfsense router is plugged into UPS.
    The box ran flawlessly for over a year, never had any problem with the machine freezing through any of the software upgrade.
    2 weeks ago the box started to freeze, every 5-6 hours more or less.
    All random times.
    I reseated the memory and checked all other connections.
    I updated the software to 2.3.4 and it still froze and or rebooted.
    I setup another box and used my back up file to load my settings.
    All is running fine on the new box 5 days and counting.
    The old box is on my test bench running, and crashing.
    I reinstalled the pfsense software and all is fine so far.
    I guess the question is what started the machine to crash after a year of trouble free service?

  • Is it the machine itself, or the software? My first point of isolating the cause would be to run Memtest86+ over the RAM for 24 hours and see if it holds up.

  • Considering the Thinkcentre series was released the better part of 15 years ago (2003), my guess is your hardware is on it's way out.  It's time to replace it.

    I had a similar issue a couple years ago where PFsense was running fine for years on an old P4 desktop and out of the blue it just started randomly freezing.
    A reboot would resolve the issue temporarily, but only until the next random freeze (couple days).  So, I replaced the failing machine with a newer HP Core i3 desktop, restored the config and it's been stable ever since.

  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Check the motherboard for leaky capacitors.

    The vast majority of the time, no matter how long a system was running, if it starts locking up randomly the hardware is at fault. Old age, gradually failing components, heat, power issues… They can happen any time and past solid service only puts more weight on the hardware itself failing in some way.

  • This may be kinda obvious, but have you replaced the battery on the motherboard? I have seen weird behaviors when that battery is drained (like lost settings, hd not being recognized intermittently, booting issues, incorrect clock/timekeeping, etc).

    Given the vintage, I would try this first. It most likely uses a CR2032 cell.

  • Could be over heating?
    Have you checked inside for dust build up?

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