Major Issues, Two Sets of Hardware



  • I'm running two separate boxes in two separate buildings with an OpenVPN tunnel between.  They've been rock solid for months, up until yesterday!

    At around 10am yesterday we lost all internet access and I couldn't access the pfSense interface to check it out, so I pulled the plug and restarted.  When internet access and web interface didn't return I connected a monitor and keyboard and saw the screen said 'kernel not found' or similar.

    I tried to boot again and again, using the FreeBSD options for other kernels, none of which worked.  Starting to panic that it was the SSD failing, I downloaded the USB installer and used the option 'Rescue Config.xml', which said it succeeded, BUT, where the hell does it rescue the xml to?!  I tried booting a live CD for GhostBSD and mounted the USB, the Config file isn't there.

    I also tried to mount the system SSD and it says it can't mount because it's in use, tried fsck and get cannot find file system superblock, inappropriate ioctl for device, can't read disk label and could not determine filesystem type.

    After getting the above I was sure the SSD was dead, but this morning I've discovered that the other box, in the other building, with different config, different hardware and all in all totally independent setup has done the same thing.  I don't believe any automatic updates were on.

    HELP!!!  How the heck do I get the config file off these silly partitions?!  And yes, I know I should have a backup, which I have, but it's from 3 months ago and a fair bit has changed since then.

    Thanks.



  • Hi,

    Retrieving data (also known as "files") from a dead device is a very known subject, although not treated on this forum.
    If you know what version of pfSense you were running, then you would know the partitions / file system used.

    Two devices failing at the same moment is like winning a mega $$ price in the lottery. The bad and good news is : people do win all the time.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Unfortunately if you can't mount the slice it's very difficult to retrieve the config file.

    You might post the console logs showing what you actually attempted and what the result was though. Someone might be able to see something and suggest an alternative.

    Steve


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    @mrrodge:

    I tried to boot again and again, using the FreeBSD options for other kernels, none of which worked.  Starting to panic that it was the SSD failing, I downloaded the USB installer and used the option 'Rescue Config.xml', which said it succeeded, BUT, where the hell does it rescue the xml to?!  I tried booting a live CD for GhostBSD and mounted the USB, the Config file isn't there.

    The "Rescue config.xml" option reads the configuration from the drive into memory, and then copies it back to the target drive when installing. To use it when swapping in a new disk, you'd have to have the old disk and new disk both connected, then pick the old disk to rescue from and choose the new disk when installing. If it worked, the new drive would have the configuration in the proper place after the installation finishes and it would come back up properly afterward.

    The down side is that on 2.3.x and before, that option was not very robust. You'd have to try it 2-3x or more before it would work, if it worked at all. I've rewritten how it works in the new 2.4 installer and it now works every time I've tried it. That said, if the old drive really is dead, it still couldn't help.


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