A Really Dumb But Useful Tip
After probably 6 months of my pfsense box randomly rebooting itself I have found the culprit…
Basically I run pfsense at my home using an old P4 2.4 with 2GB DDR400 and some old 10/100 rando nics.
It has been setup like this for about 11 months and ran perfect for the first 5, with the exception of a nic dying after the first month or 2, but, an easy swap fixed the prob.
For the last 6 months I have noticed the boxes uptime jumping, as in the box has been resetting itself, in the first 3 months of this happening I couldn't care less as it was only every 2 or 3 weeks and the box still ran fine whenever I needed it. However, in the last 3 months the box would reboot every 2 or 3 days some days up to 3 times a day and a lot of the time when I am using the internet.
The important part:
About 9 months back I swapped out the graphics card that was first in it as it was LP and I needed one, so I threw in a newer one, the switch worked as planned.
The situation and fix:
Since the problems first began I thought they would probably be related to a PSU or similar however, I just wanted to wait till the box died completely before I was going to switch it for like a C2D or X2.
Anyway, today the boxed died and a reboot wouldn't bring it back, so, I opened her up and just randomly from where my view was I went to flick the GPU fan, it was locked up...
So, I took the GFX out and sure enough there was the answer to all my problems, the GPU had burnt out.
I swapped it out for a new fan less version and bang it fired straight up and has so far ran stable as a fat guy in front of a TV set.
From this I have learned two simple lessons and I hope others find these no brain'r tips as a useful reminder:
- Not essential but if your mobo requires a GFX to boot, try and go for the fan less option. Small fans like this in servers that are not inspected cease and cause problems.
- If you experience unexpected reboots in any machine check for heat problems, things that overheat make systems reboot. Don't always make the mistake of suspecting the PSU like I did.
Anyway, its been a long 3 months of not extremely bad but just annoying and frustrating problems and I am glad that in the end the root cause was simple.
Hopefully I can have another but this time longer session of lengthy pfsense love.