pfSense Installer Won't Boot



  • Hi, y’all,

    I’m trying to install pfSense from a USB drive but unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be working out so well… I burned the ISO to my USB drive using unetbootin, but have also tried using DD image of the memstick download on Rufus. Whenever I boot to the USB, my system will start loading and show the beginning of a boot:

    BTX loader 1.00 BTX version is 1.02
    Consoles: internal video/keyboard
    BIOS drive C: is disk0
    BIOS drive D: is disk1
    BIOS 622kB/3602304kB available memory
    
    FreeBSD/x86 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1
    (Mon Mar 19 06:56:31 CDT 2018 root@buildbot2.netgate.com)
    

    And then the next line just has a blinking cursor. Yesterday it got to an extremely slowly rotating “cursor” when I let it run for a while, but it seemed to do nothing much.

    I know my USB works fine, as I was able to put the stick into a different system and it booted just fine, and I didn’t have to wait very long at all.

    Anyway, any help that you guys have on how to get pfSense to install on my system would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Sasschary


  • Netgate

    Which image are you downloading?

    What hardware are you attempting to install it on?



  • Hi, Derelict,

    I’m installing it on an old HP HTPC. I don’t know the model number, and it doesn’t seem to be on the tower. It’s got 6GB RAM and a dual port gigabit NIC. Nothing exceptional about it. It looks like it may be an m7250n.

    The image I’m using is the newest one. I believe the one that’s on the USB is a Rufus DD image of the VGA version: pfSense-CE-memstick-2.4.3-RELEASE-amd64.img. I have checked the hash, so it shouldn’t be a problem with the image itself.


  • Netgate

    Since it’s booting that far it is probably not the image or the way it was written.

    Maybe something here will help:

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting


  • Netgate Administrator

    Just in case Rufus is doing something odd, it shouldn’t in dd mode but…, try using Etcher to write the image.

    Steve



  • Hi, again,

    @Derelict I had seen that page before, but, unless I’m mistaken, there wasn’t much I could do with the information on it, as it all seems to require getting to the boot menu, which my PC doesn’t get to.

    @stephenw10 I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the DD image. It boots fine on one of my other systems, and the checksum of the downloaded image matches the expected hash.

    Sasschary


  • Netgate Administrator

    Did you actually try Etcher? Did you try a different USB device?

    It appears to be loading the FreeBSD boot loader but then failing to load the OS from there. So it may not be present or it may be looking in the wrong place. In dd mode Rufus shouldn’t do anything but write the image but I have seen it do odd things before. In it’s other modes it adds it’s own loader etc.

    The other possibility is that it’s loading OK and just not showing anything on the console. That’s what you might expect if you try to load a serial image for example but it looks like you’re using the right image. If you have an activity LED on the USB stick you should see that indicating a continuing boot process you can’t see.

    Steve



  • Hi, again,

    @stephenw10 I just tried using Etcher, and the same thing happens. I unfortunately am not sure where my other flash drive is, right now, so I can’t try a different USB drive. If it’s a problem with the OS, then I think it must be in finding it, as I am able to boot the USB on a different system just fine. The USB doesn’t have an activity LED, so I can’t see that way if it’s still doing anything. However the fans in the system keep turning on and off afterward, which could be an indication that something is going on.

    Sasschary



  • Another update: The system is able to boot an older version (2.2.5), but I still haven’t gotten it to boot either of the versions on the download page.



  • A final update: I was able to install 2.2.5, and then upgrade to the newest version from there. I’m still not sure what the problem with installing the newest version directly was, but my workaround works. Thank you all for your help!


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, well that’s interesting. Sounds like a BIOS quirk. Persistence FTW. 😃

    Steve


 

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