Why won't Alix 2C3 boot pfSense?



  • Hi,

    As per suggestion of a respondent to another post,
    I upgraded the bios to 0.99h.  A bit tricky, since I do not run Windoze, and most
    of the techniques on the pcengines site want you to run windoze.  But the Alix
    isn't bricked, it says it's running 0.99 now.

    But pfSense won't boot.

    This is what I get:

    PC Engines ALIX.2 v0.99h
    640 KB Base Memory
    261120 KB Extended Memory

    01F0 Master 848A KODAK ATA_FLASH                       
    Phys C/H/S 984/16/32 Log C/H/S 249/32/63
    //bboooott..ccoonnffiigg::  –DD

    FFrreeeeBBSSDD//ii338866  bboooott

    DDeeffaauulltt::  00::aadd((00,,aa))//bboooott//llooaaddeerr

    bboooott::  ��  ���������xx�
    –---------------------------------------------end of screen capture----------------------------------

    questions:

    1. Why the hell is every character doubled?  I've got local echo turned off in minicom,
    I've got the baud rate at 9600 in minicom and in the Alix bios setting, and I understand
    that pfSense assumes 9600 baud also.

    2. What the hell is pfSense waiting for?  Hitting "enter" just gives more of the same
    garbage with another "bboooott::  ��  ���������xx�" prompt.

    3. I'm trying to boot a fresh copy of pfSense-1.2.2-Embedded.img that I've dd'd onto
    a 256Meg CF card.  I don't have a 128Meg CF card.  I doubt you can even buy them
    anymore.  Is pfSense-1.2.2-Embedded.img the correct image to try to boot in an Alix 2C3?

    Thanks for any help given,
    Bill



  • You're using the wrong baud rate.



  • @cmb:

    You're using the wrong baud rate.

    You've obviously never actually tried this, have you?

    If it was the wrong baud rate, the output would be total garbage, or nothing at all,
    depending upon what my terminal made of it.  It most certainly would not show
    double characters.

    Please learn about how serial communications work before you post anymore nonsense
    about serial communications.

    Thanks for trying, though.  +1 for effort.

    Bill Dudley



  • You have the wrong terminal settings +1

    9600 8N1 is afaik the default

    I would delete the minicom config and resetup.
    Minicom is kind of notorious for fucking its config up and displaying crap.

    Also please dont post the same thing in multiple places.



  • @wfdudley:

    You've obviously never actually tried this, have you?

    If it was the wrong baud rate, the output would be total garbage, or nothing at all,
    depending upon what my terminal made of it.  It most certainly would not show
    double characters.

    Please learn about how serial communications work before you post anymore nonsense
    about serial communications.

    Thanks for trying, though.  +1 for effort.

    Bill Dudley

    Dude, people are trying to help you out. Have a cold one, relax, and try not to be so antagonistic. You were wrong when you jumped down somebody's throat for suggesting you update the BIOS, at least entertain the notion that you might have a problem with your terminal settings. Download putty and try that. I'm sure this is frustrating, but no one jumped in and schooled you even though there are dozens of people who have been running pfSense on Alix boxes without problems.



  • @wfdudley:

    You've obviously never actually tried this, have you?

    I've had ALIX boards since before you and anyone else in the general public could even buy them. Let's just say I've tried it a few times.

    @wfdudley:

    If it was the wrong baud rate, the output would be total garbage, or nothing at all,
    depending upon what my terminal made of it.  It most certainly would not show
    double characters.

    Wrong. You have something wrong in your terminal setup.

    @wfdudley:

    Please learn about how serial communications work before you post anymore nonsense
    about serial communications.

    Follow your own advice. And how about showing some decency to people who help you, especially admins who have thousands of hours into this project.

    @dotdash:

    even though there are dozens of people who have been running pfSense on Alix boxes without problems.

    Actually many thousands.  :)



  • For what it's worth, I had an identical experience with my ALIX 3D2.

    By default, the BIOS baud rate is at 38400.  I set minicom to 38400, and fired it up.  When the machine POST-ed, I typed "S" to enter the BIOS setup.  I set the BIOS baud rate to 9600 so that it would match the BSD default (at least that's my understanding of the default).  I saved the settings.  Then I reset the minicom baud rate and power cycled the ALIX.  The BIOS test was readable but I got exactly the same double characters until the kernel loaded and started booting.  Then the double character anomaly was gone.  So the double character business seems isolated to the boot loader.  Does anyone know why this might be happening?  Thanks in advance


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