pfsense on APU won't boot any more after upgrade



  • Hello,

    after an upgrade, pfsene on an APU board won't boot anymore. The system was running for about a year without a flaw.

    Maybe the SSD (Kingston, 120GB) has gone bad? But wouldn't that be a big coincedence, when it would go bad just on the reboot?

    How would I track down the problem and/or retrieve the configuration from the non-booting system?

    Thanks in Advance!

    Attached is the output on the serial console when booting.

    PC Engines APU BIOS build date: Apr  5 2014
    Reading data from file [bootorder]
    SeaBIOS (version ?-20140405_120742-frink)
    SeaBIOS (version ?-20140405_120742-frink)
    Found coreboot cbmem console @ df150400
    Found mainboard PC Engines APU
    Relocating init from 0x000e8e71 to 0xdf1065e0 (size 39259)
    Found CBFS header at 0xfffffb90
    found file "bootorder" in cbmem
    CPU Mhz=1000
    Found 28 PCI devices (max PCI bus is 05)
    Copying PIR from 0xdf160400 to 0x000f27a0
    Copying MPTABLE from 0xdf161400/df161410 to 0x000f25b0 with length 1ec
    Copying ACPI RSDP from 0xdf162400 to 0x000f2590
    Copying SMBIOS entry point from 0xdf16d800 to 0x000f2570
    Using pmtimer, ioport 0x808
    Scan for VGA option rom
    EHCI init on dev 00:12.2 (regs=0xf7f08420)
    Found 1 lpt ports
    Found 2 serial ports
    AHCI controller at 11.0, iobase f7f08000, irq 11
    EHCI init on dev 00:13.2 (regs=0xf7f08520)
    EHCI init on dev 00:16.2 (regs=0xf7f08620)
    Searching bootorder for: /rom@img/setup
    Searching bootorder for: /rom@img/memtest
    Searching bootorder for: /pci@i0cf8/*@11/drive@0/disk@0
    AHCI/0: registering: "AHCI/0: KINGSTON SMS200S3120G ATA-8 Hard-Disk (111 GiByte"
    OHCI init on dev 00:12.0 (regs=0xf7f04000)
    OHCI init on dev 00:13.0 (regs=0xf7f05000)
    OHCI init on dev 00:14.5 (regs=0xf7f06000)
    OHCI init on dev 00:16.0 (regs=0xf7f07000)
    Searching bootorder for: /pci@i0cf8/usb@16,2/storage@1/*@0/*@0,0
    Searching bootorder for: /pci@i0cf8/usb@16,2/usb-*@1
    USB MSC vendor='Multiple' product='Card  Reader' rev='1.00' type=0 removable=1
    Device reports MEDIUM NOT PRESENT
    scsi_is_ready returned -1
    Unable to configure USB MSC drive.
    Unable to configure USB MSC device.
    All threads complete.
    Scan for option roms
    
    Build date: Apr  5 2014
    System memory size: 4592 MB
    
    Press F12 for boot menu.
    
    Searching bootorder for: HALT
    drive 0x000f2500: PCHS=16383/16/63 translation=lba LCHS=1024/255/63 s=234441648
    Space available for UMB: c0000-ee800, f0000-f2500
    Returned 253952 bytes of ZoneHigh
    e820 map has 7 items:
      0: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009fc00 = 1 RAM
      1: 000000000009fc00 - 00000000000a0000 = 2 RESERVED
      2: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 = 2 RESERVED
      3: 0000000000100000 - 00000000df14e000 = 1 RAM
      4: 00000000df14e000 - 00000000e0000000 = 2 RESERVED
      5: 00000000f8000000 - 00000000f9000000 = 2 RESERVED
      6: 0000000100000000 - 000000011f000000 = 1 RAM
    enter handle_19:
      NULL
    Booting from Hard Disk...
    Booting from 0000:7c00
    //bboooott//ccoonnffiigg::  --SS111155220000  --DD
    
    IInnvvaalliidd  ffoorrmmaatt
    
    --
    
    


  • Sorry, forgot to add output of the boot menu:

    Press F12 for boot menu.
    
    Select boot device:
    
    1. AHCI/0: KINGSTON SMS200S3120G ATA-8 Hard-Disk (111 GiBytes)
    2. Payload [setup]
    3. Payload [memtest]
    
    Searching bootorder for: HALT
    drive 0x000f2500: PCHS=16383/16/63 translation=lba LCHS=1024/255/63 s=234441648
    Space available for UMB: c0000-ee800, f0000-f2500
    Returned 253952 bytes of ZoneHigh
    e820 map has 7 items:
      0: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009fc00 = 1 RAM
      1: 000000000009fc00 - 00000000000a0000 = 2 RESERVED
      2: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 = 2 RESERVED
      3: 0000000000100000 - 00000000df14e000 = 1 RAM
      4: 00000000df14e000 - 00000000e0000000 = 2 RESERVED
      5: 00000000f8000000 - 00000000f9000000 = 2 RESERVED
      6: 0000000100000000 - 000000011f000000 = 1 RAM
    enter handle_19:
      NULL
    Booting from Hard Disk...
    Booting from 0000:7c00
    //bboooott//ccoonnffiigg::  --SS111155220000  --DD
    
    IInnvvaalliidd  ffoorrmmaatt
    


  • had a similar issue when updating to 2.4.4_3 on an apu3, where the kernel was corrupted.
    m-sata seems to be ok, recovered the config and did a fresh install. took the opportunity to update the bios as well.



  • It won't reinstall.

    The 120GB kingston SSD shows 0 cylinders, and only 32kBytes capacity.

    I tried to access it with dd: dd also can read and/or write ONLY 32kBytes.

    How comes that the upgrade process rendered the SSD unusable?



  • Some investigation revealed, that an erroneous setting "host protected area" might cause such a problem.

    So I checked on another (identical) hardware from the pfsense "Command Prompt" menu in the web interface:

    running
    camcontrol hpa ada0
    gives:

    pass0: <KINGSTON SMS200S3120G 600ABBF0> ATA8-ACS SATA 3.x device
    pass0: 600.000MB/s transfers (SATA 3.x, UDMA6, PIO 512bytes)
    
    Feature                      Support  Enabled   Value
    Host Protected Area (HPA)      yes      no      234441648/234441648
    HPA - Security                 no
    

    So I tried the same from the pfsense rescue shell on the installation media:

    # camcontrol hpa ada0 
    pass0: <SandForce{200026BB} 306ABBR0> ATA8-ACS SATA 2.x device
    pass0: 300.000MB/s transfers (SATA 2.x, UDMA6, PIO 8192bytes)
    camcontrol: ATA READ_NATIVE_MAX_ADDRESS48 failed: 0
    # camcontrol hpa ada0 -U pfsense
    pass0: <SandForce{200026BB} 306ABBR0> ATA8-ACS SATA 2.x device
    pass0: 300.000MB/s transfers (SATA 2.x, UDMA6, PIO 8192bytes)
    camcontrol: HPA is not supported by this device
    # 
    

    So I'm somewhat wired: Why is there no HPA support on the identical hardware? On the running pfsense, HPA seems to work fine on the identical hardware.

    I also tried "secure erase":

    # camcontrol security ada0 -s Erase -e Erase
    pass0: <SandForce{200026BB} 306ABBR0> ATA8-ACS SATA 2.x device
    pass0: 300.000MB/s transfers (SATA 2.x, UDMA6, PIO 8192bytes)
    camcontrol: Security not supported
    # 
    

    Also not supported?



  • With HPA you can hide memory from your operating system to over-provision the memory and increase its lifetime.

    It looks to me that your SSD indeed got bricked. Even if you can get it to work again (e.g. reflash its firmware if that is even possible with that specific drive) I would not use it again for anything critical like a router.

    I do not believe this happened due to a bug in pfsense. Updates are just very "hard" on disks compared to normal routing operation, so it could really just be a coincidence it broke during the update.


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