Something Weird with Network after Box went offline
A few weeks ago, my router just went offline overnight. Not sure what happened, and turning it on and off a few times, didn't seem to get it back up and running. I have a spare modem/router that I can use in the mean time, but I don't have all the power and services as PFSesne :(
I finally got time to hook it to a TV to take a look, and it strangely went to some reinstall prompt or something? I clicked through something and it just started loading up PFSesne, I probably should have paid more attention but just wanted to get it up and running again.
When I plugged it back into my network, it all seemed ok...so for instance, my phone could access the internet fine via hte router, VPN was working externally, I could log in and see all the settings looked the same, etc. But then I noticed that my xbox via hard wire connection wasn't working. And then noticed my alarm (which does a reverse callback to the cloud) wasn't working either, and that's hard wired too. I have a separate switch, so the bridged LAN on the pfsense box connects to a switch, but so does my WAP that I was using internet on my phone with ?
I was checking firewall settings and they look fine to me, I don't see any changes...I'm not really sure what could be configured incorrect? I'm assuming it's a software issue, and it's not something hardware related?
My other thought, was to reinstall PFSense from a fresh bootable USB, and get it to restore the config setttings...and see whether that magically fixes it???
Any help would be really appreciated.
Do you have any idea what point it had stopped at?
Was it asking you to re-assign the interfaces?
Gertjan last edited by Gertjan
Not sure what happened, and turning it on and off a few times,
The best way to hose the file system.
Then it will boot into :
to take a look, and it strangely went to some reinstall prompt or something?
I don't know what you saw, but it was probably "fsck" time (see manual about fsck).
Nothing special, though.
User the power cord to shut down you PC several times, your PC will complain heavily during subsequent bootups, if it still boots ... In the early days it was us, as users, to repair things using "chkdsk" ...
@Gertjan didn't work, same problem.
I noticed, that I don't have internet access, even the router itself says it has an external IP address but can't retrieve available package information for instance?
However, on my mobile phone internet fails at first, but then it switches to 4G, finds the internet, then switches back to wifi and internet works fine...is it something to do with setting up an internet gateway? When I turn 4G off as well, my phone still is able to access the internet via the pfsense router??? It's something stupid, isn't it...unfortunately, I can't figure it out...anyone able to make me realise "I'm such an idiot"
Ok, I went to System -> General Setup, and noticed that no DNS Server settings were there. Not sure when I removed these actually, or really how PFsense holds the DNS information? But I added in just the basic Google ones:
And then refreshed my other web page, and it found the internet and Spotify started working again, yay!!
If anyone can briefly explain what I did wrong and why this worked, that would be helpful, sorry I don't really get it :) Really glad it was something simple and was able to finally get it working again though, as I'm happy for PFSense to keep motoring along now ;)
Gertjan last edited by
If anyone can briefly explain what I did wrong
Can't tell. Just entering some DNS on the "General" doesn't break things ....
or really how PFsense holds the DNS information?
You mean : how pfSsense obtains DNS information for itself and all connected devices on the LAN(s) ?
pfSense uses by default a thing called a resolver. It works out of the box.
What it does : it uses a build-in list with the 13 Internet master DNS servers. More details here.
This list rarely changes. At least one off them needs to be found - and DNS resolving will work.
You decided not to to use the Internet "as it should", but delegate the resolving job to another 'upstream' resolver : Google (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52). So know Google knows upfront where you are going - what you are doing. What you are seeing. Etc. Ok if that's ok for you.
Btw : as explained - see the text below the DNS entries :
So, if you do not activate Forward mode in the resolver - or shut down the Resolver and use the Forwarder (these two are mutual exclusive in usage) there is no point in entering any DNS info in the general setup.
Note : pfSense, when installed, doesn't need any DNS settings to be entered to work.
But IF you change DNS settings, you should know precisely why.
This happens a lot :
but can't retrieve available package information for instance?
DNS works for you LAN clients, but pfSense doesn't have a work DNS for itself any-more. The result will be, among others : It can't call "home", and will be unable to list available packages, or inform you of an update is available.
I advise you to have a look at this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CISZn804WI
It could also have been no default route for some reason.
Check the routing table in Diag > Routes. Make sure there is a default route.
Set the IPv4 default gateway to something specific rather than automatic in System > Routing if there is not a default route.
@stephenw10 no, I just know that when the machine went offline, and I restarted it, that the DNS resolution stopped working.
@stephenw10 there is a default route. Not sure if it had one before I added the Google gateways in.
I also removed the Google gateways as I read about the DNS resolver, which seemed to be already configured by default. Not sure why it wasn't working though?
Hmm, well hard to say without more logs etc from the time. Unbound was not responding for some reason. Neither was any other DNS server configured for the system. Without anything in System > General that could only be servers handed to pfSense by the ISP via DHCP on WAN.