Troubleshooting Random Reboots



  • Alright, so I'm pretty well-versed in IT and I've been doing this for a long time, but this one's got me stumped. I've got a pfSense 1.2.3-RC2 box that spontaneously reboots itself pretty randomly, at least once a day it seems. Normally I'd assume that it's a typical memory or overheating issue, but I went ahead and replaced the entire box with one that was running pfSense at another location for a couple months with no issues whatsoever. Still, the same thing happens. So I figured maybe the UPS was going bad, even though other connected devices were fine; it doesn't do any better directly connected to the wall. Set up remote syslogging to try and capture some useful logs, and nothing there either - it just drops off looking normal and comes back again.

    Since the machine is rebooting and remote I can't tell if there are any messages on the console that might be useful. So does anyone have any troubleshooting ideas? The box is a pretty generic Dell P4-era desktop with Intel chipset and a dual fxp NIC installed. Do you think a bad NIC could do this? It seems to work fine otherwise, but the NIC is the only thing that changed from the previous install.

    Arrgh, this one is driving me nuts!



  • Thank you for doing all the requisite troubleshooting first before posting.  I hope others learn from your example!  As you guessed, this is almost always a hardware issue and you've done a great job trying to eliminate the obvious ones.  It is entirely possible that the NIC could be the problem although I've never seen this lead to reboots personally, probably worth swapping out just to see.

    Since you have two boxes that are exhibiting the same behavior, it might not be a bad idea to try a complete re-install on one of them, maybe even try 1.2.2-release and see if that changes anything.  It might also not be a bad idea to run memtest and your favorite disk checking utility.

    Is there anything strange about your setup?  How much swap did you configure?  What kind of packages (if any) do you have installed?



  • Still seems like it's overheating or power related since both boxes are doing the same in the exact same location, but works fine else where.
    Voltage drop or spike maybe not enough for the ups to kick in. Can you raise the tolerances on the ups to kick on battery if there is any power spikes or drops. Some UPS's won't trip on battery until well below 90 volts.


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