USB installation troubles



  • Hi Guys,

    I've been looking at getting the LiveCD iso onto a bootable USB pen drive.  I've bought a new ITX system especially for the install, but it has no cd drive and I don't want to have to take it appart to hook one up everytime I load a new build onto it.

    I consider myself fairly technically minded, but I've not had any success getting it to work after many, many hours trying.  I keep finding forum posts claiming that this script worked or some tool did the trick.  But they all require you to have a FreeBSD installation already. Even with a virtual machine running and using one of these scripts I still ran into errors.  Which is getting darn frustrating.

    Now I really want to give pfSense a proper go.  Can somebody give me a simple, straightforward guide to get it loaded onto my usb dongle?



  • @LeJimster:

    I've been looking at getting the LiveCD iso onto a bootable USB pen drive.  I've bought a new ITX system especially for the install, but it has no cd drive and I don't want to have to take it appart to hook one up everytime I load a new build onto it.

    I have a mini-ITX system with no CD drive. I've only ever used a CD drive (USB CD drive) to do the initial install. Thereafter I've upgraded the software using the System -> Firmware mechanism of the web GUI. I've changed the software this way at least six times.

    @LeJimster:

    I consider myself fairly technically minded, but I've not had any success getting it to work after many, many hours trying.  I keep finding forum posts claiming that this script worked or some tool did the trick.  But they all require you to have a FreeBSD installation already. Even with a virtual machine running and using one of these scripts I still ran into errors.  Which is getting darn frustrating.

    Now I really want to give pfSense a proper go.  Can somebody give me a simple, straightforward guide to get it loaded onto my usb dongle?

    To save your time and the time of the other readers it would be helpful to know a lot more about what you have done. For example, what version(s) of the software have you tried? What procedures have you followed? What USB drive(s) have you tried?  What motherboard are you using?

    A word of caution: Some USB IDE adapters work with Windows, recent versions of Linux (but not "older" versions of Linux) but not FreeBSD. I bought a number of USB adapters for IDE 2.5 inch notebook drives but only some worked with FreeBSD thiough all worked with Windows 2000 and the Linux version that was "recent" at the time. I discovered both Linux and FreeBSD have tables of such adpters with their known "quirks" and the driver works around these quirks. The Linux table was far more extensive than the FreeBSD table. Its just possible that there are similar "issues" with USB flash drives on FreeBSD. hence it would be useful to know what error messages you have seen and what USB drives you have been using. You may have chanced upon a USB drive with a "quirk" that FreeBSD is not aware of and hence your drive may not work with FreeBSD 7.x no matter what you do!

    Depending on what you want to do, you may have better chances of success with a Compact Flash device and a CF to IDE adapter or something like a Transcend DOM (disk module that plugs into a motherboard IDE socket.) I've been using a Transcend DOM for about 18 months now and not had any trouble.



  • Hi There,

    I think you already replied to an earlier thread of mine.  I have yet to receive my 1GB DOM.  But in the meantime I've been searching for a way to install via USB as means of preparation.  The main reason I thought I needed to do this was because I want to try the latest 2.0 firmwares which I thought required a fresh install for each version?

    Anyway..  So far, heres what I've tried.

    1. Extracting iso contents to my 16GB corsair drive and using m0n0wall's physdiskwrite to make it bootable = fail
    2. Tried Unetbootin with both recent 2.0 iso and 1.2.3 RC1 iso - both load the bootmenu but as soon as you make a selection it says corrupt kernel/image or similar = fail
    3. Created a Virtualmachine using Virtualbox (i know you guys use VMWare, but I'm more familiar with VB).  Anyway, I installed FreeBSD 7.2 and transferred the iso and a script "pfSense-iso2usf.sh" This spat out a img file 1/2 the size of the iso, but no xml files.  There were errors saying the filesystem is full and that it couldn't find files from a tmp directory (presumably where the iso files should have been extracted to).

    I'll probably reach the answer eventually..  But the mind boggle's as to why there isn't just a simple tool that just converts the iso to usb.  It is 2009 after all!

    Sorry if I sound grumpy/ungrateful..  Just spending way too much time messing around in the commandline, which isn't exactly my idea of "fun". :)



  • Your solution is here….
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,14763.0.html
    regards!


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