Firebox X700



  • Hi Guys,

    Newb here and I have been reading up on some of these hardware conversions and think it's fantastic what have been accomplished by everyone here and giving us alternatives to the Sonicwalls and Ciscos.

    Question as I couldnt find any info on my search.  I have a FB X700 and trying to use a laptop 2.5 IDE hd but i'm confused to how to provide it power?  Nothing on this appliance I can use for this?  no regular molex connector? ??? ???

    Please help.

    Thanks!
    JD


  • Netgate Administrator

    On my X6000 power is provided, laptop style, down the 44 pin cable. You don't need to use a seperate power connector.

    Steve

    Edit: Looking at the X70 thread I see that it has both 40 and 44pin IDE connectors. Just make sure you are using the smaller 44pin laptop conmnector.



  • Thanks Steve got it mounted and installed using the included IDE cable.

    Now am I missing something on the install process?  I followed the "How To" install from thread "Successful install on X700" link http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,7458.0.html but after boot up I cant get into the bootup via Serial Console?  I tried both the 1.2.3 and 2.0 packages and will get the initial beep when you turn on the unit but cant connect via serial….

    Is there a trick to this install?  isnt the serial console enabled by default?  i'm using Com1/9600/8/none/1/hardware and tried with 4 other computers ranging from Xp to Win7 and cant get it to communicate.

    Please help!
    JD



  • How big is your hard drive?



  • I tried with both 60GB and 80GB 2.5" IDEs. I checked the HD power and can feel it spinning so I know thats good.

    I also tried using a 256MB Kingston CF card but got a bunch of errors during the install via 99 options but thinks it because it's too small of a card.

    Any other ideas of what I could be doing wrong?

    thanks!
    JD


  • Netgate Administrator

    Are you using the embedded install? I think only the embeded install has serial console by default. I've only ever tried the embbeded image.
    Otherwise install the HD in another computer (with monitor and keyboard) first, run the install cd and then transfer the HD back to the firebox.

    Steve



  • @JeffD:

    I tried with both 60GB and 80GB 2.5" IDEs. I checked the HD power and can feel it spinning so I know thats good.

    Take a look at this post of mine:
    @CaseyBlackburn:

    You'll need to go into the BIOS and for the drive you are using, you'll want to switch it to Manual and CHS mode. You'll then want to set heads to 2. That's just from memory, but that should get you are set. The BIOS has a weird time with bigger drives(>~2GB) and it'll work if the heads are set to 2.

    @JeffD:

    I also tried using a 256MB Kingston CF card but got a bunch of errors during the install via 99 options but thinks it because it's too small of a card.

    Any other ideas of what I could be doing wrong?

    thanks!
    JD

    256MB is too small really and unsupported. You should really at least get a 1GB card. For the price of the 1GB, 2GB etc these days it's really hard to justify not getting one.



  • You will need to connect the HDD into a pd and install the full pfsese on to it. then take the drive and install it into the FB.

    once this is done you should boot into the install scripts as per normal install.



  • @rikrobson:

    You will need to connect the HDD into a pd and install the full pfsese on to it. then take the drive and install it into the FB.

    once this is done you should boot into the install scripts as per normal install.

    This is exactly what I did.  I popped the 60/80gb hard drive unto another laptop went through the full normal PF install succesfully. Then applied 99 options unto the drive as both embeded and regular full install but after booting I couldnt get the serial console to communicate with FB.

    I just went and bought a new 2GB CF card and will attempt a new install and report back shortly.



  • @JeffD:

    This is exactly what I did.  I popped the 60/80gb hard drive unto another laptop went through the full normal PF install succesfully. Then applied 99 options unto the drive as both embeded and regular full install but after booting I couldnt get the serial console to communicate with FB.

    I just went and bought a new 2GB CF card and will attempt a new install and report back shortly.

    It's because the hard drive never booted. You need to make the change in BIOS like I mentioned before.



  • Thanks for all the help but this is starting to become somewhat of a frustrating project for me ::).  These are all the steps I have tried in getting PF unto my Firebox x700 but so far no luck  :(

    • I purchased two (2) Kingston 2GB CF drive and used physdiskwrite to download and write 3 separate Nano images from the main site.  After placing the CF card and attempting to boot it up I hear the normal boot up process but no output display via the serial cable.  I have replaced the cable with another brand new DB9 serial cable with same results.  I checked to make sure the HT settings are 9600/8/N/1 and even tried 115200 for kicks and no dice.

    • I installed a custom setup using "99" options and  selecting embedded and then placing the 60GB 2.5" IDE hdd back unto the FB and same results as above (No serial output).  I then took this same HD to another PC and the image booted fine.  Before anyone say I need to change the BIOS to cylinder 2 or something for enabling the larger drives I installed a PCI video card soon after the FB just makes one beep and shuts off???  Removing the PCI videocard returns the FB to boot normally.

    • I would also like to say I have two of these FB x700 and both boxes exhibited the same results using the same method mentioned here so I doubt it is a defective unit causing this.

    *** One weird clue:  I then installed PF using a Live CD 2.0 unto a new 2.5" 60GB drive and after installing it back to the FB it boots further than prior images and i get LCD functionality but with "Boot Error" messages.  I also gain limited access to the FB's BIOS since it asks me to change BIOS settings for Baud Rate it was defaulting to 115200 so I changed this back to 9600 but still no luck with serial port.  The only other menu available is the starting of XModem???  not sure if this can be used for any type of communication access to the box?

    Can anyone offer any more things to try???  anyother ideas?

    Thanks much!!!


  • Netgate Administrator

    Sorry to hear you're not having any luck.
    Just a quick thought reading back through the thread, you are using the front mounted com port yes?

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    Sorry to hear you're not having any luck.
    Just a quick thought reading back through the thread, you are using the front mounted com port yes?

    Steve

    Yes.  I have read of people here using or making their own serial cable.  Could it be possible the pin outs of the FB serial is not standard?  ???



  • @JeffD:

    @stephenw10:

    Sorry to hear you're not having any luck.
    Just a quick thought reading back through the thread, you are using the front mounted com port yes?

    Steve

    Yes.  I have read of people here using or making their own serial cable.  Could it be possible the pin outs of the FB serial is not standard?  ???

    Are you sure you are using a null modem DB9 cable? The FB serial is standard. The people making cables was probably about PS/2 ports, VGA(e-series), etc



  • @CaseyBlackburn:

    @JeffD:

    @stephenw10:

    Sorry to hear you're not having any luck.
    Just a quick thought reading back through the thread, you are using the front mounted com port yes?

    Steve

    Yes.  I have read of people here using or making their own serial cable.  Could it be possible the pin outs of the FB serial is not standard?  ???

    Are you sure you are using a null modem DB9 cable? The FB serial is standard. The people making cables was probably about PS/2 ports, VGA(e-series), etc

    Casey - When you ask if i'm using a Null Modem DB9 cable what do you mean?  Are there more than one version of this type of serial cable?  Unfortunately there's no marking on this generic one and looking at the pin-out I have two female 9 pin ends.

    One is marked L2 and the other is J2??? How can I test if I have the correct one?

    Pin out numbering is:

    L2                J2
    –-------      --------
    \54321 /      \54321 /
    \9876/          \9876/


  • Netgate Administrator

    If you have access to a multimeter or continuity tester you can check it against the specs here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_modem

    Steve



  • Update:

    Succesfully installed a 1.2.3 4GB NANO image unto a 80GB 2.5" IDE drive and also found out the serial (DB9) cable I had was NOT a NULL version which is also why i had such a hard time with this install.

    I am having slight issues trying to install the LCDProc package and not sure because this is NANO and cannot install packages or due to mounted as "Read" only for embedded??? ??? ???

    Lastly, i installed an Intel Wireless Pro mini PCI card and succesfully detected the card.  I have it installed as OPT1 and then bridged with LAN.  Somehow if I go to "Interfaces" this is still showing as "link down" status and nothing I do can change it? ??? ???

    Any Ideas?

    thanks!
    JD


  • Netgate Administrator

    Much easier when you've got the right cable!  :D

    To get the lcd working you need a special version of lcdproc with the right driver. There's a whole thread on doing this. It's NOT a package you can install from the gui. Read through the thread, it's interesting anyway, before attempting to install it.

    I tried to make a more consise set of instructions in my thread (the lcd package is the same for X-peak) and rolled up the newest driver into the tarball here.

    Have you enabled the interface?

    Steve



  • Thank You Steve!

    Now that was a lot better to follow instructions than all the threads!  :) :) :)

    Yay!  LCD functional and backlight works as it should!!!

    Nice… on to my second set of X700 ....



  • Can somebody confirm that the lcd driver also works for the firebox x750e?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yep works great!
    Have a look through the x550e thread for details on that box. (x550e, x750e, x1250e are the same)

    Steve


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