Unstable boot Alix 2d3 - it doesn't boot sometimes…



  • Guys, this is really strange, my ALIX doesn't boot from time to time… I'm getting just Boot Error. Lets say this is happing 6times from 10attempts.
    This board has been used ~1year with mono and no problem at all. So board is OK. Any idea what should be wrong? CF? Any boot settings?

    Enter an option: PC Engines ALIX.2 v0.99h
    640 KB Base Memory
    261120 KB Extended Memory

    01F0 Master 044A CF Card
    Phys C/H/S 7745/16/63 Log C/H/S 968/128/63

    1   FreeBSD
    2   FreeBSD

    Boot:   1
    Boot error

    PC Engines ALIX.2 v0.99h
    640 KB Base Memory
    261120 KB Extended Memory

    01F0 Master 044A CF Card
    Phys C/H/S 7745/16/63 Log C/H/S 968/128/63

    1   FreeBSD
    2   FreeBSD

    Boot:   1
    Boot error

    BIOS setup:

    9 9600 baud (2) 19200 baud (3) 38400 baud (5) 57600 baud (1) 115200 baud
    C CHS mode (L) LBA mode (W) HDD wait (V) HDD slave (U) UDMA enable
    (M) MFGPT workaround
    (P) late PCI init
    R Serial console enable
    (E) PXE boot enable
    (X) Xmodem upload
    (Q) Quit



  • One more example: pfsense was running. I did reboot from console (5). System rebooted but didn't start…

    *** Welcome to pfSense 1.2.3-RELEASE-nanobsd on pfSense ***

    LAN                      ->   vr0     ->      192.168.1.1
     WAN                      ->   vr1     ->      NONE(DHCP)

    pfSense console setup


    1. Logout (SSH only)
    2. Assign Interfaces
    3. Set LAN IP address
    4. Reset webConfigurator password
    5. Reset to factory defaults
    6. Reboot system
    7. Halt system
    8. Ping host
    9. Shell
    10. PFtop
    11. Filter Logs
    12. Restart webConfigurator
    13. pfSense Developer Shell
    14. Upgrade from console
    15. Enable Secure Shell (sshd)

    Enter an option:
    pfSense is now shutting down ...

    Waiting (max 60 seconds) for system process vnlru' to stop...done Waiting (max 60 seconds) for system process bufdaemon' to stop...done
    Waiting (max 60 seconds) for system process `syncer' to stop...
    Syncing disks, vnodes remaining...0 0 done
    All buffers synced.
    Uptime: 8m7s
    Rebooting...
    PC Engines ALIX.2 v0.99h
    640 KB Base Memory
    261120 KB Extended Memory

    01F0 Master 044A CF Card
    Phys C/H/S 7745/16/63 Log C/H/S 968/128/63

    1   FreeBSD
    2   FreeBSD

    Boot:   1
    Boot error


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    I would switch CF cards before trying anything else.



  • @jimp:

    I would switch CF cards before trying anything else.

    I'll try but i have to buy a new one :( …This is new CF - used for 1st time 2day ago. It was "presented" as a super fast CF.
    Apacer 4GB, High Speed 133x, Photo SENO III.  Maybe its not compatible but in WIN it works OK.

    Today i have tried download 2GB image and install to this card (just to check if 4g image is corrupted) but same results.
    Thanks, Peter



  • Just tried same HW (CF&ALIX) but with BETA 2.0 Snapshot and this issue is still there… ...well, there are also other issues but they are OK in this phase of development. My conclusion, this kind of CF card is not good choice for ALIX & FreeBSD...

    ---here is the issue with 2.0. Not sure if it can be caused by CF?
    ...
    Root mount waiting for: usbus1 usbus0
    uhub0: 4 ports with 4 removable, self powered
    Root mount waiting for: usbus1
    uhub1: 4 ports with 4 removable, self powered
    Trying to mount root from ufs:/dev/ufs/pfsense0
    ROOT MOUNT ERROR:
    If you have invalid mount options, reboot, and first try the following from
    the loader prompt:

    set vfs.root.mountfrom.options=rw

    and then remove invalid mount options from /etc/fstab.

    Loader variables:
    vfs.root.mountfrom=ufs:/dev/ufs/pfsense0
    vfs.root.mountfrom.options=ro,sync,noatime

    Manual root filesystem specification:
     <fstype>: <device>Mount <device>using filesystem <fstype>eg. ufs:/dev/da0s1a
                          eg. cd9660:/dev/acd0
                          This is equivalent to: mount -t cd9660 /dev/acd0 /

    ?                  List valid disk boot devices
      <empty line="">Abort manual input

    mountroot></empty></fstype></device></device></fstype>


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Is this still happening with current snapshots?

    It works fine for me, here's my BIOS version and settings:

    
    Boot:  1 PC Engines ALIX.2 v0.99h
    [...]
    BIOS setup:
    
    *9* 9600 baud (2) 19200 baud (3) 38400 baud (5) 57600 baud (1) 115200 baud
    *C* CHS mode (L) LBA mode (W) HDD wait (V) HDD slave (U) UDMA enable
    (M) MFGPT workaround
    (P) late PCI init
    *R* Serial console enable 
    (E) PXE boot enable 
    (X) Xmodem upload 
    (Q) Quit
    
    


  • Hi all –-

    I am experiencing the same flaky boot problems....when the unit is cold started.

    Have to power cycle the unit to get it to recognize the Flash Card... and it seems to boot if you let it warm up for a while...but once it has booted it goes into the dreaded <mountroot>condition. As a temporary measure, I have put the root filesystem on a thumb drive in order for pfsense to work....

    My system is booting the kernel from CF, but does not see the da0 device when it goes to mount the root filesystem. It ONLY sees  the da0 (thumb-drive).</mountroot>



  • Guys - its solved. I have replaced CF with the old "slow" Kingston 1GB and no issue. Installed v1.2.3 and I have tried about ~20 hard reboots and no problem at all with booting from CF. …anyway, i guess its would be very difficult to fix this issue with new fast CF. My  4GB CF is working without any problem under WIN, i can copy, delete with the speed declared by manufacturer but it can not be used with pfsense...its creating issues i have described above.

    If you want to buy a CF please avoid to use this one. P/N:AP4GCF133. Photo attached.

    Jimp, your guess was good! :)

    Thanks for your support.
    P.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Glad to hear it was something simple like that.

    The cards I use are mainly Sandisk Ultra II's, 15MB/s (100x I think, it's not labeled with an 'x' speed).

    Just to see if the warm/cold boot made a difference for me on recent snapshots I wrote a card out and left my ALIX unplugged overnight, then booted it up this AM and it was fine again.



  • Just for anyone searching for this topic in the future:

    Some CF cards flat out have issues.  If you experience issues try a different card and or CF writer.


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