IS THIS NORMAL? - PFsense install creamed by accidental power outage



  • I was working on the cabling behind my PFsense box today and I accidentally knocked loose the power cable out of the back of the power supply… which obviously had a predictable effect of the box switching off.  When I plugged it back in and it rebooted, I got errors and eventually had a Free BSD login prompt.  When I tried to log in with admin and my pfsense password, it wouldn't let me in.  I rebooted and it had the same affect.

    So to fix the problem, I had to reinstall PFsense.  This was no big effort because fortunately I had created a backup configuration file.  After installing the config file everything was completely happy.

    I know that this kind of damage can be caused by a power outage, but I must say this alarmed me.  I have other types of OS boxes and though extremely rare, have had the freak power cut.  In all cases they have been able to repair their filesystems or reboot with no problem.  Is this normal with free BSD and pfsense?  My experience to date has been Windoze and Linux... (though I am thinking of basing my next server on BDS)



  • I usually turn off all my testsystems by just powering them off without shutting them down cleanly. I never had this issue. They always come up doing a filesystemcheck and everything is happy again. You must have hit some really special point when cutting the power. The system even will return to a previous config in case the real config.xml got busted and alert you about that. This doesn'T happen usually (at least not to me).



  • No it is not common.  A lot of times it will recover.  But if you yank the cord in the middle of it writing config.xml there is not much we can do.



  • @hoba:

    I usually turn off all my testsystems by just powering them off without shutting them down cleanly. I never had this issue. They always come up doing a filesystemcheck and everything is happy again. You must have hit some really special point when cutting the power. The system even will return to a previous config in case the real config.xml got busted and alert you about that. This doesn'T happen usually (at least not to me).

    Must have just been my bad luck today.  Anyhow, that's why I backup my config, so it was a good opportunity to see if it does what it says on the tin.  A quick reinstall and reload the config and we were up and running.  I can handle that for disaster recovery!  :D



  • For the record pfSense will restore a previous version of config.xml if it is available.

    But this requires a full installation.  Was this a full installation?



  • @sullrich:

    For the record pfSense will restore a previous version of config.xml if it is available.

    But this requires a full installation.  Was this a full installation?

    Yes, this was a full installation.  Loaded up the config.xml and we were rockin.



  • I had nearly the same experience just a few minutes ago, only it wasn't a power issue.

    I was testing failover (CARP) and the backup unit wouldn't pick up the IPSEC tunnels.  I brought the main unit back up, rebooted the secondary unit and it started asking for the password.

    The secondary unit is definitely FUBAR.  Maybe it's just old and tired and wants a dirtnap?


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