Same hardware (CD+stick) new probs with 2.0.1 at boot time



  • Hi! We updated several 386 boxes from 1.2.3 to 2.0.1 (Live-CD + USB-stick for config) and had the same problem on all:

    every first or second reboot the system did find the config.xml (so tells the bootup log, as far as I can read it so fast), but then stops, defaulting to install setup and asking for NIC assigment. Very strange.

    I checked the config.xml on the stick, looked perfect, but discovered the rrd-files. Seemd to me that I had to delete them before rebooting, but that might be a wrong hint. I stopped experimenting because we had very little downtime allowed then.

    The CD is okay (burnt freshly, no read errors besides the obviously usual BIG MEDIUM errors), the stick was okay, we recplaced it anyway just in case, so there was hardware issues in my eyes.
    Any ideas what could cause these problems?



  • pfSense asking for NIC assignment on startup is generally a sign that the set of NICs found doesn't match the set of NICs configured. I have seen this very occasionally with a PCI NIC that wasn't properly seated and rather more frequently on a USB NIC that sometimes didn't seem to initialise quickly enough on startup to be recognised.

    What NICs do you have?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes I would guess at USB not initialising fast enough:
    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting#Booting_from_USB

    I'm not sure how you would add that to the CD though.  :-
    Is there some reason you're not booting from USB instead?

    Steve



  • @wallabybob:

    pfSense asking for NIC assignment on startup is generally a sign that the set of NICs found doesn't match the set of NICs configured. I have seen this very occasionally with a PCI NIC that wasn't properly seated and rather more frequently on a USB NIC that sometimes didn't seem to initialise quickly enough on startup to be recognised.

    What NICs do you have?

    It is one onboard (Intel something) discovered as fxp0 and two RTL 139x (sorry, can not determine exactly right now), discovered as rl0 / rl1 correctly.

    The point is, that nothing changed regarding the hardware! Live CD 1.2.3 recognized everything OK, replacing with the 2.0.1 live CD fails. So I don't think, it is the hardware… Maybe it is the USB delay at boot time our following contributor mentions...



  • @stephenw10:

    Yes I would guess at USB not initialising fast enough:
    http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Boot_Troubleshooting#Booting_from_USB

    Yes, maybe you are right. What is confusing me is the fact, that there ARE debug lines telling me that the system DID discover the config.xml on the stick alright, but then starts with asking after NIC assignment, anyway…. How could that be? But to be honest I have to check this again tonight, cannot reboot now and not 100% sure..

    @stephenw10:

    I'm not sure how you would add that to the CD though.  :-
    Is there some reason you're not booting from USB instead?

    Not really. Just unsure how to do that - as far as I know I should pick the "embedded" way if working on a usb stick, right? It worked perfectly before with the actual live CD and saving the config on a stick. So if I HAVE to, I would dare the change, but do I really?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Sorry I read that as 'did not find the config.xml'.  :-[

    I have personally experienced any number of CD/DVD drives that have just stopped working, mostly because of dust getting sucked through them by the system fan. I would have far more confidence in a system booting from a USB stick with no moving parts than a CD.
    Yes you have to use embedded, either choose the embedded kernel or use one of the NanoBSD images, but it's well documented. The only problem is the risk of someone removing/knocking out the usb stick but you are already running that risk.

    Steve



  • @Steve: Okay, I will give the USB a try, but actually I don't understand the problem is coming up on the same (well functioning ) hardware as the 1.2.3 version. The point of CD getting dusty is a good one, that makes every reboot after a long long time (and usually it indeed takes a long time because it runs so stable ;-) ) a risk.

    I'll post news to this topic when I was able to check the usb way out!Thanks for your support!



  • So far so good - tokk the nanobsd+vga 1GB image, placed it on an old CompactFlash and inserted it via an old CF2IDE-adapter into the router box - fine!

    Ordered 16 CF-cards and adapters for the several running and backup boxes to switch them all to this, and will report the exact brand and type if it works. Just in case somebody else faces those problems.

    By the way: the messages when booting from CD was this:

    acd0: FAILURE - READ_BIG ILLEGAL REQUEST …
    ...several times.
    Trying to mount root com cdXXX:...
    Configuring crash dumps..

    So the boot process proceeded, and I didn't care because I supposed the read error was recovered.

    (this post and several others told me not to care: http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=24805.0 )

    Tried 4 or 5 old CD-ROM drives, all the same. Those where not running in router boxes, but apparently aged while laying on the shelf...


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