Help Installing pfSense 2.0.1 on a Sata 3 SSD



  • Hello everyone. I did some preliminary searching and didn't find any relevant topics. I apologize if this has already been posted somewhere else.

    I'm trying to install the full version of pfSense 2.0.1 on a sata 3 SSD, but the installer doesn't display my drive (I'm booting from a usb thumbdrive if that matters). The bios options should be correct as far as I know. The installer detects the SSD when I switch it to a sata 2 port and installs normally. It appears to be working on this port.

    I tried switching back to the sata 3 port after a successful install, but i get this error message during the default boot: "Trying to mount root from ufs:/dev/ad10s1a  ROOT MOUNT ERROR:". I'm a pretty big noob, so I'm not sure if this is easy to fix or if switching from sata 2 to sata 3 is impossible. It's also possible that I did something wrong during install. The fact that the installer couldn't see my SSD makes me think that something else is wrong. I haven't seen any information that states that pfSense 2.0.1 does not support sata 3. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Again, sorry for being such a noob, but I would appreciate any amount of help I can get. Thanks in advance.



  • I have found that if you boot from a usb thumb drive, it usually takes on ad0s1a. You then will install to the HDD as something like ad4s1a … this is also what it puts into /etc/fstab as well. Which, when you remove the USB drive now takes over as ad0s1a. Since the devices no longer matches, you have to manually boot /dev/ad0s1a and then change the /etc/fstab to make sure that you always boot to that device. I have seen several topics relating to this. If you can, try installing via an ISO and see if that helps, otherwise search the forums for mounting after installing from a USB memstick.



  • Luckily, my case has room for a slim optical drive, and I was considering ordering one anyways. If going the iso route will make the process relatively painless, I'll probably just do that. Thanks for pointing my in the right direction.



  • If you have an extra one, just crack the case and hook it up directly, just for the install. Then remove it. It will not bee needed except in the event you have to reload, which is unlikely.



  • That's a great idea. I'll dig around and see if I can find my old optical drive.

    Is the sata 3 detection just a usb issue? Will I still have to install while plugged into a sata 2 port and then switch, and will this cause similar problems with device mismatching?



  • @megatronprime:

    I'm trying to install the full version of pfSense 2.0.1 on a sata 3 SSD, but the installer doesn't display my drive (I'm booting from a usb thumbdrive if that matters).

    Maybe the (old) version of FreeBSD used in pfSense 2.0.1 doesn't recognise your SATA 3 controller as a SATA controller or has trouble initialising it. You could try a snapshot build of pfSense 2.1 which is based on the much more recent FreeBSD 8.3.

    What are you running with pfSense that you think SATA-3 will do more for you than SATA-2 above (maybe) shaving a few miliseconds off your boot time?



  • @wallabybob:

    What are you running with pfSense that you think SATA-3 will do more for you than SATA-2 above (maybe) shaving a few miliseconds off your boot time?

    It's really just a matter of principle at this point. I have a sata 3 drive and a sata 3 port. Maybe I'm just stubborn.  ;D


  • Netgate Administrator

    When you move the boot drive to a different sata connector (of any type) pfSense will fail to boot because it's trying to mount root from the previous location.
    At the mountroot> prompt type '?' to list what drives it sees. If it is able to access your sata3 controller it will probably appear as adXXs1a. Enter 'ufs:/dev/adXXs1a' at the mountroot> prompt to boot and then edit the fstab to correct the error.

    Steve



  • That's the kind of information that I wanted to hear stephen. I'll give it a try when I get home from work tonight and post my results.


  • Rebel Alliance

    Are you sure that the "SATA 3" controller / chipset on the MB is supported on FreeBSD 8.1 ?



  • I have an Intel DBS1200KP Mini ITX Server Motherboard with the Intel c206 chipset. I've looked at the FreeBSD 8.1 release hardware notes and a couple of FreeBSD forum posts and cannot find any information confirming or denying the chipset's compatibility.



  • pfSense could not detect my SSD when I typed '?' at the mountroot>. I followed wallaybob's advice and put the latest snapshot on my flash drive. It detected my SSD automagically, and everything looks good so far. Thanks for all of the help.


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