X550e/x750e COM1 error

  • Hi All

    Newly signed up to the forum but have been doing a lot of reading on pfsense. from what i have read and seen, pfsense is fully compatible with Firebox x550e and the x750e (same models with a few hardware changes and bigger price tags).

    I have been trying and with no luck to install pfsense. the first issue was that the box arrived with no CF card. so i bought one! 128mb and a 4GB. So i popped the freedos OS onto the CF card so that i could enable BIOS output through serial. I got the three beeps but no output via serial.

    I read that i needed to either solder on the VGA connector from this link http://www.sechsender.com/bilder/forum/WG_pfsense_guide.pdf but though "PCI-E x1 Quadro cards are dirt cheap on ebay so i bought one for about £10!"

    Jammed in the card and BOSH!!!! i get output to my monitor. Now the issue that i am facing is that FreeBSD is posting and error after the three beeps. please see image shack links below.

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Now i can go out and buy a PS2 keyboard (i had one lying around a while ago but getting married, having a kid  i've had to throw a few things out. so before i make any further investments what do you guys recommend i do?

    Is this fixable? anyone got any ideas?

  • Netgate Administrator

    I'm sure it's fixable.  :)
    That document has some errors and some true but misleading information. It's still probably the best single information source though, must start wiki page!  ::)

    Unless your box actually has a dead serial port you should be able to use that.
    The response you are seeing (though I've never actually seen it since I've never had to use a PCI-e graphics card) is what I would expect when FreeDOS attempts to switch to the serial console and fails.
    The FreeDOS serial console support is not as clever as, say, FreeBSD so you have to treat it nicely.  ;)
    You have to have a serial terminal open and connected to it (at 9600 8N1) when FreeDOS switches console otherwise is freaks out as you see above.
    What OS and serial terminal software are you using? I have never had a problem with putty under either XP or Ubuntu.
    Have you verified the null modem cable?


  • Hi Steve

    Thanks for the reply. Im currently using windows 7 with a USB to serial adapter. unfortunately that's the best that i can do none of the pc's at home actually have a com port and taking the firewall to work and back is too much of a logistic mess.

    i have however got a hold of PS2 keyboard so i'll try to solder on the PS2 connector and try from there. ill keep yo posted

  • Netgate Administrator

    I've not tried that on the core-e box myself however soldering to those PCBs is a pain though. Good luck!  ;)

    You could try booting your box at home from a live Linux CD. I don't know why it shouldn't work under Windows 7 but several people have reported problems.


  • this may take longer than expected. i think i messed up the soldering and killed the keyboard!. just so that i can be 100% sure can someone reonfirm the pin out for me please? i really dont want to have kill another keyboard