• I have a pfSense box used as a route/firewall, with no problems until now.

    It stopped working once, but the reaason was thought to be a cat sleeping on the keyboard or a faulty memory stick. The stick was replaced with a new one, and a newer version of pfsense was installed (2.0.2-RELEASE-4G-amd64-nanobsd_vga). I managed to extract the config xml file from the stick, and only copied over the nat/firewall rules, and completely re-setup the system otherwise.

    Now the same system stopped working again. I can randomly manage to get it to answer ping from the lan. Sometimes it takes a really long time for it to start answering, sometimes only first few packages are lost. If I log into the local console, and ping a host on the lan from there, I get the same random behaviour, but with:
    ping: sendto: Operation not permitted, when a package fails to get sent/arrive properly.

    We thought it could be a faulty NIC. The system had 3 PCI cards, and used the integrated port on the motherboard. We first took out two of the cards, with same results. Then we took out the one card and disabled the integrated port, and put the two original cards back. With both setups giving the same results. So it is not a single card that gives the problem. After it was thought to be a other hardware problem, we moved the stick and the NICs to a second system, which gave the same errors. Just to be sure we rewrote the memory stick.

    So the problem is unlikely to be:

    • NIC problem
    • MB/CPU/RAM problem
    • corrupted stick problem

    It could be that:

    • a broken usb port broke both sticks
    • the image is corrupted

    I will have to try redownloading the image and writing it to some other stick.
    Meanwhile I would like to know if anyone else has experienced anything similar, or would have some ideas on what could be wrong.

  • These sorts of problems can be really difficult to solve. It could be fault with the power supply, perhaps dropping voltage when it heats up.