Firebox X550e First time install



  • Hi guys..

    I have been following a tutorial and picking up hints and tips from parts of the Forum on a first time install of V2.02 on the Firebox x550e

    So far, I have managed to flash the Bios to accomodate the larger CF Card. With the console cable connected and the Com port settings at 115200/n/8

    I can watch the box boot through the new BIOS. However… it doesn't seem to go any further. I have changed the drive settings manually to CHS and the heads to 2. I have the nanobsd image burnt to an 8GB CF Card.

    Is the card size the issue here? I did try the 512MB install, however during burning the image WinDisk suggested that there weren't enough sectors on the card and the only other card I had was the 8GB

    From this I have deduced the largest card I can use is 4GB. Is this true and could that be my problem?

    For a first timer it's always hard to take so many pointers in one go. So apologies in advance is this has already been covered...

    Regards

    Martin


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hi Martin,
    It may be possible that your 8GB card is somehow incompatible, but it seems unlikely. When you enter the BIOS setup and change heads to 2 what does it report the card size as? With a 2GB card it sees something less than 512MB I seem to recall.

    Unless you have changed it pfSense will boot with it's output at 9600bps. You need to switch the serial terminal speed accordingly if you haven't done that.

    Steve



  • I will check the drive size after the manual settings. I know during Auto settings it did see 8GB.

    Not wanting to sound a complete idiot…. I only downloaded the gz.img file and burnt it to the card. As I have no idea what the MD5 and SHA files are for. Do I need these? If so.. What are they for?

    Regards

    Martin


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, I see you used Windisk to write the image. Can/did Windisk handle compressed images correctly? Otherwise you need to un-gzip it manually first. Physdiskwrite can do that on the fly.

    The MD5 and SHA files are checksums of the img.gz file. You can use them to check that the file was not corrupted during the download (or for any other reason) by calculating the MD5 sum of the file and comparing it. You can use, for example, a utility like WinMD5 to do that in Windows. Unix OSes usually have some sort of MD5 tool built in.

    Steve



  • OK.. I'm now infront of the box..

    Changing the drive settings manually to CHS and Head to 2 makes the CF card show as a 1008MB drive. I then changed the com port settings in the bios and on Putty to 9600 and got the same result. The Box just sits at "Booting OS…" with nothing more on the console.

    I used 7zip to decompress the gz.img which gave me the iso. I then burnt that using Windisk to the CF Card.

    This evening ( As I'm in the UK ) I will try physdiskwrite, if I can find a version not in German! lol

    I have not worked with MD5 files before so will have a play with that too and see how far I get.

    Many thanks for your assistance so far.

    Regards

    Martin



  • OK…

    I have used the WinMD5 5 to verify the file and have a checksum of:
    1ae11cffcad65d6878e129ce5055fa62

    This is in relation to the V2.02 Release 512 NanoBSD. Is this correct?

    Regards

    Martin


  • Netgate Administrator

    If you look at the appropriate md5 file in the downloads it says:

    MD5 (pfSense-2.0.2-RELEASE-512mb-i386-nanobsd.img.gz) = 1ae11cffcad65d6878e129ce5055fa62

    So it looks like the image you've downloaded is fine.
    Perhaps it's not decompressing correctly or perhaps it's just not able to boot the 8gb card. I'm not sure if anyone has tried a card that big, I certainly haven't.  You could try setting heads to 1 to reduce the perceived card size further. I have no idea if that would work though.

    Just to reduce confusion the image after it has been decompressed is not an iso. Iso files refer specifically to CD images.

    Setting the bios serial console speed to 9600 is useful for testing because you can see the entire boot process. I wouldn't recommend it permanently because it slows  down the memory count dramatically for some reason.

    Steve


  • Netgate Administrator

    A quick search for '8gb' in the x550e thread shows only one report of success and many of failure:
    http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,20095.msg269752.html#msg269752

    Probably a card compatibility issue.  :(

    Steve



  • I have a 4GB on order…...... Will keep you posted on how I get on.....

    Once again.. thanks for your assistance

    Regards

    Martin


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