Successful install Pfsense 2.1 onto Multitech Routefinder RF660VPN

  • After some research and trial & error.  Got v2.1 running on the RF660VPN.  Was able to pick this up on ebay for 99cent, with free shipping.  No joke.

    Hardware is Intel Platform with the following;
    Celeron 850mhz (believe can be upgraded to P3 1.2Ghz Mobile)
    256MB PC133 RAM (upgradable to 512MB)
    20GB 2.5" hard drive (with Multitech Linux OS)
    i810 chipset
    3x fxp (Intel) NICs
    unknown intergrated modem (will research later)
    2x usb 1.0 or 1.1 (believe it to be later)
    1 com port
    1 floppy interface
    ps2 keyboard and mouse port embedded onto the motherboard
    Compact flash drive on motherboard
    2.5" ide hard drive connector

    Note:  Noticed that all the Capacitors on the motherboard are military/industrial specs.  Very NICE ;D

    I used a 1Gig STEC SPXCF-1GN1UI Compact Flash with pfSense-2.1-RELEASE-1g-i386-nanobsd_vga.img.gz.

    In the BIOS, I disabled the Floppy interface, enabled ACPI, detected the compact flash as "CHS, PIO 4, 1025MB" as HDD 0.  Started up it, looked good, got to the menu screen, I let the timer go, went thru detecting the hardware, lastly found the usb keyboard, then this "reading failure - read_dma timed out …...

    Went back to the BIOS and disabled UDMA and manually set the hard drive parameters, set hard drive setting to "auto" and turned off the ACPI but still the failure/error shows up.  Several more adjustments and still the same.

    Little more research and found several threads and finally did this.  In the BIOS set the hard drive setting to "auto" for both PIO and UDMA and did steps below.

    1 - Boot into Single user mode - #7 on the menu screen.
    2 - type set hw.ata.ata_dma=0
    3 - type boot
    4 - set your vlans/interfaces as needed
    5 - go into shell #8 on the menu
    6 - type /etc/rc.conf_mount_rw
    7 - type echo "ahci_load=YES" >> /boot/loader.conf.local
                echo "hw.ata.ata_dma=0" >> /boot/loader.conf.local
                echo "hw.ata.wc=0" >> /boot/loader.conf.local
    8 - type /etc/rc.conf_mount_ro
    9 -  exit
    10 - reboot

    From the threads, I would not lose the config if there is an upgrade in the future, due echo statements are in the "loader.conf.local" file and not in the loader.conf file.

    With only 256MB RAM the system will let you know "you have less than 512fMB of RAM and Alternate PHP Cache (APC) is disabled.  Guess that will slow down the GUI some.  Have to look for and/or buy on ebay a stick of 512MB of PC133 CL5 1.8V Low Density 168pin RAM.

    Hope this helps some folks.

    Don't know if this platform is worthy to be part of the specialized platform sticky, but that is above my paygrade.

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