Watchguard x550e cannot get FreeDos to boot from CF



  • I have been searching for an answer on this and I haven't found one yet. I have a Firebox x550e that came with a 512MB CF card. I have seen a lot of people with stock 256MB CF cards but not much mention of the ones with 512MB cards. When I first got the box I tested it and it would load the Watchguard os.

    I bought a 256MB CF to use for flashing the BIOS, I used win32diskiamger to write the freedos2.img to the CF and it would not boot to freedos. I backed up the original 512MB to an image and flashed it with freedos2.img and it would not boot to freedos. I flashed the original Watchguard image back to the 512 CF and it will not boot… Also, there are no 3 beeps when things are loading, but a single beep, not sure if that matters.

    Any help would be great!

    Thanks in advance,
    Josh


  • Netgate Administrator

    @juke:

    I flashed the original Watchguard image back to the 512 CF and it will not boot…

    That should always work so it implies you're maybe flashing the CF card wrong. What are you doing?

    The BIOS can be really fussy about the CF cards. Some people have reported trying a number of cards (usually getting smaller each time) until they found one that works. The smaller the better, though not smaller than 16MB obviously.  ;)

    Steve



  • I have flashed the 256mb and the 512mb from windows 7 laptop using win32diskimager, using physdiskwrite and also using dd from my linux server box.

    Could it be the partitioning of the CF?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, I'd look for a smaller card then. Or at least try a different one.

    Steve


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    For good measure, also try cleaning the disk as mentioned on https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Writing_Disk_Images


  • Netgate Administrator

    I'll be interested to see if that makes any difference. I've never had to clean the card by writing zeros to it like that. Could have just been lucky though.  ;)
    When it does cause a problem the system boots and then has a problem half way through the boot process in the reports I've seen.
    Definitely worth trying though, zero cost option.

    Steve



  • I too struggled earlier this week with booting to freedos on a CF. (Prep'ing a 2nd x1250e to test 2.2 upgrade)
    The system was running with b6 FW from Steve (with mode CHS & heads=2, running 2.1.5)
    I ended up using the original WG CF card, but I had to revert to all auto settings, and do autodetect the CF in bios first! (setting to auto wasn't enough here, your issue might be similar)
    Then did a save, and it booted (3 beeps ;D) and I was able to upgrade the bios…


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Cleaning the disk can help in certain cases but generally only when reusing a card that had an existing partition (especially if said partition was smaller than the actual size of the card). If it's fresh, it may not be needed, but it's quick and easy and worth trying, so there's little to lose.