SG-4860 issues



  • My SG-4860 arrived today.  I hooked it up to my test network and all looked good.  My next task was to install a spare 130GB Intel mSata SSD.  This didn't go well.

    After installing the SSD in the 4860, the device tried to boot off it by default - which is reasonable.  The 4860 has a boot menu and according to the boot code spiel hitting F12 should enter the menu.  Nothing happened when I did that.  I connected to another system to verify that the terminal emulator was sending "<esc>[24~" for F12, which is the usual sequence for F12 on most systems.  I also tried "<esc>[X" which is used by some other systems and had the same result.  It's possible that the 4860 requires some other sequence but it isn't mentioned in the documentation.

    So my fallback plan was to install pfSense on a USB drive, boot from that drive and install pfSense on the SSD.  That didn't work either.  I copied the USB version of the 64-bit live CD to a USB drive and tried to boot it.  The 4860 correctly selected the USB drive as the boot device (as I saw in the boot spiel) but hung immediately after the message "Booting from Hard Disk…".

    My next idea is to install pfSense on the SSD from a VM, but setting that up is a pain since I don't have an easy way to put an mSata drive in a regular system.  I'm not eager to try this as I think there's a good chance that the result will be a hang, the same as booting from a USB drive.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Incidentally, all this work required a lot of reboots.  The 4860 has a reset button, but it doesn't do anything on my device.  Rebooting requires power cycling the system which is annoying because the terminal emulator complains and needs to be rerun each time.  Is the button supposed to work?  I know from the ADI docs that there was a bug in the first release of the boot ROM that prevented it working but that was supposed to be fixed in the December 2014 release.  Since the boot code on my system is dated 15 March 2015, that should not be the problem.</esc></esc>



  • @croak

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. This device comes with pre installed pfSense and 1 year premium support
    2. Register your product and open a support ticket please
    3. What is installed in the nand storage of the SG-4860?
    4. There is another customized image for the pfSense SG-series as I am informed right
    but only to the customers who bought this device at netgate or directly in the pfSense store.

    This units are to new and they are not so widely spread out now that so many peoples are
    able to help you out.



  • @ BlueKobold,

    Thanks for the suggestion.  The SG-4860 comes with two support incidents, which the pfSense marketing literature claims is worth $399.

    I purchased the pfSense box rather than the Netgate box (which is substantially less expensive) because I want to support pfSense and I'm loath to use up a support incident on a hardware issue.  I would prefer to preserve the two support incidents (which pfSense apparently values at $200 each) for any software configuration issues that turn up.

    My thought is that the two issues I described are precisely because these units only started to ship last week.  If I have to, I will use a support incident, but I thought it worth asking around as other people might have already solved the issues.



  • RCC-VE 2440 owner here. If you haven't already read through this thread, I suggest you do so.

    @croak:

    The 4860 has a boot menu and according to the boot code spiel hitting F12 should enter the menu.

    What terminal emulator and serial port settings are you using? F12 works for me, at least, and appears to be working for other users of the RCC-VE and SG units.

    @croak:

    The 4860 correctly selected the USB drive as the boot device (as I saw in the boot spiel) but hung immediately after the message "Booting from Hard Disk…".

    It didn't hang, you just can't see the output. Unfortunately, the stock memstick-serial Live CD assumes the console serial port address is 0x2e8, but it's 0x2f8 on these units. You need to either modify the stock version to use the correct address, or use the ADI version of the memstick Live CD, which can be downloaded from the FTP site. You can find more information about these options in the above-linked thread.

    @croak:

    My next idea is to install pfSense on the SSD from a VM, but setting that up is a pain since I don't have an easy way to put an mSata drive in a regular system.  I'm not eager to try this as I think there's a good chance that the result will be a hang, the same as booting from a USB drive.

    Yes, it will "hang", unless you fix the console serial port address in the installed image.

    @croak:

    The 4860 has a reset button, but it doesn't do anything on my device.  Rebooting requires power cycling the system which is annoying because the terminal emulator complains and needs to be rerun each time.

    I also had trouble with the push button. I ended up just pulling the power when I needed to reboot. There's a jumper you can short (or attach a button to) to trigger a reboot. If you want to explore that option, you'll need to find the RCC-VE developer documentation that can be found elsewhere in this forum. That being said, if your terminal emulator is set up correctly, you shouldn't have to restart it after a power cycle, it should just pick up where it left off.



  • I missed that thread.  Many thanks for the link.

    Switching to the development build of 2.2 mentioned in the thread fixed all the issues I was seeing.  Except the non-working reset button, of course, but that's not important.



  • The reset button is designed to reset the firmware to defaults, it unfortunately cannot be both a hardware reset and a software reset.  (Unlike the APU).



  • @jporter:

    The reset button is designed to reset the firmware to defaults, it unfortunately cannot be both a hardware reset and a software reset.  (Unlike the APU).

    Ahh, that makes sense. Thank you for the clarification. Just to satisfy my own morbid curiousity, when you say "reset firmware" do you mean Coreboot/SeaBIOS defaults or does it actually trigger a PXE boot to download and reinstall the original OS?



  • @jporter:

    The reset button is designed to reset the firmware to defaults, it unfortunately cannot be both a hardware reset and a software reset.  (Unlike the APU).

    I don't think that's correct.  The ADI documentation describes the reset button as a CPU hard reset - see section 2.2.1 of the BootROM Software Notes.

    EDIT: On the other hand, page 12 of the ADI platform users manual says "There is a recessed front-panel button that is normally connected to the system reset.  The board has a population option to allow this button to be connected to a CPU GPIO."

    Can you clarify whether this option is installed in the SG-4860?  If so, will there be issues where people press the button thinking they are resetting the system, and instead the firmware settings are modified?



  • @croak:

    @jporter:

    The reset button is designed to reset the firmware to defaults, it unfortunately cannot be both a hardware reset and a software reset.  (Unlike the APU).

    I don't think that's correct.  The ADI documentation describes the reset button as a CPU hard reset - see section 2.2.1 of the BootROM Software Notes.

    EDIT: On the other hand, page 12 of the ADI platform users manual says "There is a recessed front-panel button that is normally connected to the system reset.  The board has a population option to allow this button to be connected to a CPU GPIO."

    Can you clarify whether this option is installed in the SG-4860?  If so, will there be issues where people press the button thinking they are resetting the system, and instead the firmware settings are modified?

    You are quoting the ADI docs back at someone who works at the company that helped drive the spec for these boards.

    There is a built-time strap for the reset button.  It can either be "hardware reset" (pull the CPU reset line low) or it can be connected to a GPIO, enabling a "software reset".  We drove the design here, in order to make the SG-xxxx series as much like the WRAP, ALIX, APU and FW-7541 as possible.

    The procedure for using the sw reset button needs to go into the Quick Start Guide.  The GPIO pin is sampled on power-up, similar to this https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Factory_Defaults



  • @gonzopancho:

    You are quoting the ADI docs back at someone who works at the company that helped drive the spec for these boards.

    Well, in my defense, after 30+ years developing embedded hardware solutions I have found that the documentation is usually more accurate than most people's memory.

    In this case, the ADI documentation was inaccurate, and the feature in question was not mentioned in the product specific documentation so there was no way to know that.



  • After 35 years in this business, I've found that the documentation is nearly always wrong, comments in code are nearly always wrong, and people's memory is nearly always wrong.

    The ADI documentation is accurate, if you buy the device from ADI.



  • But ADI is an ODM and they doesn't sell at retail. Retail choices are an RCC-VE from Netgate or an SG-6840 from pfSense.  I considered both and (to support pfSense directly) I went with the pfSense device although the Netgate is a little less expensive.

    However, neither Netgate nor pfSense produce any detailed hardware description, as might be needed to install additional components such as an SSD or wireless board.  Users have to rely on the ADI documentation plus additional product specific documentation from the OEM or retail vendor.  The latter should describe all product differences from the former, but doesn't in this case.

    I was trying to install an SSD in the SG6840, which should be an utterly trivial task, but it doesn't seem to be possible with the current pfSense release.  It was only possible with the development version that you linked to in another forum thread.  And very many thanks for that link :)

    Frankly, if one of my product managers had permitted First Customer Ship of hardware with incomplete documentation or without the availability of fully tested software needed by customers then he (and I) would have some explaining to do.  The sales folks who interface with customers would want our heads prominently displayed on poles at the building entrance as a warning.  I'm only half joking, they probably would be pleased with that remedy.


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