Installer works, but neither live environment nor installed OS will boot.

  • I've had quite a time trying to get this working over the last 72 hours.

    I'm trying to install pfSense on a Fit PC 2i and I can't get it to even boot the live environment.

    FreeBSD boots fine. I get to FreeBSD boot menu and it continues to boot normally. Then I get to the install menu. If I hit "I" to install, the system installs seemingly fine reporting no issues. If I press "C" to boot into the live environment I get to the "Welcome to pfSense" stage then there's a crash dump and a reboot. The same happens if I try to boot the newly installed OS from the HDD. Using the mfsbsd Live ISO boots fine. This machine has spent many hours on-end compiling kernels and packages when it was running Gentoo. Memtest86 reports no issues. Trying to boot the live environment with literally everything possible (including the HDD and keyboard) except the monitor unplugged produces the same results. It's an endless boot loop. It seems pfSense specific since it gets through the BSD boot process and another BSD live environment boots fine as well as Gentoo, Ubuntu, Windows, etc. all running fine on it.

    Things I've tried:

    • Disabling literally every changeable BIOS setting available.

    • Disabling AHCI before boot.

    • Everything else on the wiki page about boot problems.

    • Multiple HDDs.

    • No HDDs (just the live stick with no HDD installed).

    • Multiple flash drives.

    • Multiple downloads of multiple different versions of pfSense (from pre-2.0 to the 2.3 alpha snapshot).

    • Safe mode.

    • Mounting the drive to find the crash dump (there is none).

    • Embedded.

    Every time it's the same results. I get through the two menus just fine. I see "Welcome to pfSense…" immediately followed by "savecore: reboot after panic: double fault"

    What's the next step I should take? I've exhausted pages of links via Google with no change.

    This PDF has a full diagram of internals if it's helpful:

    Mine has the Z550 CPU and 2GB of RAM. The web sites lists it as having a Qcom LR802UKN2 wlan adapter but lsusb reports it as a Ralink RT2870/RT3070 under Linux.


  • For posterity:

    The problem ended up being the wireless card.

    The Fit-PC2i has a Ralink wireless card taped to the motherboard where a PCI-E card would normally go, but it's connected to a small USB header. To even see it you have to completely disassemble the machine.

    After getting underneath the motherboard I disconnected the USB wifi card and installed an Atheros card in the PCI-E slot. It booted up fine.

    It's it's any help for debugging for devs, it was the RT2870  ver. 0.33 driver causing the crash. The wireless card was working fine in the current Gentoo installer kernel and current kernel.

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