PfSense Boot/Reboot "Crash" Weird display on VGA output



  • Hi everyone,

    Currently noticing that anytime any of the following actions triggers a boot of my PfSense box, I end up with a hang on boot and the attached image shows on the VGA port with nothing functioning on the box. Only after I physically press the reset button on the tower does the machine boot up properly (and without any issue whatsoever).

    Actions triggering problem:

    • ssh main menu reboot option

    • cli main menu reboot option

    • web gui reboot

    • physical power button to shutdown, then regular boot

    • power outage

    I have not seen any crash log info pop up after the machine was rebooted and I'm unsure which other logs I can check for something like that, though from my (VERY LIMITED) experience it doesn't seem like a typical crash.

    Everything else with this machine seems to be working perfectly with no issues whatsoever.

    Hardware information:

    • AMD Athlon™ 5150 APU with Radeon(tm) R3

    • 4 CPUs: 1 package(s) x 4 core(s)

    • Model Visionary AM3100

    • Graphics AMD HD 8400

    • Standard Memory 4 GB

    • Hard Drive Capacity 500GB

    • SSD Capacity Non SSD

    • Optical Drive DVDRW

    • Ethernet Gigabit LAN

    • StarTech Gigabit Nettwork Adapter PCI Express x4, 4 x RJ-45 (ST1000SPEX4)

    I'm hoping there is something obvious i'm missing or a setting somewhere that's triggering this, otherwise (obviously) it's worrisome that a manual reset is required anytime i need to reboot the machine or power goes out.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Leo



  • If you initiate a reboot from the gui or console and watch the screen, when does the screen go crazy? If you can see everything shut down properly, then it happens before you see any signs of pfSense booting, then I'd wager it's something about your BIOS. If you see pfSense start booting, then see the screen go crazy, then maybe there's something wrong with FreeBSD or a driver or something… but I'm betting it's the BIOS before it's FreeBSD/pfSense.



  • @virgiliomi:

    If you initiate a reboot from the gui or console and watch the screen, when does the screen go crazy? If you can see everything shut down properly, then it happens before you see any signs of pfSense booting, then I'd wager it's something about your BIOS. If you see pfSense start booting, then see the screen go crazy, then maybe there's something wrong with FreeBSD or a driver or something… but I'm betting it's the BIOS before it's FreeBSD/pfSense.

    I just double-checked, but it definitely happens after the bootloader (F1,F6 PXE, etc). It does its spinny |/ sequence after " Loading /boot/defaults/loader.conf " then Hard Drive activity for a while and finally the screen displays what I took a photo of in my original post. It seems to be about the amount time the usual menu would appear, or a regular boot, would take.

    This happens whether a monitor is plugged into the VGA port or not (have tested both ways).

    I tried setting 'console="comconsole"' in the loader.conf in case there was something weird happening there, but to no avail.



  • Having tried adjusting some settings I thought I had found the issue, however another clue first of all:

    • Carefully watching the boot process - it happens immediately after I see the message for "start DHCP relay" from /etc/rc.bootup

    I tried commenting out the following statements from /etc/rc.bootup which seemed to help:

    • #services_dhcrelay_configure();

    • #services_dhcrelay6_configure();

    • #send_event("service reload dyndnsall");

    Unfortunately in my haste I had also modified some BIOS options which looked to be the real solution, or so I thought.

    Hadn't had any issues since then, until today when all my interfaces went down overnight and I rebooted. The issue didn't appear on reboot, but during investigation and exploring the system logs the machine rebooted "on its own" and the screen came up again.

    First off here are relevant BIOS settings I remember I changed:

    • Windows 8 Features -> Other OS

    • Boot Mode Selection -> Legacy

    • Storage Boot Option Control -> Legacy

    • Other PCI Device ROM Priority -> Legacy

    • Network Stack -> Disabled

    I'm still at a loss, and realize my issues with not tracking changes I've made.

    I've since uncommented the three lines in the /etc/rc.bootup file and it has not caused any changes with respect to the VGA issue. Choosing reboot from the menu does not cause the issue, and was going to post here with happy results - except for it popping up today.

    Either way - I will update any time I come across new info.

    Edit: attached pics of BIOS settings in case there's anything there that I don't know to look for or may help.












  • Nothing obvious to suggest at this point.

    Here's a WAG - check your power supply, years ago I had a system that would go bizarre for no good reasons.
    For whatever reason I looked at the power supply and realized it had been set for 220V.  Changed it back to 110 and life was good….

    Worth a look or perhaps even swap out the PS to be sure......



  • usually when you see scrambled video display and have lockups, you should test the "memory". use something like  memtest86+ or some other memory test, your UEFI boot menu may even have something.



  • Yep, memory test is another good suggestion.

    Along those lines, you might look in the GFX section of the BIOS, see if you can decrease the shared memory usage (for Video) down to as little as possible.

    pfSense is a text only console, it doesn't need large amounts of memory for graphics.


Log in to reply