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Author Topic: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client  (Read 10526 times)

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Offline EddieA

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NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« on: February 19, 2010, 03:45:10 pm »
I have an HP T5720 Thin Client, that I'm trying to install pfSense on, but I cant get it to boot.

The HP boots the embedded WinXPe off the flash drive without problems.  It will also boot from a USB key, where I have booted the HP DOS based utilities, Linux, and the memstick version of FreeBSD 8.0.

When I try and boot pfSense, first I get the usual "Verifying DMI Pool Data" message.  Then about a minute later, I get the following, "BTX loader 1.00  BTX version is 1.02", with the cursor in first position in the line above the message.  And that's all I get.  From reading the forums, I know the nano version uses the serial console, but I believe I should get more information on the screen before the serial console kicks in.  I also tried putting the nano version on a USB stick, but that still has exactly the same problems.

I tried the suggestion in the NanoBSD on WRAP article, but that didn't make any difference.

Next, I booted, from USB, the memstick version of FreeBSD 8.0.  Here the "BTX loader ..." line appears in about 2 or 3 seconds.  Once that was booted, I tried the suggestion from Can't boot on a FabiaTech and ran the "boot0cfg" command.

On re-booting, I get the familiar F1, F2, F6 boot choices followed by the "BTX loader ..." message, which now appears after about 12 seconds, instead of over a minute, but it still hangs at this point.

Now, because I CAN boot the FreeBSD image, from USB, would the following possibly work:

Copy the boot, boot0, boot0sio, boot1, and boot2 files, from FreeBSD to the pfSense, on the flash drive.  Then run boot0cfg and bsdlabel to activate the new boot code, also on the flash drive.

If so, can someone give me the exact options, that the pfSense image uses when it generates the boot code.  I'm guessing it would be, but would like confirmation:

boot0cfg -B -b /boot/boot0sio -d <flash drive> -m 3
bsdlabel -B <Slice 1>  (The default file being /boot/boot)

Cheers.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 06:26:19 pm by EddieA »

Offline jimp

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 07:17:20 pm »
Until you hook up a serial console via null modem cable, no test you do will be accurate.

If you want to know how the images are generated, check out the tools repo via git and look at the builder scripts. Everything you'd ever want to know is in there.

https://rcs.pfsense.org/projects/pfsense-tools
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Offline Mookatroid

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 02:39:50 pm »
Have you tried to install pfSense directly onto the flash module from the CD ?

This could all depend on the size of your flash module of course ...

Offline EddieA

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 05:13:01 pm »
Have you tried to install pfSense directly onto the flash module from the CD ?

Not yet.  I don't have a USB CD/DVD drive around and I haven't found a method, yet, that enables me to load an ISO image on a USB key, and boot from it.  If you have any suggestions, I'd be willing to try.

The HP I have is 512M Flash/512M memory.  I have found replacement Flash modules for 1G, 4G, and 8G if required.

I hope to have a null modem cable in a couple of days, so will try that, but I'm not convinced, yet, it will show anything different.

Cheers.

Offline jimp

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2010, 05:16:17 pm »
[...]I haven't found a method, yet, that enables me to load an ISO image on a USB key, and boot from it.  If you have any suggestions, I'd be willing to try.

Try this:
https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/
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Offline EddieA

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2010, 09:08:04 pm »
Try this:
https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/

Nope, that failed during the create.  Googling the error, it is because there isn't a directory called isolinux on the ISO image I'm trying to use.  It looks like this program is similar to the other half-a-dozen I've looked at, or tried.  They don't actually boot the ISO image, they extract it to a FAT(32) formatted USB, and then install something, usually syslinux, to initate the boot process, using the files extracted from the ISO.

But, in the meantime, I used another machine, with the Live CD, and directed the install to a USB stick.  I then booted that USB stick, on the HP, and it seems to work fine.  So, I do know the box will boot, at least from the USB, pfSense, and run it.

I'd just like to be able to install the nano version.

***Update***

I managed to "hack" a grub based package, to boot the pfSense ISO, which initially seemed to work, but then stopped with:  "Trying to mount root from cd9660:/dev/iso9660/pfSense".  So, I guess from this, that it isn't possible to boot from anything, other that a true CD/DVD, because that's the only way that mount would ever work.

BTW.  I also tried writing the ISO image directly to the USB, using physdiskwrite, but doing that, the USB isn't recognised as being bootable.

Ah well, back to the drawing board.  Either that, or wait form my null modem cable, and/or beg, steal, or borrow, a USB CD/DVD drive.

***End Update***

Cheers.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 10:21:34 pm by EddieA »

Offline Mookatroid

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2010, 10:42:20 pm »
I use unetbootin to "burn" ISOs to USB sticks ...

http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

I have used this app to facilitate Debian install from USB on my diskless Dell Mini 9
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 10:46:17 pm by Mookatroid »

Offline EddieA

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 12:29:20 am »
Already tried that one:  "Invalid or corrupt kernel image".  Because all of these loaders are expecting "standard" Linux images, or at least that's my guess, not FreeBSD.

Cheers.

Offline Mookatroid

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2010, 10:15:09 am »
What about creating a bootable FreeBSD USB stick via unetbootin and then extract the contents of the ISO into it, overwriting as necessary ?

Offline EddieA

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2010, 11:35:56 am »
What about creating a bootable FreeBSD USB stick via unetbootin and then extract the contents of the ISO into it, overwriting as necessary ?

Creating the FreeBSD via unetbootin doesn't have any files from a "regular" FreeBSD.  It downloads a single file image, so it's very different from an ISO image.  Replacing that file, with the pfSense ISO starts to boot, but fails.

OK, let's get back on track now.

I hope to have a null modem cable in a couple of days, so will try that, but I'm not convinced, yet, it will show anything different.

OK, where's the very red faced smiley, 'cause I need it.

Connecting up the null modem cable has let me get this working.

The first issue, to do with the time taken for the "BTX loader ..." line to appear is conditional on if a serial cable being connected.  With a cable hooked up, it appears almost immediately after the 5 second delay, to choose which slice to boot.  Without the cable, it takes over a minute before that message appears.

Now, as to why I couldn't get in via the web interface previously.  I had seen the comments, about the nano version being pre-configured to use vr0 and vr1, and thought, as my NIC is identified as using the vr driver, then I'd be OK.  What I forgot, was that the second NIC doesn't use vr, so the system was waiting for me to define the interface usage.  Ooooops.   :o

So, I'm now at the point where I can use the web interface to configure the box, and start testing it.  I'll post the inevitable follow-on questions in the relevant forums.   ;D

Cheers.

Offline clarknova

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2010, 12:17:36 pm »
Just out of curiosity, are you using the PCI expansion for additional NICs? Where do you get your flash modules? I have some 5710s that might make good embedded pfsense units if I can get a bigger flash and a second NIC.

And how is your flash speed? The 5710's storage is painfully slow, although this might be a non-issue for a pfsense install, assuming a person doesn't reboot much.
db

Offline EddieA

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2010, 03:20:08 pm »
Just out of curiosity, are you using the PCI expansion for additional NICs?

Yeah, I grabbed the T5720 off eBay, and it came with the expansion module already installed, and a wireless card fitted.  I just pulled that out, and replaced it with a wired NIC.

Where do you get your flash modules? I have some 5710s that might make good embedded pfsense units if I can get a bigger flash and a second NIC.

In a different forum, it was noted that these work with the T5720:

http://www.memory.com/item.asp?item=TS1GDOM44H-S#
http://www.memory.com/item.asp?item=TS4GDOM44H-S#
http://www.memory.com/item.asp?item=TS8GDOM44H-S#

I haven't upgraded mine, yet.  It's still running 512M Flash and 512M memory.

And how is your flash speed? The 5710's storage is painfully slow, although this might be a non-issue for a pfsense install, assuming a person doesn't reboot much.

I'm not sure how I'd measure it, but I hadn't noticed that it's that slow.  It's about 85 seconds, to go from power-on, to the pfSense menu.  You can subtract a few, because I didn't have a cable plugged in the WAN port, so it stalled there for about 10 seconds.  But, without a serial cable attached, you have to add another minute, or so.  So, in practice, you're looking at about a 2 minute start up.

As you say, once the system is booted, and running, the speed of the flash is pretty irrelevant.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 09:35:57 am by EddieA »

Offline clarknova

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2010, 03:33:50 pm »
I was hoping to catch a lead on cheaper PCI expansion. $80 on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/CPQ-T5000-PCI-EXPAN-KIT-DE961A_W0QQitemZ330313612185QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4ce839bb99), which doesn't really seem worth it.

The 5710 has only 256MB of flash, so not big enough for the nano embedded without an upgrade. Thanks for the links.
db

Offline EddieA

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Re: NanoBSD Version won't boot on HP Thin Client
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2010, 03:52:52 pm »
I was hoping to catch a lead on cheaper PCI expansion. $80 on ebay

Sorry, can't help there.  Although, when I was looking, by trying different search terms, I did find others selling the expansion, and I seem to remember one Canadian, I think, seller had a bunch, at around $25 each, although right now I can't find it again.  Here's a cheaper one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/PCI-Expansion-Module-Hp-Compaq-t5720-Thin-Client_W0QQitemZ330390809465QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4cecd3ab79

That's exactly why I waited for a box that came with one already installed.  I paid less than $80 for the complete setup.

Cheers.