So I think we've got it sorted, but it took all of these steps, (it was an iterative process, took all freakin' day!):
- apply latest firmware (I used the v10.0.0 firmware DVD image)
- disable everything "fancy" CPU-wise in the BIOS, including all VT, hyper-threading, Turbo mode etc etc
- disable all power controls, (or force them high), including Intel's bus power mgmt
- disable all the serial ports (including the virtal ones for iLO, remote console etc)
- disable all the USB ports (Interestingly, I did find reference to an onboard SD card slot under the USB settings. And thank goodness HP still ships servers with PS/2 ports!)
Now you can at least boot pfSense
...do Installation mode, and a Quick install (but wait until the countdown has gotten to 3, or even 2)...
...let it reboot, go through the NIC config, watch it hang right after at the WAN config - doh!
Do a hard reset and boot to single user, shell, whatever, and add these lines:
...to /boot/loader.conf.local, as per this article, (note that I misread the article and added them directly to /boot/loader.conf with no ill effects, but in case you make the same mistake see wallabybob's note below):http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Tuning_and_Troubleshooting_Network_Cards
(Also should do the UDP stuff in the tunables, esp. if running TinyDNS which is UDP-only).
Also edit /conf/config.xml and add promiscuity settings for any internal interfaces, (LAN, CARP etc):
<shellcmd>ifconfig bce0 promisc</shellcmd>
...above the </system> line as per this thread:http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg21826.html
Reboot again and you'll probably be okay.
However, the promiscuity lines in the config.xml do get lost on a semi-random basis depending on what you're doing in the GUI, (e.g. changing DNS servers will do it).
These might not all be necessary, I just worked my way through problems as I came to them, then tried to shorten the process a wee bit here. (Could probably be shortened a lot by doing some config editing ahead of time in the ISO.) It's possible some steps are unnecessary, and it's possible I may not be done yet. (I'll edit this post if I come across anything terribly significant).
Note that these are all freeBSD issues, not
Hopefully this will be a functional starting point for some other
dedicated sysadmin trying to get things going on HP hardware, (though I culled quite a bit of this from Dell threads as well, so YMMV, IANAL, etc).
If anyone has any additional pointers/tips/simplifications, please reply with details...