PLEASE HELP!!! I'm about to go bald from this crap.
This is the second time this same exact thing has happened to me and it is outrageously frustrating...
As the story goes: I'm making a bunch of different configuration changes to my Firewall (NAT/Rules) trying to get the right configuration setup to allow for a sort-of complex rule-set when all of a sudden traffic stops flowing out of pfSense. I can't see a reason why.
I enable logging for the default "allow LAN to any rule" so I can see what's going in and out of the firewall and if it's blocking anything.
At first it shows states in the state table. And it shows that the firewall is NOT blocking and allowing me to connect to 18.104.22.168 for dns queries... but nothing else.
Eventually as I go about doing all of the below, states no longer show any longer. NONE. Not even me connecting into the firewall itself. The entire States tab is empty. Same for the firewall tab. It won't even show me successfully connecting to 22.214.171.124.
SOOooo I make a back up of my config (just in case I need to do anything drastic).
I plug directly into my WAN devices and get a nice internet connection.
I reboot pfSense... that does nothing.
I reset the states... that does nothing.
I reload my config... that does nothing.
I power cycle all WAN devices attached to pfSense... that does nothing.
I go about disabling all of my changes... that does nothing.
I disable all installed packages... that does nothing.
Then I start with the drastic...
I remove all installed packages... that does nothing.
I DELETE all of my changes... that does nothing.
I reset pfSense to factory defaults and reset just the basic connections (IP for the LAN and WAN along with the gateway for the WAN to be associated with)... that does nothing.
I'm able to get into the pfSense perfectly find through the web configurator. I'm able to SSH in. I'm able to see the shell through VGA and everything seems to respond good.
The ONLY other weirdness is that after ALL of this and I'm setting every back up again when I change the IP addresses for the interfaces through the VGA console it stops for what seems like an eternity on "Please wait while the changes are saved to WAN... Reloading filter..." Keyboard input shows up on the screen, BUT the system doesn't do anything other than display what I'm typing. so I hit the power button on the front of the server and it'll show pfSense go through the shutdown process, and I'll boot it back up and it'll show my changed IP address (which I can browse to).
It's done this EXACTLY the same twice now.
The only thing I can do to get the system working again is to reinstall pfSense from the CD onto the hard drive and completely override all the files.
Any idea on where to start on this? Why this might be happening? How I can prevent it?
I haven't even had the chance to really use pfSense yet. First time it happened was after I had it up and running and was using it for about 3 days. And one night after work hours I was finishing up some configuration on it, it did this to me and I had to completely switch back to my old equipment. This time it happened while still in the testing stage before I even had a chance to put it back as my primary firewall. I'm getting a bit burned out on this monster of a project. It's just plain frustrating.
I am ussing an brand new SSD in the server. Do you think that could be causing the problem? It's corrupting States table or some other file and causing it to be unreadable/writable? And even though I'm telling pfSense to reset to factory default it's not necessarily re-creating said corrupted table or file?