Can't boot from USB drive (Mac)

Discussion in 'New to FreeNAS?' started by Stalkr, Apr 16, 2012.

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    Stalkr

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    Stalkr, Apr 16, 2012

    Hello FreeNAS,

    I got an old Mac mini I don't really use anymore, and wanted to turn it into a NAS.
    I did some searching and found FreeNAS, wanted to give it a shot.

    I downloaded the ISO image, burned it to CD and I booted from the CD.
    4 options were available and I chose "Install to hard drive/usb" and installed it into a 2GB SanDisk Cruzer USB.
    It deleted the content, made 4 partitions and it everything were installed perfectly.

    As I understand, this is now a UFS drive? From what I gathered, Mac doesn't boot from UFS drives,
    so I am a little bit lost here. How do I get to run FreeNAS from my USB stick on a Mac?

    When I just insert the USB while I'm booted into Mac OS X, I get this little box
    Here is a screenshot with the USB and it's 4 partitions.

    Thanks for reading, hope this is an easy problem to solve :)
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    ben FreeNAS Marketing Team

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    ben, Apr 16, 2012

    I think you need to install a suitable bootloader. rEFIt is commonly used on mac (I was never able to get my mac to boot FreeBSD unfortunately). Confidence level in this response: 6/10, seek further comment.
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    Stalkr

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    Stalkr, Apr 16, 2012

    Think I previously tried rEFIt, but with no luck. The problem is I don't have Mac installed on the computer, and can't install it using the Recovery partition (I have no idea why, it just stops mid-install).
    I'll give rEFIt another try if I can install Mac. Thanks for the help though, hope someone knows the answer to this, as I really want to try it. :)
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    Brand Moderator

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    Brand, Apr 16, 2012

    PowerPC or Intel?
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    Stalkr

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    James FreeNAS Core Team

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    James, Apr 17, 2012

    Changes were made to FreeBSD to allow for a Mac boot (e.g. PC-BSD uses this), but IIRC they were for 9.0 (FreeNAS is currently based on 8.2).
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    Stalkr

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    Stalkr, Apr 17, 2012

    So USB install is not possible for me then?
    I tried to install it on the main HDD, even though it's a waste of 120GB of storage. Got a BOOT MOUNT ERROR or the like.
    Someone mentioned the drive were corrupt and it helped to FIRST install Ubuntu and then FreeNAS after, so that's what I am trying now.
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    jdryyz

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    jdryyz, Apr 26, 2014

    I have the same problem as the OP, except in my case, I want to run FreeNAS on a 2006 Mac mini. I can boot from the iso (FreeBSD 9.2.1.5 at the time of this writing) and install the system on my 4GB USB stick just fine, but cannot boot from it. The same USB stick will boot from my circa 2007 Windows PC and my 2012 Mac mini, but will not boot from my 2010, 2009 or 2006 model minis. What is unique about the 2012 model's firmware that will allow it to recognize this drive and boot from it?
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    cyberjock Forum Guard Dog/Admin

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    cyberjock, Apr 26, 2014

    Does your Mac meet the hardware requirements? aka 8GB of RAM, 64-bit CPU, etc? If not you won't have a reliable server...
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    jdryyz

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    jdryyz, Apr 26, 2014

    Since the 2006 mini can run Snow Leopard in 64-bit mode, I know the latter is true, but no I do not meet the minimum RAM requirements. Is this only true of the latest FreeNAS? I seem to recall the RAM requirements being fairly low. A good CPU was a priority though.
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    cyberjock Forum Guard Dog/Admin

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    cyberjock, Apr 26, 2014

    The old FreeNAS project had lower requirements(2GB minimum I think), but it's been renamed to NAS4Free. If you don't have 8GB of RAM you might want to look at NAS4Free.
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    jdryyz

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    jdryyz, Apr 26, 2014

    Thanks for the tip. I looked at the FreeNAS hardware recommendations and I see where the 64-bit version with 8GB RAM is preferred if you plan on using ZFS. Since I am only in the testing stage to see if this will be a practical solution to my media sharing needs, performance is not an issue right now. I will check out NAS4free, though.
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    cyberjock Forum Guard Dog/Admin

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    cyberjock, Apr 26, 2014

    Yeah.. the 8GB isn't for performance.. its for stability. If you don't have enough you might lose your pool without warning.
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    jdryyz

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    jdryyz, Apr 26, 2014

    Understood. The 2006 mini has 4GB (3.3GB accessible) and I'm testing the 32bit OS with UFS only. I think this setup is adequate for the task.

    Getting back to my original question-- anyone know why the 2012 mini can boot the FreeNAS USB drive but a previous mini model cannot? They all have EFI firmware since going Intel, I believe but something sets apart the 2012 model from the rest.

    The NAS4Free USB works the same, by the way. Not surprising since they're similar.
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    cyberjock Forum Guard Dog/Admin

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    cyberjock, Apr 26, 2014

    Well, 32-bit FreeNAS is done. There will be no more 32-bit releases. Oh, and UFS support is already pulled from the master branch code, so you won't see another version of FreeNAS with UFS. So literally, you will be using a version of FreeNAS that is sure to have more and more vulnerabilities as time goes on, and you will have no upgrade path to speak of.

    As for why the 2012 can use FreeNAS but the 2006 model can't, I have no idea. Apple is one of the most proprietary companies ever, so knowing the answer as a common public individual is probably impossible.

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