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Thread: FM2A88+ and FreeNAS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default FM2A88+ and FreeNAS

    I purchased a FM2A88X-ITX+ board and set up six hard disks to run FreeNAS from it. FreeNAS loads to an image on a USB Flash Drive or SSD, so I purchased a PCIe/SATA card to load onto the SSD and installed it. All went really well setting up the FreeNAS system but it wouldn't allocate an IP address from my DHCP server. I entered the BIOS to test the network connection, and the Qualcomm Atheros LAN onboard actually connected through the attached switch. Frustrated, I then loaded Win7 on the SSD to test the LAN, and it initially would not work until I loaded the LAN drivers from the disk provided. On restart however, the system stopped, asking for a floppy disk to load drivers. WTF? Cancelling out of that and loading Win7 then proved that with the LAN drivers, I could then get Internet/LAN access. However, I do not have that luxury with FreeNAS as it is a *NIX system and loads the drivers automatically on setup.

    It appears that there is a problem with the Qualcomm Atheros LAN onboard. I purchased a PICe LAN card with anything other than Qualcomm on it and had to load FreeNAS on a USB Flash Drive, as the PCIe slot was then unavailable. Surprise, surprise, the installed LAN card worked spectacularly. I have been able to transfer files at speeds of at least 60MB/s on my LAN.

    On the ASRock Website there is no option to load anything other than Windows drivers. There is nothing suggesting that Linux/UNIX LAN support exists for this NIC.

    This board probably needs the Qualcomm Atheros LAN to be ditched for another manufacturer, as it is IMO below standard. Maybe try Intel, anything else. I have seven hours I will never get back, and the one PCIe slot is not used for the purpose I intended.

    Could I suggest a BIOS update that might address this problem, so I can get back to the original configuration I intended. Suggestions anyone?

  2. #2
    vuldin is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Re: FM2A88+ and FreeNAS

    I'm a little confused about your setup, but one thing that comes to mind is just blacklisting specific modules from loading. In arch the location for doing this is:
    Have the components arranged how you need them to be (with the PCIe slot being used for your SSD instead of the LAN card) and then boot up normally into Linux. You'll likely run into the issue you mentioned, and this is where I'm confused (you mention the atheros port works but causes issues, and you mention Linux and Windows issues as well). Run lspci -v to see which module is loaded for the problematic NIC device and then blacklist it by adding it to a file in the above directory. If you have two interfaces and you blacklist one then the other should continue to operate (as long as it isn't trying to use the same module).

    If this isn't helpful for your problem, then could you explain the issues in detail in FreeNAS (Linux)?

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