Recently I upgrade the disk of a Netgate 7100 1U firewall appliance. I’ve been looking forward to doing this but was not sure on the success of using a locally purchased (off the shelf) hard disk.
The installation process is pretty simple based on the Netgate article here “https://docs.netgate.com/pfsense/en/latest/solutions/xg-7100-1u/m-2-sata-installation.html”.
The questions you will likely ask about the process are:
- What kind of hard disk works? I went with the “WD Blue 500GB SATA SSD M2 model. (m.2 2280)” and had no hassles at all. I’ve also tested this with the “WD Blue 2TB SATA SSD M2 model. (m.2 2280)“.
- Which disk did the Netgate pfSense detect on boot? The short answer is “both”. However, when I installed the new disk and booted the device without interrupting the boot process, and without plugging in the USB boot disk (used to image the new hard disk), the firewall booted to the originally installed (the first hard disk) pfSense installation. Just as though the new hard disk wasn’t there. I’m not a BSD guy so I didn’t bother checking if the kernel detected the new disk. My theory is that the pfSense will boot from the second disk if pfSense is installed on it.
- Was there a choice of which hard disk to install to when booting from the USB disk? Yes. This is a critical step in the imaging process. In my situation, I wanted to keep pfSense installed on the original hard disk. So selecting the second hard disk for the installation was important.
- When booting with two disks installed, and two pfSense installations (one on each disk) selectable by the BOIS (or whever the Netgate device uses), which disk did the SO boot from? The second disk. That was convenient and sensible too. It seems logical to me that the second disk should be the priority.
The bottom line is that in my case, the Netgate 7100 1U accepted the non-Netgate provided hard disk, and it appears to work well.