pfSense Boot Loop
pfSense Boot Loop
by Jeff on August 25th, 2015 8 Comments »
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I just spun up a new pfSense install with the SG-4860 High availability bundle. Shortly after configuring the devices and rebooting the primary, I ended up with a pfSense boot loop. I was able to look at the pfSense boot loop messages by using my console cable and connect via PuTTY. Side note, while stuck in a boot loop, Windows 7 thought the USB connection was a Microsoft Ball Point Pen. I had to power off the pfSense, plug in the USB, then power back on.

While the pfSense boot loop was occurring, I capture the following error via PuTTY logging

Error Message

Error was: savecore: reboot after panic: ufs_dirbad: /: bad dir ino 5698176 at offset 512: mangled entry

This error may mean that I have a bad drive or controller, so I’ll want to keep an eye on that. To get the system started and stop the pfSense boot loop, I performed the following

Boot into safe mode

  1. Power cycle the pfSense box while you have your USB connected and PuTTY open
  2. When you see the pfSense boot screen press 2 at the prompt
  3. Hit enter at the shell prompt


/sbin/fsck -p

Then ran

/sbin/fsck -y



if you still have a pfSense boot loop, then you may have a bad hard disk or controller.

  • Annoyed

    Have You had any issues with this re-occurring since your initial post?

    • negeric

      I have not had any issues since this post. Since this post, I have updated the pfSense software several times and have rebooted without any errors.

  • Matt McGowan

    Excellent ! thanks so much. Saved me from a boot looping pfsense VM on Hyper-V

  • Francesco

    pfsense 2.3 same issue, solved thank you very much

  • Patrix87


    PS: from vga use option 2 to boot as single user then type those commands

    • negeric


  • Collin Mathis

    For some reason, I am trying to log into it using the GUI and the password should be at factory “pfsense” correct? I am typing that in, and it is telling me wrong password. Am I missing something?

    • negeric

      The default username and password combination should be pfsense/pfsense. Which version did you install? Is this a new install?