FreeNAS BIOS Boot Priority

Hi everyone!

I have a FreeNAS 9.10.2-U6 running originally from a pair of 16GB SanDisk USB keys on an ASUS H87I-Plus motherboard. On the board are 6 drives in a tank pool. The system was able to boot from the keys successfully many times. I had envisioned moving the keys over to SSDs for reliability reasons, but never ventured on something already not broken … why fix it.

One day the system crashed. Long story short, it was the motherboard as determined by a shop that replaced the MB with an identical unit. Apparently during the crash, one of the keys garnered too many errors and FreeNAS started barking about the DEGRADED boot pool. Plus I had to go into BIOS and force the boot from the existing working key as the boot priority didn’t recognize the device … and faultily defaulted to the first tank pool drive … that is a problem I don’t remember having before. I updated the board BIOS to the latest version with no change. Plus the MB doesn’t have a Legacy boot option … that maybe the previous board had … hard to remember.

I captured the image of the working key using dd and installed it on one of a pair of SSDs. It booted okay. I had a number of problems getting FreeNAS to ONLINE the second drive, but after having formatted it to FAT Extended, I was able to online it and get it re-silvered.

But getting the machine to boot on either SSD seemed to be impossible as the Boot Priority setting only recognizes UEFI drives. I cannot find the FreeNAS 9.10.2-U6 image to download and boot online, so I cannot reformat the drives to a UEFI image easily. So I’m stuck having to put a keyboard, mouse, and display onboard every time I need to reboot. Very inconvenient.

So I was thinking of moving to the TrueNAS model. Since the entire OS runs from the SSD, it’s clear that the FreeNAS boot pair is rewritten to be a TrueNAS boot pair. Will this change the SSDs from a Legacy device to a UEFI device so that the BIOS will recognize on the boot priority?

Does anyone have an idea of how to move forward? Thanks for your input and assistance!

— Robert