Installation of TrueNAS Core 13 to ASRock J3455-ITX

Hello all,
I am trying to install TrueNAS Core 13 on my (brand new) ASRock motherboard J3455-ITX.
With CSM support disabled, installation hangs on a message related to HPET (High Precision Event Timer). I got to understand that this issue started to happen with FreeBSD 11.1 so I installed FreeNAS 11 and it went fine. During installation I didn’t know whether to choose “Start in BIOS mode” or “Start in UEFI” mode so I stopped.

Then I enabled CSM support, with all OpROM Policies set to “Legacy only” (PxE, Storage, Video). That way installation of TrueNAS Core 13 went fine BUT I cannot change the UEFI/BIOS settings anymore. I got to know that this is due to the Legacy “Video OpROM policy” that prevents to show the screen for entering BIOS setup. Only with CMOS refresh I managed to take the control back, and tried any other OpROM policies combination but never managed to run again into the TrueNAS Core installation.

Some additional information: secure boot is always DISABLED. There is no way to select “OS Type” in UEFI/BIOS menu, and I tried with both Intel TPM enabled and disabled, the result is the same. ASRock documentation is quite poor on the meaning of these settings. I attach a screenshot with the actual settings for CSM.

There is no much more hardware onboard: brand new 8 GB DDR3 Corsair RAM (which works fine), a couple of SATA HDD, several USB pen drives for OS installation, an old ATX PSU (350W) which is far more than necessary for this system but ensures that it works (I will downgrade later).

This is the long story so far. Now, what is the recommended setup for UEFI/BIOS, CSM support, OpROM Policies, to allow installation of TrueNAS core without loosing control of Motherboard UEFI/BIOES settings?
I didn’t check (my fault) if this motherboard is listed as compatible with TrueNAS Core 13: the processor is quite old (2016) but the hardware is brand new, it brings UEFI so I assumed is new enough for the latest TrueNAS Core version.
What am I missing?

Thanks in advance for your kind support.

The motherboard isn’t recommended for running TrueNAS CORE due to lack of ECC RAM support. Not sure if you can run with 8 GB as the limit used to be 16 GB.

Some background details:

  • UEFI should be enabled. Not sure how critical it is for TrueNAS as it is supposed to accept either one (I think).

  • I think you should leave CSM enabled.

  • TPM stand for Trusted Platform Module, I don’t know if TrueNAS (FreeBSD) makes use of it. It helps prevent programs to be installed if the certificate isn’t signed.

  • PXE, unless you are trying to boot from the network, I think you should simply disable this option. At best, it is going to add extra boot time.

  • Secure boot, works with TPM to help prevent some type of attacks to the PC during boot time. Not really critical in your instance. So running without it shouldn’t be a problem. Better to have it enabled, regardless.

  • “Video OpROM policy” might force your system to run with only one of your video output, however I have no practical experience with this option. Which one are you using? VGA, DVI or HDMI?

thank you for your quick and kind reply.
As a home server for personal files, I thought the ECC RAM was more than enough for my requirements, unless it is a requirement from TrueNAS Core itself.
As per my understanding this is just a recommendation, as I had already managed to install it and make it work on an older motherboard (same PSU and case, BTW…).

For the other settings, your suggestions are, more or less, the same that I tried in this weekend’s several attempts. The only critical setting seems to be the Video OpROM Policy: if I set it to “Legacy” I loose control of the BIOS/UEFI setup option at boot.
I am using the VGA output - thinking it can be the more “basic” one, need to find cables to test the other outputs.
BTW the chipset setting for Video is “Onboard”, I didn’t set it to “PCI Express” as I don’t have a PCI Express graphic card. Hope this doesn’t prevent to see the video on DVI or HDMI output.

Any other suggestion/approach is really appreciated, I run out of ideas and plan to return back the hardware and give up…

Thank you in advance!


8 GB cannot be “more than enough”. It might work for a pair of drives, but 16 GB is quite a strong recommendation.
The Realtek NIC is also far from optimal, and I don’t know if the ASM SATA controller is one that is acceptable, so I would favour the two chipset ports for data drives.

Overall, this board is not really suitable for anything but a most basic NAS.

If possible, set everything to UEFI/EFI. There’s really no point in “Legacy” boot in 2024.

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Thank you all for your view.
Indeed, I started to return this hardware and (maybe) try with something else.

My target was just collect all the (not so) old 2.5 HDDs unmounted from laptops, and use them as a 1-2 TB additional storage, in a budget solution (the MB+RAM were at around 90 Euros, I already owned the rest of the hardware). My important data are already on a Synology DS118, no need for a professional solution.

Nevertheless, it’s still not clear to me why TrueNAS doesn’t install on this board (2016), while the same version was installed at first attempt on a 10-years older motherboard, with no UEFI, no CSM, no secure boot, …

But I will stay with the doubt.

Thank you all.


The minimum is 8GB and should be enough for a small NAS which won’t be used for apps and VMs.

Fabrizio you don’t want to use any SMR drives with ZFS; most 2.5’’ are SMR.

I was not aware of the difference between SMR and CMR hard disks, and I didn’t check them… but it seems another good reason to return the hardware I bought and give up with this project!

Thank you for the hint!

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All details aside, it’s 2024. UEFI is terrible enough without CSM to make it worse. Native UEFI boot, with all CSM crap disabled and all OpROMs either disabled or UEFI-only is the way to go.

If weird issues arise, they can probably be worked around by tweaking other settings. If they can’t, the hardware is either junk or not yet supported. Neither justifies using CSM and pretending that it’s 1984 and the machine is a PC AT.

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Finally, it seems that spending 100 Euros to make a “suitable enough for non-vital home data” is not possible, nor worth, nor even advised.
So I returned all the new hardware that I bought for that and will keep the old SMC hard disks as paperweights.
With the money back, perhaps is more worth to double it and buy a well-kept 2nd hand Synology with 8 TB storage…