Need help replacing a corrupt OS flash drive without loosing data

Good morning to all.

I’m new to this forum, but I have been running FreeNAS since 2012. In 2016 I had to replace the boot drive. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I have not had to do anything to the NAS since then, and it looks like I have to replace the boot drive again. I believe I am running FreeNAS version 8.3.

My hardware configuration is as follows:

  • Case: Antec Nine hundred, ATX Mid tower
  • Mother board: ASUS P8Z77-V
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.4 GHz LGA 1155 77W
  • Power Supply: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX750
  • Hot Swap drive cages: 3X iStarUSA 3X5.25in to 4X3.5in SAS/SATA, model #BPN-DE340SS-Blue
  • USB stick for OS: SanDisk 16GB USB 3.0
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16 GB, dual channel kit DDR3 1600 MHZ
  • Hard Drives: 12X WD 3TB Red
  • Host Bus Adapter: LSI 9201-16i, PCIe 2.0X8 SATA/SAS HBA
  • Operating system: FreeNAS 8.3
  • Software RAID: ZFS

A couple of days ago, I found that I cannot access my FreeNAS server. After some research and diagnostics, my guess is that the boot drive is corrupt.

On start-up I get the following messages:

MPT2BIOS- (2010.02-09)
Copyright 2000-2010 LSI Corporation
Initializing . . :

  • Press Ctrl-C to start LSI Corp Configuration Utility . . .*

Searching for devices at HBA 0 . . .

---- ---- ---- ------------- ------------------ -------------- ---------------
*16 LSI Corp AS2116-IT 05:02:00:01 *
16 4 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 5 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 6 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 7 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 8 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 9 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 10 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 11 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 12 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 13 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 14 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB
16 15 0 ATA WDC WD30EFRX-68A 0A80 0.00 TB

LSI Corporation MPTZ boot ROM successfully installed!

GNU GRUB version 2.02 beta2

*FreeNAS (default) – 2016-09-25 20:36
Boot Environment Menu

Use the up and down arrow keys to select which entry is highlighted
Press enter to boot the selected OS, ‘e’ to edit the commands before booting or ‘c’ for a command-line
The highlighted entry will be executed automatically in 4s. (the highlighted entry is the “FreeNAS (default)-2016-09-25 20:36” line

After the 4 seconds are up, the screen goes blank and nothing else happens.

I have a 320GB Sata drive, WD3200BEVT, that I would like to put the OS on, instead of another USB flash drive.


  1. Is my assumption that the boot drive is bad, correct?
  2. Is there a document that outlines step by step instructions of how to replace the corrupt OS flash drive?
  3. Should I upgrade to a newer version of FreeNAS?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Just install Truenas CORE or SCALE from scratch, then import the pool. Should be compatible afaik.

Without a saved config file, you will have to setup your shares and apps again.

Freenas turned into Truenas CORE ( freeBSD) and will not be developed any further. SCALE is the new Linux flavour with ongoing developement.

1 Like

Thank you for your reply.

I am not well versed in the terminology or in the processes needed to do what I need to do.

  1. How do I install Truenas CORE or SCALE from scratch.
  2. Considering I was on FreeNAS version 8.3, which version of TrueNAS would be most compatible?
  3. How do I import the pool?
  4. What does it mean and what is involved in setting the shares and apps again?
  5. Will any of the above affect access to the data already on the NAS?
  6. Does anyone have a link to a tutorial or detailed process for doing the above?

Thank you for your help.

As you’d be reinstalling, either. It depends on your use case. I would consider CORE much more stable than SCALE, but SCALE is built out with more features and hardware support. As you’re used to FreeNAS, CORE is probably for you.

CORE 13.0-U6.1 ISO
SCALE 24.04.0 ISO

Write one to a USB drive, if on Windows, you can use something like

You can import pools by just clicking a button in the GUI after install - so long as TrueNAS can see the pool it should import no issues.

Whatever SMB shares, NFS shares, Jails etc you had set up previously will need to be configured again as you do not have a configuration backup. You’ll effectively be doing a full reinstall, but bringing your storage pools along with you.

Aside from configuration, data on the pools should remain intact.


essinghigh, thank you so much for answering all my questions. I really appreciate it.

1 Like

It looks like I still need some help.

I went through the whole process of generating the install media, then installing the TrueNAS onto a boot disk, then getting to the IP address and then going to that IP address to get to the TrueNAS dashboard.

Everything up to now has been fine.

In the dashboard, when I click on storage and then click on Pools, the only option I see is ADD pools. There are no existing pools showing.

How do I reconnect to my existing pools?

Thank you

Click on Add Pool, and then at the next screen, Import an existing pool.

Ok, it is now asking about GELI encryption. The existing pools were created in FreeNAS 8.3, but I don’t remember setting an encryption key or passphrase.

What settings do I use on this screen?

Do I just click on No and continue?

I’m concerned with loosing the information in the pool if I choose the wrong option.

Well, if encryption was used but you do not have the key or passphrase at hand you’re in serious trouble so you can as well try the simple option… (“No” and continue)

If I chose no and continue, but there is encryption, will that destroy the info in the pool?

No. It will just return that there are no pools to import.

1 Like

Thank you all for the help. I think I’m in the home stretch now.

I can see TrueNAS on my home network, but when I go to access it using the username root and the password I chose during installation, it tells me that the user name or password is incorrect.

Any suggestions?

Should I change the password in the dashboard?

The web UI or an SMB share?

You were just in the web UI.

I can log into the web UI just fine, but when I go to a Windows machine and try to log into TrueNAS, it says that the user name or password is incorrect.

Now that I read it again, it is asking for the user name and password for my home network, not for FreeNAS. Is that correct?

Use the username / password for a TrueNAS account with access to a dataset shared via SMB.

You’re no longer allowed to access SMB shares as the root user–you’ll need to have another user with access permissions to that share.


Do I have to create a new user in the dashboard under Accounts - Users ?

If you don’t already have one, yes.

Thank you. I’ll set one up.

Talk about a Time Capsule. Was that a thing? People would install FreeNAS 8.x, without creating any user accounts, and just use “root” for all SMB shares?