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I am attempting to install FreeNAS 11.1 U1 onto a USB drive to use with a homebuilt NAS system with the following specs:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H (BIOS revision F7)
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB Crucial DDR3
  • HDD: 6x Hitachi 2 TB SATA connected to motherboard's SATA ports
  • PSU: EVGA 500 W power supply
  • USB drive: 16 GB Lexar Jumpdrive S50 (boot), 2 GB SanDisk Cruzer (installer)

The NAS will boot from the installer and successfully complete the entire installation process (partitioning the boot drive, copying files, installing GRUB onto the boot USB, etc.). However, after unplugging the installer USB and rebooting, the NAS hangs early in the BIOS, right after it lists the processor and memory. It will also hang on a cold boot with the boot USB drive inserted.

What can I do to get the NAS to not hang when booting from USB?

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Apparently the FreeNAS installer doesn't create the GPT correctly on a flash drive, which causes the motherboard's BIOS to hang. Specifically, the GPT doesn't account for all of the free space on the drive.

To fix this, I plugged the USB drive into a Linux machine and ran GParted. After scanning the disk for partitions, GParted presents this error:

GParted error

Not all of the space available to /dev/sdb appears to be used, you can fix the GPT to use all of the space (an extra 7 blocks) or continue with the current setting?

After clicking Fix, I plugged the drive back into the NAS, and it booted hang-free!

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