Xserve 3,1 installation woes

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Aug 31, 2016
When installing FreeNAS 11.1-U4 on the Apple Xserve 3,1 I'm getting the attached error right after boot:
ACPI BIOS Error (bug): A valid RSDP was not found (20170728/tbxfroot-369)
panic: running without device atpic requires a local APIC

After searching online it seems IBM servers sometimes have this issue as well and the solution is to change a setting in the computer's EFI. Unfortunately, because its an Apple computer there is no way to configure the EFI. One simple workaround I read about on similar Mac Pros is to install FreeNAS using BIOS by faking a boot camp installation and interrupting it to install FreeNAS. Again unfortunately, the Xserve is one of the few Apple computers that doesn't support BIOS emulation in the EFI because the firmware doesn't have a CSM (compatibility support module) so I'm stuck exclusively with EFI.

If anyone has any ideas or can offer any support that would be great. I have tried rEFInd and although I can attempt to boot to my FreeNAS DVD's Legacy BIOS partition it fails because the Xserve doesn't support BIOS. I have a few workarounds I can think of but all are less than ideal vs. installing FreeNAS natively.
  • Try to install a EFI Linux distro and use ZFS on Linux
  • Try to install ESXi and virtualize FreeNAS
  • Install FreeNAS on a flash drive or hard drive and after installation put the drive in the Xserve (not sure if this is even possible?)
At the moment I am going to attempt previous versions of FreeBSD and see if I get anywhere. Perhaps they will play better with the hardware. If so I could download a previous version of FreeNAS and hopefully be able to upgrade after installation.


  • FreeNAS installation error.jpg
    FreeNAS installation error.jpg
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