January 20, 2007

300 words 2 mins read

Sonicwall Issues?

I find this one very odd and unusual. Yesterday I was working on a clients Sonicwall TZ170. They’ve been having some issues with it the last week or two, but there was a power outage recently and the unit just died miserably. I actually had to call their tech support because the damn thing kept booting into safe mode for some reason (no, its not running XP — but you could have fooled me). No explanation as to why it was doing such, but eventually I booted to the firmware norm. The tech support had me export the advanced diagnostics information because he figured that the unit’s firmware was corrupted. He looked at the doc for maybe 30 seconds tops, and concluded that it was indeed corrupted. Now I didn’t keep the doc (though I should have) but I wonder what he looked at, must have been some sort of checksum. Now my question is how does the firmware get corrupted and still work. Yes, the unit seemed to still work fully.

Shouldn’t there be something on boot that checks the checksum of the firmware against what it should be and tell you something is wrong? Maybe thats what safe mode was doing with out the “OMG SHIT IS BROKEN” in bright red print that would have saved me an hour on the phone with tech support. To be fair the tech support guy (in india) was very nice, helpful, and didn’t try to push me off the phone as fast as possible. Which, I’ll admit, was a pleasant surprise. Regardless, Why can’t companies put more meaning full error messages into their products. Some of us that are out in the field working on this stuff can actually diagnose problems on our own, if you’d just give us the information.