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Storage Spaces - Remove Physical Disk from Simple layout RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am running Server 2012 RTM with a single storage pool containing 4 drives - 2.73TB, 1.36TB, 465GB and 148GB. There is a single virtual disk created, with thin provisioning, using the Simple layout, with a current maximum size of 2.73TB, and with 1.32TB allocated. I want to remove the 148GB drive and replace it with a 465GB drive. When I right-click the 148GB disk and select Remove, I get a warning that Windows will attempt to rebuild any virtual disks that store data on the disk I'm trying to remove, and that in order to succeed, the storage pool must have enough free space to accommodate the data from the disk I'm trying to remove. There is more than enough space in the virtual disk to accommodate whatever files may be stored on the 148GB disk - over 1TB unallocated. However, when I confirm that I want to remove the disk from the pool, I get the following message:

    This physical disk is used by one or more virtual disks that use the Simple (no resiliency) layout. To remove this physical disk, delete the following virtual disks: Simple

    Surely the fact that it's a simple volume (rather than mirrored/parity) shouldn't affect the ability to move the data off the disk? It appears that disk removal is implemented as a simulated drive failure, forcing a rebuild of the resiliency data, rather than by simply moving the data off the disk onto other available disks.

    Additionally, after I've attempted to remove the disk, it's now been marked as 'Retired'.

    Is there any simple way to remove this disk?

    Monday, September 10, 2012 10:49 AM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Please test to right click on the 148GB disk and choose Evict Disk. Data should be moved to other disks. Then you could replace the disk with a new one and add it to the storage pool.


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:23 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Please test to right click on the 148GB disk and choose Evict Disk. Data should be moved to other disks. Then you could replace the disk with a new one and add it to the storage pool.


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:23 AM
  • I'm having this same problem and I do not see an option for "Evict Disk" in Server Manager.
    Monday, October 1, 2012 4:40 AM
  • I'm having this same problem and I do not see an option for "Evict Disk" in Server Manager.

    Indeed. There is no such option. Seems like a pretty glaring oversight. 


    • Edited by Ian Kennedy Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:24 AM
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 12:23 AM
  • This option does not exist. Can you comment on this?
    Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:25 AM
  • Bump -

    Does Evict disk function exist at all?  Does it exist as a powershell command?

    Monday, June 10, 2013 8:57 AM
  • Same problem here, but I have some workaround for the problem.

    But, even in Windows Home Server with its awesome disk extender (predecessor of Storage Spaces) you had to take the shares (meaning volumes in our case) offline so you could take out the disk from the pool.

    Agree that it would make more sense to be able to remove disk from the pool online and the technology is most likely is already there: online cluster moves with defragmentation API was there for years and ReFS moves clusters online when it detects disk errors.

    Anyway here is the process that may work for you if taking volume offline is an option in your case:

    1. Try to remove physical disk in Server Manager - it will fail with abovementioned error, but the disk will go into "Retired" state.
    2. Now provision a new Virtual Disk and a volume of your choice. Most likely you will pick the same disk and volume type as you already had, but this is the chance to change the topology. You should be able to do this since you have a lot of physical disk space, especially if you used Thin provisioning.
    3. It looks like at this point retired physical disk is not included into the new Virtual Disk provisioning, but it is still accessible via existing virtual disk.
    4. Copy over all files from your old volume to a new volume.
    5. Now delete old Virtual Disk.
    6. If you want - change disk name and volume letter of new virtual disk that you created and new volume to what you had before.
    7. Now in Disk Manager take failing physical disk offline.
    8. Replace failing disk, initialize new disk and add it to the pool.

    Note: for me sometimes removing disk in via Storage Pool management GUI does not mark it as "Retired". In this case you can open PowerShell as Admin and assuming you want to remove PhysicalDisk2 - run the following command:

    Set-PhysicalDisk -FriendlyName PhysicalDisk2 -Usage Retired

    HTH


    • Edited by Vladimir Lashchev Thursday, August 22, 2013 9:17 PM PowerShell command for disk retirement added
    • Proposed as answer by Vladimir Lashchev Thursday, August 22, 2013 9:17 PM
    Tuesday, August 13, 2013 11:39 PM
  •  

    maybe you can use Partition Assistant to help you manage your disk easily. with the help of it, you can resize your disk, create and delete your disk without data loss. Or if you want to backup your data first, you can use free edtiton AOMEI Backupper. 

    http://www.aomeitech.com/

    http://www.partition-magic.org/server-free.html

    Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:13 AM
  • Same problem here, but I have some workaround for the problem.

    But, even in Windows Home Server with its awesome disk extender (predecessor of Storage Spaces) you had to take the shares (meaning volumes in our case) offline so you could take out the disk from the pool.

    Agree that it would make more sense to be able to remove disk from the pool online and the technology is most likely is already there: online cluster moves with defragmentation API was there for years and ReFS moves clusters online when it detects disk errors.

    Anyway here is the process that may work for you if taking volume offline is an option in your case:

    1. Try to remove physical disk in Server Manager - it will fail with abovementioned error, but the disk will go into "Retired" state.
    2. Now provision a new Virtual Disk and a volume of your choice. Most likely you will pick the same disk and volume type as you already had, but this is the chance to change the topology. You should be able to do this since you have a lot of physical disk space, especially if you used Thin provisioning.
    3. It looks like at this point retired physical disk is not included into the new Virtual Disk provisioning, but it is still accessible via existing virtual disk.
    4. Copy over all files from your old volume to a new volume.
    5. Now delete old Virtual Disk.
    6. If you want - change disk name and volume letter of new virtual disk that you created and new volume to what you had before.
    7. Now in Disk Manager take failing physical disk offline.
    8. Replace failing disk, initialize new disk and add it to the pool.

    HTH

    This is how I'm doing a drive migration for a simple space.  I do hope Microsoft has been listening and will include the ability to migrate simple spaces off of a retired disk automaticly in Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2.


    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:58 AM
  • I do hope Microsoft has been listening and will include the ability to migrate simple spaces off of a retired disk automaticly in Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2.

    They have not, 8.1 and 2012 R2 still do not have that feature.....

    It is pointless feeding back to Microsoft from my experiencing, even in through the TAP (Technology Adoption Program).  If the feature is not expected to generate more revenue, its irrelevant to them, no matter how much users are screaming out for it.

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:38 AM
  • I've just his this same scenario on my Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials...

    I'd recently bought a 2TB USB3 drive and wanted to replace one of the 2TB USB2 drives I was already using.

    But what a pain if I have to create a new virtual drive and migrate the data, every time I retire a drive.  Then I have to reconfigure any local apps that rely on that drive.

    Surely this is a glaring omission.  Even the big firms must want to upgrade their underlying physical disks, without having to manually create new virtual drives and manually (OK probably scripted/robocopy/etc) the data...

    What's the point of an abstracted storage system if you have to treat it like a physical disk system... Might as well have stuck to RAID...

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:45 AM
  • The likes of Partition Magic are unlikely to be able to help in this instance, as it's a situation that is particular to Storage Spaces and I suspect that PM is not aware of Storage Spaces (but happy to be proved wrong)

    Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:46 AM
  • Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, I just want to verify this does what I think it does. I know the thread subject is specifically about simple layout, but from searching the web, it still isn't clear to me that this does work on a simple layout.

    If I mark a disk retired, but the disk isn't outright bad(i.e. replacing a smaller disk) Windows stops putting new data on it. So far so good. Where I'm not clear, for a simple layout, does the repair command actually copy the data off the retired disk? Some people seemed to be suggesting that this only happens if you are set in a redundant configuration.  Can someone clarify for me?

    Thank you!

    Sunday, March 8, 2015 3:17 AM
  • The same issue here. I have Virtual Disk in Simple layout. I just wanted temporary increase volume size and I created small Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) placed on other drive then added it to Virtual Disk. I did my work and disk usage get lowered. I have enough disk space free to acquire that small VHD. Here is my surprise - adding a drive to Simple Virtual Disk is one way ticket. No way to remove it without loosing all your data.

    I wish we get an update for Windows 2012 that will resolve this issue. Thanks!

    Sunday, June 21, 2015 3:15 PM
  • Things are getting worse. After reboot my Virtual Disk doesn't come up. It's because VHD isn't attached on startup. Now I have to write ps script that will attach VHD and attach Virtual Disk.

    I wish I knew the Storage Pool quirks before I started using it.

    Monday, June 22, 2015 7:51 AM
  • Pawel, did you ever come up with a solution? I have the exact same situation as you. 
    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 3:37 AM
  • Unfortunately it's still the same anno 2015. You can't remove a disk from Simple-Disk config. Obviously MS is not in position to migrate whatever is on your old disk to another disk even when there is clearly enough space on that other disk. Please join us in giving Feedbacks to Microsoft to honor Customer's  wish to treat Simple-Disk configs with the same respect as the resiliency disks. Some of us choose willfully for Simple-Disk config knowing fully well the risk. But that you can't migrate data of a disk to replace with a bigger disk is insulting.
    Friday, October 16, 2015 2:59 PM