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We need to reformat the SQL cluster disk in our SQL cluster. The drive contains the shared installation files for SQL as well as databases.

My concern is how SQL/The Cluster will react to after we wipe the disk resource.


  • Is there a defined procedure for this?
  • How should we backup and restore the disk?
  • After the reformat, how do we get the clustered SQL server back online?


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The procedure is fairly straight forward. Here's how we did it:

  1. First, Backup all your databases
  2. Then copy all other files on the disk to another disk with enough space (external drive, another SAN volume, etc.)
  3. Take your Clustered SQL Resources OFFLINE
  4. Take your Clustered Disk OFFLINE
  5. Delete the disk resrouce from cluster admin
  6. Reformat the disk through Disk Management
  7. Add the newly formatted disk as a clustered disk resource. Remember to keep the same drive letter!
  8. Bring the disk resource online in cluster admin. DO NOT bring the SQL resources online yet
  9. Copy all your SQL files/databases back over
  10. Turn up the SQL Server Resources
  11. Test

This worked really well for us. The biggest issue we had was not being able to reformat the disk until we deleted the clustered disk resource. The reason for this is that MSCS binds special drivers to the disk when it becomes a clustered resource. These drivers prevent you from reformatting the disk from Disk Management.

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ouch! You have a real mess on your hands here with the installation and DB in the same place. You are going to have to reload the installation files and the rejoin the cluster. It might take a long time for the cluster to stabilize with the new disk in it. There is no defined procedure because there are dozens of ways to set up the cluster. Based on your configuration you should have documented how it was built and thus have the recovery proccess as well. I am left wondering why you have to reformat this disk, if the drive has "faild" then it should be restored from back up like any other failed drive (assuming you have backups). This is one of the nasty things that can happen if you don't have responce proccesses documented in the "red book"

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