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I have a ESXi server containing a large virtual disk (1.8TB) on RAID 0, and the server suffered from a power outage.

The drive was a storage drive for a Windows Server 2012 R2 file server, which is no longer accessible from windows, and is now behaving very strangely in a way I haven't seen before.

The RAID is fine, disks are fine, and VMDK file seems well. I can also access all files without issues through a linux live iso. And linux tools such as ntfsfix, fsck, etc all say the drive is good.

However, this is the weird bit, Windows has some major issues with it. I can not boot Windows, or WinPE with the drive, it will not start. I have to hot add the drive after I get into Windows. chkdsk /f will sometimes report the partition is NTFS and then hang without further output for hours. Otherwise it will hang without any output at all.

It seems any IO operations on the drive cause the process to hang. Refreshing Disk Managment causes DM to stop responding. diskpart will print version info and computer name, and then hang.

Looking into the event log, I see little traces that it's attempting to do something in the background. Such as Event ID 153, with a description of:

The IO operation at logical block address 0x2aa72bd8 for Disk 1 (PDO name: \Device\00000033) was retired.

With maybe one log entry like above every 20-30 minutes.

Unfortunately migrating the files to another drive through Linux is not possible at the moment, nor is replacing the disks, which are reporting good health.

Questions:

  1. I'm assuming there is some sort of disk checking going on when the drive gets put online, but I'm not seeing any type of progress, is there a log source, log file or something where I can see what's going on?
  2. If the above is true, without logs, is there a way to abort the check and check manually with chkdsk?
  3. Any other suggestions?
  • What version of esxi do you have? You need to have esxi 5.5 to support disks larger than 2tb. The only way to use disks larger then 2tb on older versions is 2 smaller disks with a dynamic disk spanned across them. kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/… – chrisw9808 Dec 15 '15 at 19:47
  • ESXi 6.0, I should note that this setup has been running smoothly for a few months, and that the VMDK is a single disk, no dynamic spanning. – Patrick S Dec 15 '15 at 20:29
  • Try removing the disk and booting the server without the vmdk attached. If it still wont boot you might have other issues. You can also attach the disk to another windows server and see if it is able to read it. – chrisw9808 Dec 15 '15 at 22:22
  • As mentioned in my question, the only way to boot is if I hot add the drive. Windows boots fine without the drive, I'm only showing these issues when Windows attempts to online the drive. Whether or not it was attached at boot, or after. – Patrick S Dec 15 '15 at 22:31

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