vSphere Upgrade – 2nd Disk Issues with Hardware 7

Well I got bit by the 2nd disk issue that occurs with hardware 7 on Windows 2008 Datacenter server. It was very troublesome until the twitter-sphere pointed me to an article written by vStu about this issue. Yet this did not entirely fix the problem. It took some more twitter-sphere assistance to find the solution to the problem.

As vStu discovered all virtual machine disk files (VMDKs) are presented to VMs as SAN disks and Windows 2008 changed how SAN disks were handled, in effect they are offline until you set them online. I kept getting a pesky, “Disk is Offline because policy was set by an administrator” message. Microsoft’s website does not even know about this error message apparently. But the solution is a combination of websites. First you need to change how Windows 2008 sees the SAN devices, then you need to clear a readonly flag, then you are good to go. Using ‘diskpart’ enter the following commands:

DISKPART> SAN POLICY=OnlineAll
DISKPART> RESCAN
DISKPART> SELECT DISK 1
DISKPART> ATTRIBUTES DISK CLEAR READONLY
DISKPART> ONLINE DISK
DISKPART> CONVERT MBR

Now you can use your normal mechanisms to add, format, etc. the disk into the system.

Once that is done, I used VM:/ETC’s instructions for changing the location of my VUM Donwload Directory to point to the new drive. The main reason for adding the new VMDK in the first place. Now I can force a download of Update 1, and patch my systems.

Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

5 thoughts on “vSphere Upgrade – 2nd Disk Issues with Hardware 7”

  1. tnxs mate, this just saved one of my Domain Controllers 🙂 fortunately I made a snapshot before, but I had no idea how to overcome this problem

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × three =