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Removing Legacy Storage Pools from Drives
Posted by on 08 July 2015 04:25 AM

By Robert Keith

In several cases, such as inserting a drive into a Windows Storage Pool and the drive has previously been used in a different storage pool, the drive will have remnants of the prior Storage Pool and the legacy Storage Pool will show up as an existing storage pool.  Removing these old Storage Pools can be confusing.

Applies to:
Iron Networks Products: IronPOD Family of Products, Microsoft CPS
Software: Windows 2003, Windows 2008, Windows 2012, Windows 2012 R2
Hardware Components: Compute and Storage Nodes



Ideally when retiring a Windows Storage System with Storage Spaces, the administrator should remove the Storage Pool – retiring the existing hard disks for use elsewhere. In practice, especially in lab situations, this is not done and the hardware is repurposed. If the disk drives are reinserted into a system and used on a Windows System, Windows will identify the Storage Pool on a drive, and will protect this Storage Space by refusing to clean the disk or allow it to be reformatted.

After inserting a drive into a Storage Spaces system, notice the new Storage Pool in the Server Manager console.

The new Storage Pool IP10-STOR-POOL1 has appeared and is in an unhealthy state.

A good illustration of what is happening can be seen here on the Virtual Disks view. A new Virtual Disk has appeared.

In the above screenshot, the new Virtual Disk IP10-STOR-Disk1 has appeared. On the right panel is the list of the disks that should be associated with this Virtual Disk, and in this case, most of the disks are in a warning state (naturally since they no longer exist).

Removing these now invalid Storage Spaces can be a challenge.


Attempting to initialize the disks individually can be difficult, and Windows 2012 will attempt to protect the Storage Spaces configurations – as you would hope.

To clear out these disks requires the administrator to remove the Storage Spaces Pools and Virtual Disks top down.

The following PowerShell commands accomplish this.

  • Set the Storage Spaces to Read/Write.  
    • The failed storage spaces configuration will be Read-Only and so not modifiable or able to be deleted.
  • Remove the Storage Pool
  • In some cases, you will need to remove the Virtual Disk.    In other situations, this will not be possible, but removing the Storage Pool will automatically remove the Virtual Disk.


The following is the commands in this situation.

Set-StoragePool –IsReadOnly $false
See the actual example below.

If Windows complains of the existing Virtual Disk, run the “Remove-VirtualDisk” PowerShell command.

The procedure is:

  1. Set the Storage Pool to Read/Write
  2. Remove the Virtual Disk (You cannot remove a Virtual Disk with the Storage Pool in the Read Only state.
  3. Remove the Storage Pool


Notice the Storage Spaces configuration is now resolved.

Then, to clean the new disk and make it operation and available to add to a Storage Pool, perform something like the following commands:

Get-PhysicalDisk –CanPool $false | Get-Disk | Set-Disk -isReadOnly $false
Get-PhysicalDisk –CanPool $false | Get-Disk | Set-Disk -isOffline $false
Get-PhysicalDisk –CanPool $false | Get-Disk | Clear-Disk -RemoveData -Confirm:$false

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