Disk and volume states

During the lifetime of a disk or a volume, its integrity may change. The disk management utility indicates the status of each disk and volume through its state. The status of disks and volumes can be listed using the diskpart.exe utility with the list disk and list volumes commands. Table 19-2 lists possible volume states and the meaning of each one.

Table 19-2: Common Types of Volume Status




Healthy (At Risk) Healthy

(Unknown Partition)

Unknown Resynching

Formatting Regenerating

Failed Redundancy

Failed Redundancy (At Risk)

The volume operates in the normal fashion and no known problems have been detected. This status is displayed for both basic and dynamic volumes. Healthy status can contain additional sub-status information. Two examples are listed next.

The volume is available, but Windows Server 2003 has detected read and write (I/O) errors on the disk. This state is only reported for dynamic volumes.

The volume is not recognized. It might have been created using a different operating system or it might be a non-recognizable OEM configuration partition. They can be deleted with both Disk Management and the diskpart tool (using the delete partition command with the override option).

The boot sector is corrupted. This might be the result of disk corruption or a boot sector virus.

This status applies to mirrored volumes. Resynching is the process of making both sets of data (one on each mirror) identical. The duration of the resynching process depends on the amount of data, and system performance and utilization. Try to limit access to the volume while resynching is in progress. When the resynching is complete, the disk status returns to healthy.

The volume is being formatted. The percentage of the formatted volume is displayed to indicate the progress.

This status applies to RAID-5 volumes. It takes place after replacing a failed disk and involves writing missing information to a new member of the volume. Try to limit access to the volume while regeneration is in progress. When the regeneration is complete, the disk status returns to healthy.

This status applies to mirrored and RAID-5 volumes. It indicates that one of the disks failed and the volume is no longer fault tolerant. Even though the volume remains accessible, failure of another disk in the volume will cause loss of data. You should replace the disk as soon as possible and resynch or regenerate the volume.

This status applies to RAID-5 or RAID-1 volumes. It means that the volume is no longer fault tolerant and that I/O errors have been detected on the media. This status appears for each part of the volume on each disk. The Failed Redundancy state can also appear with other sub-states, such as System or Boot, for a failing nonmirrored system or boot volume.

State Description

Failed This status applies to both basic and dynamic volumes. It indicates that the volume cannot be started and will require intervention. This status also might be displayed after importing incomplete multi-disk dynamic volume.

Table 19-3 lists possible hard-disk states and the meaning of each one.

Table 19-3: Common Types of Disk Status



Online The disk is fully operational and no known errors have been detected.

Online (Errors) The disk is operational but I/O errors have been detected. You might be able to return the disk to the Online state by running the Reactivate Disk command from the context menu of the disk. This status is available only for dynamic disks.

Offline The dynamic disk cannot be accessed. This is typically caused by physical disk or connector failures. Try using the Reactivate Disk option from the Action menu of the Disk Management Console. If this fails, you must remove the physical disk from the computer and execute the Remove Disk option to remove references to the disk from the LDM database. This status is available only for dynamic disks.

Foreign The disk has been moved from another computer. Import it using the Import

Foreign Disks option from the disk's context menu.

Missing The dynamic disk is damaged, corrupted, or disconnected. If the cause of the problem can be eliminated, you might be able to return the disk to Online status by selecting Reactivate Disk from the Action menu in the Disk Management Console. Otherwise, use the Remove Disk option. This status is available only for dynamic disks.

Not Initialized For MBR disks, a valid disk signature is missing from the Master Boot Record. For

GPT disks, a valid GUID is missing from the GUID partition table. This typically happens when a new disk is installed in the computer. Initialization of the disk fixes the problem.

Initializing This status is displayed when converting a disk from basic to dynamic. There is no need for intervention unless the system hangs and the status remains unchanged. Ordinarily, the status should return to Healthy.

Unreadable The disk might be temporarily unavailable or corrupted. This status is available for both static and dynamic disks. Try rescanning the disk or rebooting the computer. If this does not change the status, replace the disk.

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