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Disk status descriptions

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Disk status descriptions

One of the following disk status descriptions will always appear in the graphical view of the disk and in the Status column of the disk in list view.

Audio CD

Foreign

Initializing

Missing

No Media

Not Initialized

Online

Online (Errors)

Offline

Unreadable

Audio CD

The Audio CD status occurs when you have an audio CD in your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

Foreign

The Foreign status occurs when you move a dynamic disk to the local computer from another computer running Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP 64-bit Edition (Itanium), or the Windows Server 2003 family of operating systems. Foreign status can also occur on computers running Windows XP Home Edition that are configured to dual-boot with another operating system that uses dynamic disks (such as Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional). Dynamic disks are not supported on Windows XP Home Edition or on portable computers. A warning icon appears on disks that display the Foreign status.

To access data on the disk, you must add the disk to your computer's system configuration. To add a disk to your computer's system configuration, import the foreign disk (right-click the disk and then click Import Foreign Disks). Any existing volumes on the foreign disk become visible and accessible when you import the disk. For instructions describing how to move and import disks, see Move disks to another computer.

However, you cannot access data on the disk if you are running Windows XP Home Edition. To use the disk on Windows XP Home Edition, you must convert it to a basic disk, which destroys all data on the disk.

Caution

  • Do not convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk unless you are certain that you no longer need the data on that disk. Converting a dynamic disk to a basic disk destroys all data on the disk.

To convert the disk to an empty basic disk, see Change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk.

In some cases, a disk that was previously connected to the system can display the Foreign status. Configuration data for dynamic disks is stored on all dynamic disks, so the information about which disks are owned by the system is lost when all dynamic disks fail.

For instructions describing how to fix disks with Foreign status, see Troubleshooting Disk Management.

Initializing

The Initializing status is a temporary status that occurs when you convert a basic disk into a dynamic disk. When initialization is complete, the disk's status changes to Online.

Missing

The Missing status occurs when a dynamic disk is corrupted, turned off, or disconnected. Instead of appearing in the status column, the Missing status is displayed as the disk name. After you reconnect or turn on the missing disk, open Disk Management, right-click the missing disk, and then click Reactivate Disk. If there is more than one missing disk in the disk group, Disk Management will attempt to reactivate all of them.

For instructions describing how to fix disks with Missing status, see Troubleshooting Disk Management.

No Media

The No media status occurs when the CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or removable drive is empty. The status changes to Online or Audio CD when you insert the appropriate media into the drive. Only CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or removable disk types display the No Media status.

Not Initialized

The Not Initialized status occurs when a disk does not contain a valid signature. After you install a new disk, Windows XP Professional or the Windows Server 2003 family of operating systems must write a master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT) before you can create partitions on the disk. When you first start Disk Management after installing a new disk, a wizard appears that provides a list of the new disks detected. If you cancel the wizard before the disk signature is written, the disk status remains Not Initialized until you right-click the disk and then click Initialize Disk. The disk status briefly changes to Initializing and then Online status.

For instructions describing how to fix disks with Not Initialized status, see Troubleshooting Disk Management.

Online

The Online status occurs when a basic or dynamic disk is accessible and has no known problems. This is the normal disk status. No user action is required.

Online (Errors)

The Online (Errors) status occurs when I/O errors are detected on a region of a dynamic disk. A warning icon appears on the dynamic disk with errors.

If the I/O errors were temporary, (e.g., due to a loose cable that is no longer loose) the disk returns to the Online status when you reactivate it.

For instructions describing how to fix disks with Online (Errors) status, see Troubleshooting Disk Management.

Offline

The Offline status occurs when a dynamic disk is not accessible. The dynamic disk may be corrupted or intermittently unavailable. An error icon appears on the offline dynamic disk.

If the disk status is Offline and the disk's name changes to Missing, the disk was recently available on the system but can no longer be located or identified. The missing disk may be corrupted, powered down, or disconnected.

To bring a disk that is Offline and Missing back online

Repair any disk, controller, or cable problems and make sure that the physical disk is turned on, plugged in, and attached to the computer. In Disk Management, right-click the disk and then click Reactivate Disk to bring the disk back online.

If the disk status remains Offline and the disk name remains Missing, and you determine that the disk has a problem that cannot be repaired, you can remove the disk from the system (using the Remove Disk command). However, before you can remove the disk, you must delete all volumes (or mirrors) on the disk. You can save any mirrored volumes on the disk by removing the mirror instead of the entire volume. Deleting a volume destroys the data in the volume, so you should remove a disk only if you are absolutely certain that the disk is permanently damaged and unusable.

To bring a disk that is Offline and is still named Disk # (not Missing) back online

In Disk Management, right-click the disk and then click Reactivate Disk to bring the disk back online. If the disk status remains Offline, check the cables and disk controller, and make sure that the physical disk is healthy. Correct any problems and try to reactivate the disk again. If the disk reactivation succeeds, any volumes on the disk should automatically return to the Healthy status.

For instructions describing how to fix disks with Offline status, see Troubleshooting Disk Management.

Unreadable

The Unreadable status occurs when either a basic or dynamic disk is not accessible. The disk may have experienced hardware failure, corruption, or I/O errors. The disk's copy of the system's disk configuration database may be corrupted. An error icon appears on disks that display the Unreadable status.

Disks may display the Unreadable status while they are spinning up or when Disk Management is rescanning all of the disks on the system. In some cases, an unreadable disk has failed and is not recoverable. For dynamic disks, the Unreadable status usually results from corruption or I/O errors on part of the disk, rather than failure of the entire disk. You can rescan the disks (click Action and then click Rescan Disks) or restart the computer to see if the disk status changes.

For instructions describing how to fix disks with Unreadable status, see Troubleshooting Disk Management.

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