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Force a WSFC Cluster to Start Without a Quorum

This topic describes how to force a Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) cluster node to start without a quorum. This may be required in disaster recovery and multi-subnet scenarios to recover data and fully re-establish high-availability for AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances.

Recommendations

Except where explicitly directed, the procedures in this topic should work if you execute them from any node in the WSFC cluster. However, you may obtain better results, and avoid networking issues, by executing these steps from the node that you intend to force to start without a quorum.

Security

The user must be a domain account that is member of the local Administrators group on each node of the WSFC cluster.

To force a cluster to start without a quorum

  1. Open a Failover Cluster Manager and connect to the desired cluster node to force online.

  2. In the Actions pane, click Force Cluster Start, and then click Yes – Force my cluster to start.

  3. In the left pane, in the Failover Cluster Manager tree, click the cluster name.

  4. In the summary pane, confirm that the current Quorum Configuration value is: Warning: Cluster is running in ForceQuorum state.

To force a cluster to start without a quorum

  1. Start an elevated Windows PowerShell via Run as Administrator.

  2. Import the FailoverClusters module to enable cluster commandlets.

  3. Use Stop-ClusterNode to make sure that the cluster service is stopped.

  4. Use Start-ClusterNode with –FixQuorum to force the cluster service to start.

  5. Use Get-ClusterNode with –Propery NodeWieght = 1 to set the value the guarantees that the node is a voting member of the quorum.

  6. Output the cluster node properties in a readable format.

Example (Powershell)

The following example forces the AlwaysOnSrv02 node cluster service to start without a quorum, sets the NodeWeight = 1, and then enumerates cluster node status from the newly forced node.

Import-Module FailoverClusters

$node = "AlwaysOnSrv02"
Stop-ClusterNode –Name $node
Start-ClusterNode –Name $node -FixQuorum

(Get-ClusterNode $node).NodeWeight = 1

$nodes = Get-ClusterNode -Cluster $node
$nodes | Format-Table -property NodeName, State, NodeWeight

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To force a cluster to start without a quorum

  1. Use Remote Desktop to connect to the desired cluster node to force online.

  2. Start an elevated Command Prompt via Run as Administrator.

  3. Use net.exe to make sure that the local cluster service is stopped.

  4. Use net.exe with /forcequorum to force the local cluster service to start.

Example (Net.exe)

The following example forces a node cluster service to start without a quorum, sets the NodeWeight = 1, and then enumerates cluster node status from the newly forced node.

net.exe stop clussvc
net.exe start clussvc /forcequorum

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