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Replace a failed hard drive in Microsoft's Cluster Server

You're using Microsoft's Cluster Server and have a hard drive failure. Replacing it or modifying the SCSI ID isn't cut and dry, but this tip offers helpful techniques.

Microsoft's Cluster Server (MSCS) provides high-reliability computing in a Windows environment. But if you run into a situation where you need to replace a failed hard drive or modify the SCSI ID or physical SCSI drive location, you need to know some special techniques.

The problem rears its ugly head when you try to re-start the cluster service. In this scenario, the startup fails and usually produces the following error message in the log:

Event ID: 1034
Source: ClusDisk
Description: The disk associated with cluster disk resource DriveLetter could not be found. The expected signature of the disk was DiskSignature.

The problem is that MSCS relies on disk signatures to keep track of the disks serving the cluster, and swapping out a disk or changing the enumeration of disks on the SCSI bus confuses the server.

The fix, which is complicated, introduces the new disk with the new disk signature to the cluster server. Here are the steps for the fix:

  • Back up the server configuration
  • Disable Cluster Service in both nodes
  • Restart Node 2
  • Configure the new disk
  • Gather information about your disks
  • Gather information about your disk resources
  • Update the disk information in the cluster registry
  • Remove the disk signature information from the cluster disk driver
  • Remove the duplicate entry in the disk key
  • Create a copy of the cluster registry
  • Remove the cluster registry on the Quorum Drive
  • Start cluster service on Node 1
  • Boot Node 1, then start on Node 2
  • Manually synchronize the cluster registries
  • Remove the disk signature information for the cluster disk driver on Node 2
  • Remove the duplicate entry in the disk key
  • Start the cluster service on Node 2

If that doesn't work, you may have a corrupted disk key and you may have to delete it from the Registry. This is also an involved procedure and can be quite time-consuming to boot.

Microsoft spells all this out in Knowledge Base article 243195: Event ID 1034 for MSCS Shared Disk After Disk Replacement.;en-us;243195

I suggest you read that article carefully before attempting to apply this procedure. Since it involves modifying the Registry, you should thoroughly check your work while applying the changes.


Rick Cook is a freelance writer specializing in storage and storage-related issues.

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