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How to move Cluster Quorum Drive

I recently had the need to move the quorum for a cluster to a new SAN drive.  It’s a quite simple thing to do, but some of the options and locations of the cluster resources itself are a little hidden in Windows 2008.  Let’s just walk through the basic steps.

The first thing you need to do is get the new drive added to the cluster and put into the proper group.  If the drive is being presented from a SAN and you have multiple paths to that SAN, then you will need to setup whatever multi-pathing software you have.  If you’re not sure, then an easy test is to open Window Disk Management and see how many new drives are there.  If there are more drives there than you are supposed to have, then you need to setup your multi-pathing.  Once you get that setup and reboot, you should now see the correct number of drives.  If you are on a cluster, you need to do this on each node in the cluster.

Now that your drives are correctly presented to the OS, it’s time to bring them online and format them.  You can do this from the node in the cluster that your services are currently running on and you only have to do this on that one node.  Right click the drive in Windows Disk Management and select online.  Now that the drive is online you need to right click it again and select initialize.  Finally you need to format it by right clicking the drive and selecting New Simple Volume.  Walk through the wizard giving it a drive letter and formatting it with a label.  Don’t worry about what drive letter you assign, as we can change that later.

You are now ready to add the drive to the cluster.  Open the Cluster Manager MMC, expand the cluster, and select storage in the left hand pane.  In the right hand pane you will see all of your cluster groups with their assigned storage below the group.  Select Add Disk in the actions pane and select the disk to add.  You will now see a group called Available Storage where you will find your new drive.

At this point everything is now setup and ready for the move.  In the left hand pane, click the cluster name at the top of the list.  In the actions pane go to More Options and select Configure Cluster Quorum Settings.  Follow through the wizard and the only thing you need to change is on the Configure Storage Witness page.  On this page, simply select the check next to the new storage disk.  You have now successfully moved your cluster quorum to another drive, but let’s verify it.  Open Windows explorer and view the new drive.  You should now see a folder called Cluster, which verifies the move.  Just to be clear, what you have really done is not move the quorum but created a new one.

If you want to reuse the old drive letter (Typically Q:\), then right click the old drive under the Available Storage group and select Change Drive Letter.  Now you can right click the old drive and select delete, which will remove it from the Available Storage group in Cluster Manager.  In order to assign your new drive to the previously used drive letter, simply right click it in Cluster Manager and select Change Drive Letter.  The old drive letter will now be available, so simply select it.  After changing the drive letter you now need to restart the cluster service or run the following command from an elevated command prompt to move it to another node.

cluster group “cluster group” /move:nodename

More Information – If you are moving your cluster quorum drive you might want to check out the following posts:

How to move cluster MSDTC

How to move the Master database

How to move the Model database

How to move the MSDB database

How to move the TempDB database

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Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams is a Senior Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft. He works directly with customers to help them realize their business potential and accelerate their digital transformation on premises and in the cloud. Previously, Ryan was a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and spent 19 years working for a fortune 100 company. His passion is the SQL Server Engine, High Availability, and Disaster Recovery. He also served on the Board of Directors for the North Texas SQL Server User Group, was President of the PASS Performance Virtual Chapter, was a PASS Regional Mentor, and served as a Director for the PASS organization.


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