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Converting physical rdm to virtual rdm with MSSQL server drives in VMware 5.5

We currently have six drives that are physical rdm. We would like to convert them to vitural rdm's. The problem is that we have to turn off the server detach and delete the drive then reattach it as a virtual rdm. When we turn it on all the drives might be offline which will cause MSSQL to error out. Has anyone had experience doing this with a MSSQL server? If so what is the best way to do this?
Thanks
-Windows 2008 R2
-MSSQL 2008 64 bit
-vSphere 5.5 sp2
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Rick HobbsRETIRED
Top Expert 2006

Commented:
You must power the VM down to do this, there is no way to do it live. Period
Rick HobbsRETIRED
Top Expert 2006
Commented:
alanvanwyk has done a step by step on the VMware expert site.  It is located here.  I have a copy of the docs on my laptop and quoted it in my original post.

http://www.get-virtual.info/2011/03/21/how-to-migrate-and-convert-physical-rdms/

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Commented:
I was hoping to do it without using a command line.
Rick HobbsRETIRED
Top Expert 2006

Commented:
It doesn't appear you have a choice.
I may be mistake but after reading the link posted earlier... http://www.get-virtual.info/2011/03/21/how-to-migrate-and-convert-physical-rdms/

It does appear you can do this via the GUI or command line..

4) here it is:
To migrate and convert physical RDM to virtual disk:
vmkfstools -i servername_1.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/vm folder/servername-newdisk_1.vmdk

***To migrate and convert physica RDM to virtual RDM, there are two methods
– in vi client edit VM settings of powered down VM, remove rdmp mapped disk, then re-add a new hard disk selecting the same disk only be sure to select virtual as the mode, you will log in and see all of your data and mount points are unchanged.****


– from the ESX prompt in the virtual machine folder on the VMFS volume:
vmkfstools -i servername_1.vmdk -d rdm:/vmfs/devices/disks/vml.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx /vmfs/volumes/vm folder/servername_1-rdm.vmdk
To migrate physica RDM to a new physical RDM:
vmkfstools -i servername_1.vmdk -d rdmp:/vmfs/devices/disks/vml.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx /vmfs/volumes/vm folder/servername_1-rdmp.vmdk