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To safely remove a drive from a Domain Controller

Posted on 2016-09-26
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Last Modified: 2016-09-27
Hello:

I want to remove the 'D' drive from an active Domain Controller.  It does not appear that the Data Drive is being used by anything on that server.  The reason I am careful is because I feel as if there is no margin for error at my work and I would rather be safe than sorry.  Remving this drive will free up 100 GB of space

I was going to remove the drive a couple of months ago; but I did not remove it, I just cautiosnly disabled a few features one at a time.  For example, I changed the drive letter and then removed the drive letter of that data drive to see if anything bad would happen.  Nothing bad happend and then I was ready to remove the drive; but, then we began having other unrelated problems, so I chose to hold off.

I am ready to consider trying again; but, i wanted to dscuss with the Expertsbefroe I actually do it.  My previous question can be found in:  https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28907165/Will-removing-a-2nd-hard-drive-hurt-the-Domain-Controller.html

Since the above mentioned question, I spoke with a VMware consultant and it was suggested that I can remove the drive while the VM is turned off; but, choose to not to delete the file.  See screen shot below

screen1
This allows the drive to be removed from the VM but the hard drive will not be removed from the DataStore folder.  These are the benefits of having VMware, it is very modular.

My new question may be redundant; but, I am just afraid of the ramifications if something bad happens and I did not bother to ask.  is my plan/procedure to remove the un-used drive correct?


1.      Make sure that the affected Virtual Machine is actually powered on.
           a.      The reason, is if you mistakenly select to delete the active drive, VMware will not let you delete it.
           b.      If you have that VM turned off, there is no way for VMware to prevent the mistake from proceeding.
           c.  Am I correct to assume that VMware is smart enough not to allow me to delete a drive that is in use?

2.      Browse to the DataStore and find the file to delete.

screen2
3.     Select the file and then press the ‘Delete Button’, from the top menubar (Red X
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Question by:Pkafkas
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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First I would remove from the virtual machine (do not delete from disk!).

and then check for a few days, no access to your drive is required, and then you can safely delete the disk from your datastore.

For your information, virtual disks, are hot plug and play, and CAN BE removed/deleted from an OS, in real time whilst up!

VMware vSphere has NO IDEA, that an OS is actually writing inside to a virtual disk!
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by:Pkafkas
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I ended up removing the disk last night as I indicated above (while the VM was running).  Everything worked out just fine.  One just must be sure to remove the correct drive and check the setings.

- .vmdk name
- Date of last change  //if it was removed then that date would be the last time data was written to it.

You just need to be careful what you are removing and weigh the potential good vs the potential bad.  For example I would like to remove an drive that is no longer being used on old printer server that is not longer being used in production.  I will use the same process as mentioned above to remove the un-used drive; but, I feel a lot more relaxed in making this change vs an Active Domian Controller.
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