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Logical Disk Availability is critical – what does this mean?

You might have noticed a logical disk availability monitor, being red on some of your systems.


In more recent MP’s – this monitor was renamed to “File System error or corruption”


One of the challenges with this monitor – is that it has really good product knowledge, but the state change context doesn’t give us much to go on:




“BAD” is not enough information really to go do something to a production server.


If you look at the product knowledge – which is pretty good – it mentions

  • Related physical disk has been removed
  • Physical disk has become corrupt (for example; bad sectors) or inoperable
  • Problem with physical disk driver

As to resolutions:

  • Open the Disk Management snap-in.
  • Rescan the disks and then reactivate any disks with errors.
  • Resynchronize or regenerate the volume as necessary if the disk was a member of a mirrored or RAID-5 volume.
  • Run chkdsk on any reactivated volumes.

But what if you didn’t see any problems?  Then what?  It’s not like we are going to run off and run a chkdsk on a production server if we don’t see anything wrong or know about any previous disk issues.


At that point – it is good to know what this monitor is actually doing.  If you look at the MP in the XML, or follow the Monitor > MonitorType > DataSource in the Authoring Console, you will see this monitor runs a script every 5 minutes (Microsoft.Windows.Server.LogicalDiskHealthCheck.vbs)

While the script does MANY checks… the primary driver of “BAD” state is a single item – a WMI query to the Win32_LogicalDisk class to see if the Volume is marked as dirty.

You check this yourself:

  1. Open WBEMTEST
  2. Connect to root\CIMV2
  3. Select query, and paste in:  “select * from Win32_Volume”  (no quotes)
  4.    (on older operatying systems prior to Server 2003, you would need to run “select * from Win32_LogicalDisk where (DriveType=3 or DriveType=6) and FileSystem != null”  (no quotes)
  5. Select each line that was output by the query with a doubleclick.
  6. On the right side – click SHOW MOF
  7. Scroll all the way down in the list to  “DirtyBitSet”    (or use “VolumeDirty” if you ran the second query for old OS versions)

If DirtyBitSet or VolumeDirty = True, then this monitor will be “Bad”.

What this means is – at some point this volume got a NTFS error, or was removed from the OS in a critical manner.  It *requires* a Chdksk /f to be run against this volume to restore the DirtyBitSet or VolumeDirty to a FALSE condition.

So – if you see these – you can double check this by running the simple WMI query… and then just schedule a Chkdsk on the volume during the next available maintenance window.

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