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How will Windows Server 2012 upgrades impact Windows storage pools?

Learn what steps administrators should take to preserve the functionality of storage pools when upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2.

Brien PoseyBrien Posey

How will Windows Server 2012 upgrades impact storage pools?

Although Windows storage pools are alive and well in the forthcoming Windows Server 2012 R2, storage admins need to know that Microsoft has "generationalized" the feature. In essence, this means that the Windows storage pool structure is unique to the operating system that created it. So, what does this mean for organizations that are considering upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2?

If you are performing an in-place upgrade, you won't have to deal with storage pool generations. The legacy storage pool will be upgraded along with the operating system.

Things become a little bit more interesting when you perform a clean install. Storage pools are defined at the storage level, not at the operating-system level. Therefore, even if you format a server's boot disk, the legacy storage pool remains unless you also reformat the disks within it.

A clean installation of Windows Server 2012 R2 will recognize a storage pool that was created by Windows Server 2012. However, this legacy storage pool is not initially usable. You can delete and recreate the legacy storage pool, but if you want to use it without having to recreate it first, you will have to do two things.

The first thing you have to do is designate the legacy storage pool as read/write. Windows Server 2012 R2 treats the legacy storage pool as a foreign object. Designating it as read/write (which can be done through a simple right-click operation) associates it with the new operating system.

The second thing you have to do is upgrade the legacy storage pool. Upgrading can also be accomplished with a simple right-click operation. It is worth noting that upgrading is a one-way operation and that once you upgrade a legacy storage pool, it will be permanently incompatible with Windows Server 2012.

This was first published in August 2013

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