The Disk is offline because of policy set by an Administrator Error

Microsoft Windows LogoBackground:

  • Windows 2008r2 Datacenter virtual machine installed on VMware 5.0
  • Virtual hard drives stored on a Dell Equalogic SAN


I ran into the error message ” The disk is offline because of a policy set by an administrator” when attempting to format additional virtual hard drives on a Windows 2008r2 Datacenter server. This error message is a result of Microsoft policies regarding virtual hard drives on a SAN. ¬†Other than the boot drive, additional hard drives are set to Offline by default.


  • Query the current SAN policy:
    • From the server’s command prompt type:
      • diskpart.exe
      • DISKPART> san
      • SAN Policy: Offline Shared
    • Set the Disk to Online:
      • Log onto server a an Administrator
      • Click Computer Management
      • Click Storage
      • Click Disk Management
      • Right Click the disk and choose Online
    • Format Drive as needed.

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