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‘The disk is offline because of a policy set by an administrator’ error message relates to SAN policy.

Here at Bobcares, we have seen several such Windows-related errors as part of our Server Management Services for web hosts and online service providers.

Today we’ll take a look at the solution for this disk problem.


‘The disk is offline because of policy set by an administrator’ – Why does this happen

The error appears as below.

Offline (The disk is offline because of a policy set by an administrator).

This error is mainly related to the SAN Policy that appeared in Windows Server 2008. Also, this policy controls the automatic mounting of external disks and is used to protect shared disks available to multiple servers at once.

By default, the Offline Shared (VDS_SP_OFFLINE_SHARED) policy is used for all SAN disks on Windows Server.

However, we can change your SAN Policy to OnlineAll using Diskpart.


How we fix the issue when the disk is offline because of Policy Set by an Administrator

Recently, we came across a problem where one of the servers running on Windows Server 2016 was getting offline after each restart.

This disk was an additional disk that was connected as a SAN LUN over FC. Let’s see how our Support Engineers resolve this problem.

First, we opened the Disk Management console (diskmgmt.msc) and could see that this disk is in an Offline state.

In order to make the disk available in Windows, we right-click on it and hit the online button. But we had to do this after each restart. However, this doesn’t seem to be feasible.

the disk is offline because of policy set by an administrator

As this error relates to SAN Policy, let’s change it using the Diskpart.

1. First, we open the command prompt as administrator and run the diskpart. In diskpart context, we display the current SAN policy:

SAN Policy : Offline Shared

2. Then we change the SAN Policy:

DISKPART> san policy=OnlineAll

3. Then we view the current policy again:

SAN Policy : Online All

4. After that, we select the disk (in our example, the disk index is 2):

DISKPART> select disk 2

5. We can also view its attributes.

DISKPART> attributes disk

6. Also, we ensure that the Read-Only attribute is not enabled. If it is, then we disable it. Otherwise, when trying to write something on the disk, we will see this message: “The disk is write protected”:

DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

7. Then we take the disk online:

DISKPART> online disk
DiskPart successfully onlined the selected disk

8. Finally, we close diskpart and restart the server and make sure that the disk is available after boot.

[Need any further assistance in fixing Windows errors? – We are here to help you]



In short, this error relates to SAN Policy. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers resolve this Windows error.


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