VMware vSAN: unable to erase partitions


During the configuration of a new VMware vSAN cluster, disks are unavailable for claiming and the erase partitions procedure fails.

If you are using disks previously used in another vSAN cluster, this is an expected behavior since disks are still retaining the previous configured vSAN partitions then disks are not available for another vSAN cluster.


Erase partitions

To fix this matter, the partitions removal is the solution. To remove the configured partitions is a simple task. Select the host with the disk partitions to remove and select Storage Devices under the Configure tab.

Select the disk to erase (Samsung EVO 970 Plus SSD in the example) and select Partition Details to see the current configuration. You should see the following partitions:

  • vSAN metada
  • vSAN File System

Click Erase Partitions to remove the configuration.


It may happen the system fails to delete the partitions displaying the following error message:

Cannot change the host configuration. Failed to update disk partitions for /vmfs/devices/disks/...




Before trying tricky solutions, the old school trick always worth to be attempted.... put the host in Maintenance Mode, right click the host and select Power > Reboot.


After rebooting the host, select the host and go to Configure tab. Access the Storage Devices section under the Configure tab and select the disk to erase. Click Erase Partitions.


A confirmation window is displayed. Click OK to proceed.


This time partitions have been deleted successfully.


Attempting the VMware vSAN configuration once again, disks can now be claimed and used in the new cluster. If you experience this issue, as first troubleshooting step give the host a reboot.


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