Creating virtual hard disks–the slow way

Over the weekend I reconfigured one of my main servers.  As part of this process – I had to make some large fixed virtual hard disks (800-1600GB in size).  This took a long time…

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I spent quite some a while looking at this screen…

In the past I have talked about why this takes a long time and I have also talked about a tool that is available that can make fixed virtual hard disks quickly.  So you may be wondering why I would still create virtual hard disks the slow way.

Well – there are two reasons:

  1. Support.  I know that all of our testing is done using virtual hard disks created by Hyper-V – not by any other tools.  This means that I can have high confidence in the fact that I am unlikely to have problems with these disks – and that if I do have any problems, we will fix them.
  2. Reliability. I like to know that every sector of the disk has been touched before I put it into production.  For the same reason, I always do a full (not quick) format of a disk before putting real workload on it.  I have personally had the experience of having a system where everything appeared to be fine – but creating a 200GB fixed virtual hard disk (the slow way) would cause the system to crash; which in turn revealed that there was a bug in the disk driver I was using.

In my opinion – when it comes to production systems, sometimes it is just worth taking the time to do things properly.

Cheers,
Ben