Microsoft warns Server Manager disk resets can vanish data

It has a workaround. Plus: Software giant also has a round of tweaks to Windows 11 22H2

Microsoft has cooked up a workaround for a newly disclosed problem: losing data when you try to reset virtual disks using the vendor's Server Manager console in some versions of Windows Server.

The Windows Server management console lets IT admins provision and manage local and remote Windows-based servers from their desktop. You don't need physical access to the servers or to enable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to each server.

Microsoft has updated the software over the years to enable it to manage remote multi-server environments and to grow the number of servers an administrator can manage.

The problem the software maker is pointing to comes when admins try to clear a virtual disk via the Community Virtual Driver tool. The wrong disk might be inadvertently reset, triggering an error message that reads: "Found multiple disks with the same ID. Please update your storage driver and then try again."

"When you use the Community Virtual driver, there are virtual disks that might have the same UniqueId," Microsoft wrote in a notice. "This might create issues when you initiate a reset operation. The reset operation will reset the first disk that it finds. However, this might not be the disk you want to reset. Because of this, that disk will lose data."

The problem affects machines running Windows Server 2019 and 2022 and all editions of Windows 11 version 22H2.

The workaround for the problem uses PowerShell commands to retrieve and reset a disk.

To get details about the disks, admins can type Get-PhysicalDisk | Select-Object -Property FriendlyName, DeviceID, UniqueId

They can then confirm the detail about the disk they want to reset and use the disk's DeviceID as the number in the command Clear-Disk [-Number] <uint32[]>

The workaround for the virtual disk reset problem comes the same week that Microsoft dealt with another issue around the list of vulnerable drivers that are blocked from being updated for systems running older Windows operating systems, such as Windows 10.

At the same time, Microsoft released the KB5018496 preview cumulative update for Windows 11 22H2 that offers a mix of more than two dozen new features and tweaks. Included among the features is the ability to call up the Task Manager when right-clicking the taskbar – a capability that will be rolled out in the coming weeks – and enhancements to the visuals on the taskbar to make it easier to discover content.

"It enhances search visual treatments on the taskbar to improve discoverability," Microsoft wrote in the notice. "This is available to a small audience initially and deploys more broadly in the months that follow. Some devices might notice different visual treatments as we gather feedback."

There also are tweaks to the Microsoft Account area in Settings. Those include being able to manage a Microsoft OneDrive subscription and related cloud storage alerts.

The fixes addressed include Edge not working in IE mode, the credential UI not displaying in IE mode, the Start menu not working when using keyboard commands, the removal of cached credentials for security keys and Fast Identity Online 2.0 (FIDO2) authentications in hybrid domain-joined devices, and vertical and artificial line artifacts appearing on the screen.

KB5018496 is an optional cumulative update. If administrators choose not to apply the update, the new features and bug fixes will come in the November update for Windows 11. Applying the changes to the operating system requires rebooting the system ®

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