How to Move Master Database to a New Location in SQL Cluster

Posted in: Microsoft SQL Server, Technical Track

Recently, we had a situation where a customer asked us to move Master Database from Local Drive to SAN drive. I have outlined the steps for the task:

Moving Master in SQL Server Cluster

    1. Connect to the server
    2. Open Configuration Manager -> SQL Server Service
    3. Right click and select Properties
    4. Click on the Startup Parameter
    5. Remove startup parameter (the highlighted one)
         -eG:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Log\ErrorLog
  1. Add new startup parameters with new values (per your configuration)
  2. Check and confirm which node is active
  3. PAUSE current PASSIVE node  to avoid fail-over
  4. Take SQL Server resources offline, i.e. SQL Server, SQL Agent, MSDTC, SQLCLUSTER Name (Do not take SQL Cluster IP Offline.)
  5. Copy MASTER.MDF and MASTLOG.LDF to NEW Location ( S:\SQLDATA, but yours could be different)
  6. Log into Cluster Administrator and bring SQL Server Resources online
  7. Resume current PASSIVE Node
-eG:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Log\ErrorLog

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About the Author

Lead Database Consultant
I am a Database Administrator by profession, and a student of a university called life by heart. I am passionate about SQL Server, photography, reading and sharing. Currently, I'm Lead Database Consultant @Pythian. I have been a Microsoft SQL Server MVP for four years, and a published author of the book - SQL Server 2008 High Availability.Keep in touch with me on twitter @ghemant

4 Comments. Leave new

SQL Server # Moving MASTER database in cluster environment ~ SQL Server Citation - SQL Blog by Hemantgiri S. Goswami, SQL MVP
December 24, 2012 10:40 pm

[…] now!!! – Regards,Hemantgiri S. Goswami ( )Cross posting: var linkwithin_site_id = […]

Jim Johnston
May 3, 2013 4:33 pm

So, no changes to the passive side of the cluster? the changes are all carried over to the passive node?


Yes, it will carried over as SQL Server would be a shared across both nodes.




I have a two node sqlcluster 2008R2 on server2012, and security update for sqlserver failed because the system database’s where placed in the cluster disk (D:\).

I am thinking of two ways to get this fixed:

1. Move the system databases to local C:\ on both nodes so i can install the patches without downtime.
2. Use a mount point and shared it b/w both the nodes and place the systems database there, that way the path will remain the same.

Please advice.



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