Unable to create storage Tier in Windows Server 2012 R2

Storage tiers in Windows Server 2012 R2 enables the file server to automaticly move the most accessed files or storage blocks to SSD (fast) storage while rarely accessed data is stored on spindle disks (slow). This function let’s you create larger storage pools and virtual disks while maintaining good performance. In my case this gives me a performance boost in my Hyper-V environment.

My lab/demo setup looks like this:

  • Connected disk cabinet with 4 x 2TB SATA disks (Hardware Raid 10).
  • 2 x 240GB SSD Drives

After creating a storage pool with this disk configuration I found that “Create storage tiers on the virtual disk” was greyed out.


After some investigation I found that the Operating System was unable to classify my “Slow” storage. Media type showed: Unknown.



  • Start Powershell.exe (to get cracking)
  • We need to list our disks: Get-PhysicalDisk | ft FriendlyName,CanPool,Size,MediaType 


  • As you can see, Physical Disk 3 has “UnSpecified” set as Media Type.
  • Next, we need to set MediaType manually: Get-PhysicalDisk | Where FriendlyName -EQ PhysicalDisk3 | Set-PhysicalDisk -MediaType HDD


  •  Run the following command again to verify: Get-PhysicalDisk | ft FriendlyName,CanPool,Size,MediaType 


  • Problem solved, I am now able to select “Create storage tier on this virtual disk”


4 thoughts on “Unable to create storage Tier in Windows Server 2012 R2

  1. Hello good problemsolver!
    Thank you for this Nice article!

    I have the same problem with UnSpecified Mediatype, but i am not able to change the media type.
    I type the following command in PowerShell:

    Get-PhysicalDisk -FriendlyName Physicaldisk2 | Set-PhysicalDisk -MediaType HDD

    When i run that command i get a lot of red error code in Return.
    First line is: Set-PhysicalDisk : Not Supported.
    It seems like this is the line the server does not like:
    | Set-PhysicalDisk -Mediatype HDD

    Do you have any advice for me? 🙂

      • No it was not. Now it is, and i am able to run the command without error. You got it!!!

        Thank you man!!!!

        Two more question:
        1. Is Storage tiers not supported With Parity layout?
        2. Is 4 disks in 2way Mirror like Raid10?

        • Happy to help 🙂

          1. If you have a two-way mirror, there must be two SSDs, If a three-way mirror is created, then there must be three SSDs with the required amount of space.
          2. A two way mirror can be configured to mimic a Raid 10 setup. Please look into resiliency options and configuration of columns to configure tolerated disk failures. There is some discussions in the technet forums about 4 disks in two way mirrors only tolerating 1 disk failure, but in theory it should be able to handle 2. I’m not able to confirm because I run a different setup in my environment. Please let me know if you are able to verify this in your setup.

          For more information please look into this Teched session: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/Europe/2013/MDC-B217#fbid=

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