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Cannot use file 'C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.SQLEXPRESS\MSSQL\Template Data\master.mdf' because it was originally formatted with sector size 4096 and is now on a volume with sector size 32768. Move the file to a volume with a sector size that is the same as or smaller than the original sector size.

That's the error. fsutil output looks like

C:\windows\system32>fsutil fsinfo sectorinfo c:
LogicalBytesPerSector : 512
PhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 32768
PhysicalBytesPerSectorForPerformance : 32768
FileSystemEffectivePhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 4096
Device Alignment : Aligned (0x000)
Partition alignment on device : Aligned (0x000)
No Seek Penalty
Trim Supported
Not DAX capable
Not Thinly-Provisioned

Other versions of MS SQL Server return similar errors. Only thing I've found on this was about 10 years ago someone hit it and Microsoft determined Dell was releasing a BIOS update for it. But.. 10 years ago and this is an HP with a Samsung 991 NVMe drive.

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Might be on to something here.. I had to do some registry changes and now I can see:

LogicalBytesPerSector : 512
PhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 4096
PhysicalBytesPerSectorForPerformance : 4096
FileSystemEffectivePhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 4096
Device Alignment : Aligned (0x000)
Partition alignment on device : Aligned (0x000)
No Seek Penalty
Trim Supported
Not DAX capable
Not Thinly-Provisioned

I'm removing SQL Server and reinstalling, because after this, SQL Server still wouldn't start, but with different errors and honestly I don't think it installed properly/fully the first go around anyway.

This page has some info about the sector sizes. Under Resolutions there's a registry entry that you can use to force it back to a 4k max sector size. I've added that, rebooted, and I get the above.

After uninstalling SQL Server, then reinstalling, all is well.

Based on that other link, this seems to be an issue specific to Windows 11 and I'd expect a lot of people to encounter this soon.

Pasting the registry entry here just in case that other site/post goes poof.

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\stornvme\Parameters\Device" /v "ForcedPhysicalSectorSizeInBytes" /t REG_MULTI_SZ /d "* 4095" /f

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Jason Hanna is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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  • This is correct, that's why the document was recently created. Additionally you can read the document for the details, which has to do with the changes between how the underlying OS (Windows 11 in this case) presents storage under the storage stack. I also have an answer here which doesn't go into all the details but does call out no support for anything larger than 4k sector sizes: dba.stackexchange.com/questions/230973/… Jan 13 at 0:54

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