How to destroy a zombie zpool

Matt Mullins mokomull at
Mon Jan 16 18:49:49 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 8:37 AM, Daniel Staal <DStaal at> wrote:
> There is a zombie copy of the old zpool sitting around interfering with
> things.  'zpool import' lists it, but it can't import it because the disks
> don't actually exist.  'zpool destroy' can't delete it, because it's not
> imported.  ('No such pool')  Any ideas on how to get rid of it?

It sounds like your /boot/zfs/zpool.cache file still has the pool
listed.  I can't find definitive documentation to this end, but I
think "zpool export <pool name>" might remove the entry from the zpool

If that still doesn't work (and you haven't yet put another filesystem
on those disks), you might get buy with using dd to wipe the first and
last several MB of the disk/partitions that had been in the pool.  Of
course, if the disks have already been re-used or removed, then zfs
shouldn't be finding them when it scans the device nodes.

Hope this helps,
Matt Mullins

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