How to destroy a zombie zpool

Robert Boyer rwboyer at
Tue Jan 17 05:42:02 UTC 2012

I agree if you move drives and a particular zfs has not seen them before - and there is a zfs label at the end things can go pear shaped - however…

if you blast just the end of the drive it should be fine.


Ps. Maybe I;ll title a book fun with zfs and glabel or cheap thrills with zfs, glabel and gpt uuid's - how to screw up MacOS/Darwin the easy way…

On Jan 16, 2012, at 11:19 PM, Fritz Wuehler wrote:

>> I've got a weird problem...  I was working on installing 9.0 w/zfs on my 
>> laptop, messed up, rebooted, *formatted the drives* and restarted.  Got 
>> much further the next time, however...
>> 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?
> zfs is famous for fucking itself like this. the only totally safe way is to
> dd the drive since nailing the label doesn't clear out stuff at the far end
> of the filesystem that can really ruin your day. don't ask me how i know..
> it will take a few hours dd'ing from /dev/zero to your devices but it is
> well worth it when you do any major surgery on drives that had zfs at one
> point and you want to use them over again with zfs
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