I’ve just finished doing some maintenance on one of my development servers and encountered a problem where I could not restart the SQL Server. The development server was a virtual machine running on VMWare which had a second virtual HDD installed for SQL Server to store the database and log files. This disk had been provisioned at 200GB and over time had acquired a lot of files, such as database backups, which became unnecessary and had filled the 200GB.
I needed to get some of the space back on the VM host so I stopped the SQL Server, copied the SQL mdf and log files to a new HDD, deleted the SQL HDD and then set the drive letter of the new HDD to that of the old one.
I then tried to start SQL Server and received the following error: