Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Considerations for Modifying EBS Volumes

Be aware of the following limitations and special cases affecting volume modification:

  • In some cases, your volume needs to be detached or the instance stopped for modification to proceed. If you encounter an error message while attempting to apply a modification to an EBS volume, or if you are modifying an EBS volume attached to a previous-generation instance type, take one of the following steps:

  • The previous generation Magnetic volume type is not supported by the volume modification methods described in this topic. However, you can take a snapshot of a Magnetic volume and restore it to a differently configured EBS volume.

  • Decreasing the size of an EBS volume is not supported. However, you can create a smaller volume and then migrate your data to it using an application-level tool such as robocopy.

  • After modifying a volume, you need to wait at least six hours before applying further modifications to the same volume.

  • Volumes that were attached to current generation instances before Nov. 1, 2016 require one of the following actions to initialize the modification support described in this topic:

    • Stop and restart the instance.


      When you stop an instance, the data on any instance store volumes is erased. Therefore, if you have any data on instance store volumes that you want to keep, be sure to back it up to persistent storage.

    • Detach and re-attach the volume.

    This is a one-time requirement.

    To determine when your volume was created, navigate to the volume details page in the Amazon EC2 console and view the Created field. To display the volume's most recent attachment time, which may be more recent than the creation time, use the AWS CLI. The following command issues a query for volumes that were most recently attached before the cutoff date:

    aws ec2 describe-volumes --region us-east-1 --query "Volumes[?Attachments[?AttachTime<='2016-11-01']].{ID:VolumeId}" --output text

    The output is a text list of IDs for volumes that need attention:

  • Current generation m3.medium instances fully support volume modification. However, some m3.large, m3.xlarge, and m3.2xlarge instances may not support all volume modification features. If you encounter an error, follow the procedures for previous generation instance types in Appendix: Starting and Stopping an Instance to Modify an EBS Volume.