Esoteric

The inside scoop on SQL / debugging you won't find anywhere else!
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  • Esoteric

    LinkedIn Group for Premier Field Engineering India

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    My team, Premier Field Engineering (India) recently created a group on LinkedIn ( http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3761475&trk=hb_side_g ) which we will use to share our experiences, upcoming offerings, career opportunities and more. Membership...
  • Esoteric

    DB Mirroring Tips

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      Here are some essential things to consider when trying to tune a DB mirroring setup. They revolve round the following concepts: The effect of Virtual Log Files (VLFs) on recovery and therefore failover times The interplay (or lack thereof) between...
  • Esoteric

    Licensing changes in SQL Server 2008 R2

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    In case you are not aware, there have been some significant licensing changes in the SQL 2008 R2 release, especially with the introduction of the DataCenter edition as the top-of-line edition. SQL Books Online documents the facts, as always, but sometimes...
  • Esoteric

    Be Aware: Training Resource

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    Recently, I was informed about some very useful resources (some free webcasts and information about SQL performance tuning related training) at www.sqlworkshops.com That initiative is headed by Ramesh Meyyappan, a former Microsoft employee who worked...
  • Esoteric

    PowerGUI tip

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    I recently faced a situation where the free space on my laptop disk was suddenly depleted. After some searching, I found that PowerGUI keeps its scripteditor logs at “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Quest Software\PowerGUI\Logs”. If you use PowerGUI...
  • Esoteric

    Reconstructing the SQL Server Best Practices Toolbox

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    Till some time ago, I used to direct my customers to http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/bb671432.aspx for obtaining scripts which use the DMVs in SQL 2005/2008 to retrieve very commonly used performance troubleshooting related information. Those...
  • Esoteric

    Performance Dashboard Reports in SQL Server 2008

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    While Activity Monitor in SQL 2008 does a good job depicting waiting tasks, top N queries etc.; many DBAs are simply too familiar with the erstwhile SQL Server 2005 Performance Dashboard Reports. While officially Microsoft does not support the usage of...
  • Esoteric

    Windows Mobile Device Center: missing Icons

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    I recently acquired a new Windows Mobile phone and was using the Windows Mobile Device Center to set up the partnership with my laptop. In the process, I came to a stage where I had to activate IRM as per the steps in Activate Information Rights Management...
  • Esoteric

    Web installer for obtaining / installing debugging tools (WinDbg)

    • 1 Comments
    Recently there has been a change to the way you obtain downloads of the WinDbg family of Debugging Tools for Windows. The classic link for the direct download of these installers was http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/default.mspx. Unfortunately...
  • Esoteric

    Programmatically Getting version of loaded assembly

    • 1 Comments
    I recently had to determine at runtime the version of the assembly containing a particular type. After some searching I hit upon this: System.Reflection.Assembly.GetAssembly(typeof(MyNamespace.MyType)).GetName().Version.ToString() Do note that this will...
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    Reportviewer and drillthrough

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    I was doing some testing the other day with a ReportViewer control hosted in a WinForms application to do local mode report processing. As some of my reports had a drillthrough / navigation option set, I had setup a set of DrillthroughEventHandler to...
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    Replication and Linked Servers

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    Problem I recently hit upon an issue with trying to setup a linked server to an instance which was already a subscriber to a publication. When replication is setup, it actually creates a remote server for the subscriber. However that ‘remote server’ is...
  • Esoteric

    My Favorite SQL Server Blogs

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    At our workshops and during other customer interactions, we are usually asked for links to good blogs and reading materials. Here is a list of my favorite SQL-related blogs, arranged in no specific order. http://blogs.msdn.com/craigfr : Craig Freedman...
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    Hack of the day: Shrink all log files in the instance

    • 3 Comments
    Before I proceed, I will add two disclaimers: This script is provided as-is for knowledge purposes. It is not a recommendation, or in any way intended for production usage. No warranty or guarantee is made about the correctness of the script. Use it at...
  • Esoteric

    Priority boost details – and why it’s not recommended

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    Some times, we see customer has (accidentally or otherwise) enabled the option ‘boost priority’ for SQL Server worker threads. In general Microsoft does not recommend that you set this option. Why? First a bit of background. When we set the ‘priority...
  • Esoteric

    WARNING: Stack unwind information not available. Following frames may be wrong.

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    I’m sure if you have ever used the WinDbg family of debuggers sometime, you must have seen the above message. What does it really mean? How does it affect you? Quick Background on stack operation In x86, the way the stack is built up, the entry point...
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    YADCU - Yet another dump capture utility

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    The plethora of dump capture tools is amazing and sometimes confusing. But here is one from Mark Russinovich which looks interesting: ProcDump . Some unique capabilities I can see in this tool are things like CPU threshold based triggers, the ability...
  • Esoteric

    Low Fragmentation heap details

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    Quick post here: I recently came across a great presentation by Richard Johnson which among other things talks about the implementation details behind ntdll’s Low Fragmentation Heap. While officially not much documentation is available on this subject...
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    The meaning of CID in output of kernel debugger commands

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    Recently someone asked me what was the real meaning of the ‘Cid’ field which appears in the output of commands such as !process and !thread in the kernel debugger (kd). Though from a practical perspective I was aware that these represent the Process ID...
  • Esoteric

    Quick Tip: vfbasics!_AVRF_EXCEPTION_LOG_ENTRY symbol not resolved?

    • 4 Comments
    I was debugging some issues with the help of Application Verifier and WinDbg. Since I was onsite I did not have any access to Microsoft’s private symbol servers, so I was using the public symbol server ( http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols ). On...
  • Esoteric

    t-SQL Anti-Pattern: Index Key Order and Query Expression Order

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    This is really not a T-SQL anti-pattern as much as it is a database design issue, but we see it so often that it’s worthwhile bringing it up and clarifying things. For illustrating the scenario, let’s examine the table Person.Contact in the AdventureWorks...
  • Esoteric

    Tip of the day: "An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format" .NET P/INVOKE issue

    • 15 Comments
    The other day I was using a 3rd party utility which was built on the .NET platform. My primary work computer happens to be a x64 installation. So on this computer when I fired the utility up, and tried to perform some tasks it would error with a .NET...
  • Esoteric

    VISUAL STUDIO REMOTE DEBUGGER HISTORY

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    Let's say you use the Visual Studio Remote Debugger extensively, and with a wide variety of remote targets. Very quickly the list of qualifiers (see the image below to understand what I refer to) can grow quickly with 'noise' items. If you were curious...
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    Rolling upgrade of 1 instance from 2-node, 2-instance sql failover cluster to slipstreamed sql 2008 SP1

    • 3 Comments
    Now that SQL Server 2008 SP1 is released (download link here ), it is time to test a very interesting capability: Service Pack slipstreaming. That means that you can save some time by doing an 'integrated' installation of SQL 2008 which includes the SP1...
  • Esoteric

    Debugging Toolbox

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    This one is a quickie for an easy reference to most commonly used debugging tools and links. I hope you find it useful, and kindly indicate your feedback on this page by using the comments section or by rating the post! Debugging Toolbox Tool Key Usage...
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