SQL Journey

A blog about real-life SQL Server Troubleshooting, providing solutions that actually work. By a SQL Server Enthusiast.

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  • Blog Post: Something to watch out for when using IS_MEMBER() in TSQL

    I recently worked on an interesting issue with my good friend Igor (@sqlsantos), where we were facing performance issues with a piece of code that used the IS_MEMBER () function. Basically, the IS_MEMBER function is used to find out whether the current user (windows/sql login used for the current session...
  • Blog Post: When using SSL, SQL Failover Cluster Instance fails to start with error 17182

    I recently worked on an interesting issue with a SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance (FCI). We were trying to use an SSL certificate on the instance, and we followed these steps: Made sure the certificate was requested according to the requirements defined here . Loaded the certificate into the Personal...
  • Blog Post: SQL 2012 Availability Group does not come up on one instance

    I recently came across this interesting issue with SQL 2012 Always on Availability Groups, wherein after the network and IP were changed, the AG would not come up on one of the instances.   We checked the errorlogs on the server, found the following successful stacks for the failovers that had been...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server patch fails with "Could not find any resources appropriate for the specified culture or the neutral culture"

    I recently worked on a number of issues where SQL Server Service Pack/patch installation would fail, and we would see this error in the relevant Detail.txt (located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<Date time of the installation attempt> for SQL 2008/2008 R2):  ...
  • Blog Post: How To: Troubleshooting SQL Server I/O bottlenecks

    One of the most common reason for server performance issues with respect to SQL Server is the presence of an I/O bottleneck on the system. When I say I/O bottleneck, it can mean issues like slow disks, other processes hogging I/O, out-dated drivers, etc. In this blog, I will seek to outline the approach...
  • Blog Post: An interesting issue with SQL Server Script upgrade mode

    Here's another common issue that I've seen quite a few people run into of late. When you run a patch against SQL Server, the patch installs successfully, but on restart, SQL goes into "script upgrade mode" and you're unable to connect to it. Upon looking at the errorlog, you see something like...
  • Blog Post: An in-depth look at SQL Server Memory–Part 3

    In part 1 and part 2 of the series, we talked about the memory architecture and the Procedure Cache respectively. In this third and final instalment of the SQL Server Memory series, I will look to focus on troubleshooting SQL Server Memory pressure issues.   Before we start on the troubleshooting...
  • Blog Post: An in-depth look at SQL Server Memory–Part 2

    Before you read this, I would strongly recommend reading Part 1 first. The memory architecture evolved in a big way from SQL 2000 to 2005. Basically, in 2000, all we had was the procedure cache (used to cache compiled plans and execution plans, execution contexts, etc.) and the buffer pool. However,...
  • Blog Post: An in-depth look at SQL Server Memory–Part 1

    I know that memory management in SQL Server is one area that’s a bit of an enigma for a lot of people, and most of us only tend to know as much about memory as is related to our day-to-day activities. In this post(and others in this series), I shall seek to do a deep dive into SQL Server memory...
  • Blog Post: Why the registry size can cause problems with your SQL 2012 AlwaysOn/Failover Cluster setup

    I recently worked on a very interesting issue, where one of the cluster nodes in an AlwaysOn environment became unstable, and the administrators ended up evicting the node from the Windows cluster as an emergency measure. Ideally, since the primary node/replica was no longer available, the Availability...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Cluster Failover Root Cause Analysis–the what, where and how

    I know many of you get into situations where SQL Server fails over from one node of a cluster to the other, and you’re hard-pressed to find out why. In this post, I shall seek to answer quite a few questions about how to about conducting a post-mortem analysis for SQL Server cluster failover, aka Cluster...
  • Blog Post: Migrating TFS from SQL Server Enterprise to Standard can cause problems due to compression

    When migrating a Team Foundation Server from SQL Server Enterprise to Standard , you might run into this error: Restore Failed For Server ‘< Servername >’, (Microsoít.SqlServer.SmoExtended) Additional information: An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch. (Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: When DBMail started complaining about the servername being NULL

    I recently came across an issue, where, for some reason, DBMail was not working. To be more specific, we were unable to create a profile for DBMail, let alone send emails. When trying to add the profile to the account, we were getting this error: TITLE: Configuring... ----------------------------...
  • Blog Post: An interesting issue with SQL Replication and a rogue system spid

    I recently came across this interesting issue with SQL Replication. We were trying to create a new publication, and the new publication wizard would just hang. Upon doing some investigation, we found that we were hitting the connect article mentioned here . However, the connect article mentions that...
  • Blog Post: An in-depth look at Ghost Records in SQL Server

    Ghost records are something that are a bit of an enigma for most folks working with SQL Server, and not just because of the name. Today, I’ll seek to explain the concept, as well as identify some troubleshooting techniques. The main reason behind introducing the concept of Ghost records was...
  • Blog Post: The most interesting issue in DB Mirroring you will ever see

    I recently worked on a very interesting “issue” in DB mirroring, relevant to a very specific scenario. Read on to find out more. Basically, we have a setup which looks something like this: Initial setup with machines A, B and C A principal B mirror C witness Take down the principal...
  • Blog Post: Backup database results in error “Could not clear 'DIFFERENTIAL' bitmap in database”

    I recently ran into yet another issue, where the error message had absolutely no relation to the final solution. When trying to back up a database, we were getting the following error: Msg 18273, Level 16, State 1, Line 1 Could not clear 'DIFFERENTIAL' bitmap in database 'RS_newTempDB' because of error...
  • Blog Post: The ‘NULL’ Debate, and a few other interesting facts

    This is for all my developer friends out there. I recently had a very interesting discussion with a friend of mine on the enigma called NULL and how it’s different from, say, an empty string. This is something that’s been under debate for as long as i can remember, and not just in the realm...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Resource database corruption–yes, it’s possible

    It’s very rare that I run into an issue with the Resource database, and the one I ran into recently was rarer still. But before I get into the nitty-gritty of the issue, let us begin by outlining a few details about the resource database: The Resource database The resource database is a hidden...
  • Blog Post: SQL, Sharepoint and the Windows Internal Database – an interesting saga

    This one is for all my friends out there who use Sharepoint. A default Sharepoint installation enables/installs the Windows Internal database, and creates its databases on it. The Windows Internal Database is, in a way, a special edition of SQL Server, in the sense that it’s not a Full version...
  • Blog Post: How to replace/restore start menu shortcuts for any program

    Okay, let me admit first up that this is not an out and out SQL Server issue, but one of those interesting ones, that required me to provide an easy workaround. What happened was, someone (or some program) deleted the entire SQL Server folder from the start menu. All the components were, however, still...
  • Blog Post: Access Violation dumps and metadata corruption

    This is an issue that I had been busy working on these past few days. We were getting AV dumps on the DB, and when I looked at the stack, I found that SQL was calling a function to get the name of a column(given a table name), an index id and key id. This function call resulted in a an exception being...
  • Blog Post: An interesting “Issue” with adding Windows Logins in SQL Server

    Now here’s one that had me stumped for quite some time. A brief description of the issue:- 1. I have 2 instances of SQL Server set up on different servers, both with a Case sensitive collation 2. At least one of the instances is installed on a cluster. 3. The Windows version for all...
  • Blog Post: Windows Server 2003 - KB 2463332 for Windows Internal Database fails to install

    This is an interesting issue that I ran into, and took some time to find out the steps for resolution. What was happening was the customer was receiving repeated prompts for installing KB 2463332 for Windows Internal Database. It could, of course, have been any other update for the windows internal DB...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Patch installation fails with error 1603

    Ran into this interesting issue recently. I was trying to install a patch on SQL, and it failed. I searched in the hotfix.log (since this was a SQL 2005 instance), and found these messages:- 02/03/2012 03:01:03.649 Installing file: sqlrun_sql.msp 02/03/2012 03:01:03.696 Copy Engine: Creating MSP install...
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