Follow-on from instant initialization privilege checking

I got bored on the first leg of the journey from Seattle to London so thought I’d bang out a quick blog post. After my previous post on checking whether a SQL instance is able to use instant initialization (see here), I had a discussion with Scott R., who regularly comments on blog articles. He […]

Creating, detaching, re-attaching, and fixing a SUSPECT database

(Check out my Pluralsight online training course: SQL Server: Detecting and Correcting Database Corruption.) [Edit 2017: Although this is an old post, it’s entirely relevant in all versions of SQL Server still.] This is a post I’ve been trying to get to since I started blogging a couple of years ago: how to re-attach a […]

SQL Server 2008: How to rebuild the system databases?

When I started blogging, way back in 2006 :-), the third post I made on the old Storage Engine blog was about rebuilding the msdb database in 2005 (see here). This no longer works in 2008 (fellow MVP Tibor Karaszi explains why here), and in fact the information in Books Online about how to rebuild […]

RunAs Radio interview on being an “involuntary DBA”

On Tuesday I recorded a couple of sessions with Richard and Greg on RunAs Radio. It’s been a while since either Kimberly or I have been on the show – last November at TechEd in Barcelona. In the first session we discussed what it is to be an “involuntary DBA” – someone who’s thrown into the […]

This had me in tears laughing…

Just go watch it – LEGO stop-go animation of a Metallica concert – it’s fantastic! Thanks to Jason Massie for the heads-up (tons of cool SQL stuff on Jason’s site btw…)

Search Engine Q&A #26: Myths around causing corruption

Every so often I’ll see posts on the various data corruption forums discussing causes of corruption. In this post I want to debunk some of the myths around what can cause corruption. There are really two types of corruption to deal with, physical corruption and logical corruption. Physical corruption This is where something has altered […]

LEGO Olympics

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of LEGO (see SQL Down Under podcast interview – CHECKDB, 2008, and what does Paul get up to when Kimberly’s away?). In fact the kids got me the new LEGO Volkswagen Beetle for my birthday last month – just […]

Inside the Storage Engine: What’s in the buffer pool?

This is a quick post inspired by a question I was sent in email (thanks Marcos!) which very neatly lets me show a DMV I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while. And the weather here in Redmond really sucks right now so I can’t go outside – blogging will serve as my work-avoidance […]

Should Microsoft provide a transaction log reader tool?

Now this one’s sure to spark some controversy… I was checking my RSS feeds of the SQL blogs that I follow and noticed an interesting post on Kalen’s blog (the post is here). She’d been lambasted for suggesting in the weekly SQL Server Magazine newsletter that *Microsoft* shouldn’t provide a log reader tool and asked […]

High-performance FILESTREAM tips and tricks

Over the last few weeks I’ve had lots of questions about FILESTREAM performance and how to coax NTFS into scaling nicely. I just finished writing a 30-page whitepaper about FILESTREAM for the SQL Server team, which should be published before PASS in November (I’ll blog the link when I have it). Although my whitepaper isn’t […]

Search Engine Q&A #25: Why isn’t my log backup the same size as my log?

I woke up this morning and someone had replaced my wife with someone who likes to blog :-). Kimberly’s turned over a new leaf and is going to blog much more often – in fact she’s blogged 4 times today already. Check out her blog here. Continuing on the transaction log theme of the last few […]

SQL Server 2008: Does my database contain Enterprise-only features?

Moving databases around is pretty common, as is moving databases between servers running different Editions of SQL Server, especially during a disaster recovery situation. You may not know this, but in SQL Server 2005, if you had partitioning anywhere in a database, you could only attach/restore that database using an Enterprise or Developer instance. I […]

Weird Boeing test flight

Just a bit off-topic on this one! I was sitting working on our top deck this morning when I spotted a large commerical airliner being shadowed by a small jet. I rushed in to grab my binoculars, assuming the escort was military and something was wrong with the airliner. Then things got really weird – […]

Search Engine Q&A #24: Why can’t the transaction log use instant initialization?

This is a quickie in response to a blog comment from my previous post on instant initialization: How to tell if you have instant initialization enabled? The comment was: I must say, I love instant initialization. It’s awesome. But I always wondered why it’s not available for the log file. I assume there’s a technical reason… […]

Can GUID cluster keys cause non-clustered index fragmentation?

At the user group meeting on Monday I spent some time explaining how GUIDs can cause fragmentation in clustered indexes AND in non-clustered indexes, even if the GUID isn’t specifically included in the non-clustered index key. GUIDs are essentially random values (pseudo-random in ranges if generated using NEWSEQUENTIALID) that are also unique. Their uniqueness is […]

Search Engine Q&A #23: My transaction log is full – now what?

There's been a spate of problems on the forums and in my inbox with people's transaction logs filling up. With the increase in "involuntary DBAs", there are more people being thrust into the role of database administration without being given the chance to learn the skills, tips, and tricks necessary. One of the most common […]

SQL Connections Spring 2009: Call for Abstracts

Yes, it’s that time again (well a little bit earlier than usual). With the Fall SQL Server Connections show coming up soon, its time to start planning for the Spring 2009 show. Once again Kimberly and I will be Co-Chairs of the Conference and we’d like to invite you to submit abstracts for the Spring […]

BI classes in Iceland in September

In conjunction with our Iceland partners Miracle, we’re offering three BI classes in Iceland in September, taught by Stacia Misner. The three classes are as follows: September 17th-19th: Expanding Your SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence Skills, Part 1 Abstract: Deeper than traditional introductory courses for SQL Server 2005 business intelligence technologies, this course teaches students […]

When Moray Eels get a little close for comfort…

While we were on vacation at the start of July we spent a week on the live-aboard Kona Aggressor II catching up on some scuba-diving. Two of the night-dives were to a site where Manta Rays congregate (up to 16 of them at a time) and feed off plankton attracted to dive lights. The basic […]

Search Engine Q&A #22: Can all page types be single-page restored?

I've had a few follow-ups on my two posts about boot page and file header page corruption – asking if its possible to do single-page restore operations for these pages. Let's try: CREATE DATABASE BootPageTest; GO — Single page restore is only possible using the FULL recovery model ALTER DATABASE BootPageTest SET RECOVERY FULL; GO […]

How to tell if you have instant initialization enabled?

As you may already know, instant file initialization is a way to prevent data (not log) file create and grow operations having to zero-initialize the new space before allowing it to be used. This can vastly speed up these operations as zero-initialization can take a *long* time for large files. This is especially useful in […]

User groups and classes in August and September

Fresh off a week of teaching classes on the Microsoft campus, we’ve finalized some user group dates. Here’s what we have coming up: Monday August 18th: user group meeting in Redmond .NET Developer’s Association Database Meeting at the Microsoft Redmond Campus Topic: Index Internals and Maintenance Monday September 1st to 3rd: public class in England In […]

Nostalgia day

I’m sitting here writing my next article for TechNet Magazine – this time on Tracking Changes Using SQL Server 2008 – and was fooling around on the web when I came across a page I hadn’t seen for a long time – It’s a student-run computer system at the University of Edinburgh where I […]