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SQL Server 2005 Practical Troubleshooting: The Database Engine

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ISBN-13: 978-0321447746
ISBN-10: 0321447743
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Never-Before-Published Insiders’ Information for Troubleshooting SQL Server 2005.


This is the definitive guide to troubleshooting the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database engine, direct from the people who know it most intimately: the people who wrote it, designed it, and support it. SQL Server expert Ken Henderson, author of the best-selling Guru’s Guides to SQL Server, has assembled a “dream team” of SQL Server developers and support engineers to provide in-depth troubleshooting and diagnostic information that has never been documented before: information that would be impossible to get without access to Microsoft’s own source code.


From caching to clustering, query processing to Service Broker, this book will help you address even the toughest problems with database engine operations. Each chapter begins with a brief architectural overview of a key SQL Server component, then drills down into the most common problems users encounter, offering specific guidance on investigating and resolving them. You’ll find comprehensive, in-depth chapters on


• Waiting and blocking

• Data corruption and recovery

• Memory

• Procedure cache issues

• Query processing

• Server crashes and other critical failures

• Service Broker

• SQLOS and scheduling

• tempdb

• Clustering


This is the indispensable resource for everyone who must keep SQL Server running smoothly: DBAs, database application developers, API programmers, and Web developers alike.


About the Author

The authoring team is a mix of developers from the SQL Server development team and support professionals from Microsoft’s Customer Support Services organization. Seven developers from the SQL Server development team and three support professionals from Microsoft CSS contributed to this book.


SQL Server Development Team


August Hill has been a developer for more than 30 years. For the past six years he has been a member of the SQL Server Service Broker team. He’s made a number of contributions to the product in the area of supportability. When he’s not developing software he can be found playing guitar or tasting Washington wines. He can be reached at


Cesar Galindo-Legaria is the manager of the Query Optimizer group in SQL Server. He received a Ph.D. in computer science (databases) from Harvard University in 1992. After working for a graphics company in the Boston area, he went back to databases, doing post-doctoral visits in European research centers. In 1995 he joined Microsoft to work on a new relational query processor, first shipped with SQL Server 7.0, which introduced a fully cost-based query optimizer, a rich set of execution algorithms, and a number of auto-administration features. He has been working on query processing for SQL Server ever since. He holds several patents on query processing and optimization, and has published a number of research papers in that area.


Ken Henderson has been a developer for more than 25 years. He has worked with SQL Server since 1990 and has built software for a number of firms throughout his career, including H&R Block, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, Borland International, JP Morgan, and various others. He joined Microsoft in 2001 and is currently a developer in the Manageability Platform group within the SQL Server development team. He is the creator of SQL Server 2005’s SQLDiag facility and spends his days working on SQL Server management tools and related technologies. He is the author of eight books on a variety of computing topics, including the popular Guru’s Guide series of SQL Server books available from Addison-Wesley. He lives with his family in the Dallas area and may be reached via email at


Sameer Tejani, originally from Arusha, Tanzania, has spent the past 10 years working at Microsoft in the SQL Server group. His work has exposed him to different areas of the SQL Server Engine, including the T-SQL execution framework, Open Data Services (ODS), connection management, User Mode Scheduler (UMS), and other areas. He is solely responsible for the infamous “non-yielding scheduler” error messages that support professionals have come to abhor! He is currently a software development lead in the SQL Server Security team. In his spare time, Sameer enjoys being outdoors and going on long bike rides. He lives with his wife Farhat in the Seattle area.


Santeri Voutilainen, better known as Santtu, has been a software design engineer in SQL Server storage engine team since 1999. He has worked closely on page allocation, latches, and the lock manager. A graduate of Harvard University, he is in the final stages of a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Washington. Although he calls Seattle home, Santeri was born in Finland and spent most of his young life in Nepal. He is an avid traveler and outdoorsman and spends his free time exploring the Pacific Northwest with his wife and one-year-old son. Santtu can be reached at


Slava Oks is a software architect for the Storage Engine and Infrastructure team in SQL Server. He has been with Microsoft for more than nine years. During the SQL Server 2005 development, project he worked on architecture and implementation of SQLOS. He’s made a number of contributions to the product in the area of performance, scalability, supportability, and testability. He is also the author of a popular SQL Server’s blog located at When he’s not developing software he can be found playing sports or having fun with friends and family.


Wei Xiao worked on the design of the SQL Server Storage Engine in Microsoft from 1996 to April 2006. His main areas of focus are access methods, concurrency control, space management, logging, and recovery. He also worked on SQL Server performance monitoring and troubleshooting. He has spoken at several industry conferences, including Microsoft Tech Ed and SQL PASS. He is currently working on a Microsoft internal data storage project.


Microsoft Customer Support Services


Bart Duncan has worked with SQL Server and related technologies for about 10 years. He is currently an escalation engineer in the SQL Server product support group. Bart lives in Dallas, Texas, where he is fortunate to share a home with his wonderful wife, Dr. Andrea Freeman Duncan.


Bob Ward is a senior escalation engineer in Microsoft Customer Service and Support (CSS) based in the Microsoft Regional Support Center in Irving, Texas. He has worked with Microsoft for 13 years and has now supported every release of Microsoft SQL Server from 1.1 for OS/2 to SQL Server 2005. His background in the computer industry spans 20 years and includes database development projects with companies like General Dynamics, Harris Hospital, and American Airlines. Bob graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Baylor University in 1986. He currently lives in North Richland Hills, Texas, with his wife Ginger and two sons, Troy and Ryan. Bob spends his spare time coaching youth sports, cheering for the local professional sports teams, and sharpening his golf game for a dream of playing on the PGA Legends Tour.


Cindy Gross has been a member of the Texas Microsoft PSS support team for SQL Server and Analysis Services since 2000. Cindy has taken on many roles during this time, including support engineer, content lead, and Yukon readiness lead. Before joining Microsoft, Cindy was a SQL Server DBA for seven years, working on SQL Server versions 1.11 and later. She is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, with a special love for books starring women as fighters. Her favorite non-technical author is Sheri S. Tepper. Cindy spends many weekends racing her dirt bike–currently a 2004 Honda CRF250X. You may contact Cindy from her website


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley (December 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321447743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321447746
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #966,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on August 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Book Review :
SQL Server 2005 Practical Troubleshooting: The Database Engine (SQL Server Series) (Paperback)
by Ken Henderson

Short Review :
Database Administrators can use this book on a daily basis in SQL Server 2005 troubleshooting and problem solving. Answers to SQL issues can be swiftly located using the index of this book.This book covers the topics and subjects which any other books, blogs or websites (including MSDN, BOL) do not cover. This book provides DBAs with solutions which can be used by user in highly dynamic environments to resolve common and specialized problems. This book tells user what to do when something goes wrong with SQL Server 2005. This book is an edge case, but is something that can make the difference between a SQL Server application meeting customer needs and it going down in flames. This book is a good place to begin troubleshooting expedition.

Detail Review :
This book will not teach you basic T-SQL from basic and it is not easy and interesting training text book. This book is more like guide to save the troubled time. This book must be read by all the DBA before hand to know what kind of bad (worst!) situation can arise and how this book can be used to prevent the situation or fix it if it has already happened. The authors obviously knows the product very well from inside out, many of the authors are working for Microsoft or MVP. The authors communicate the the topic very well, many places there is lots of code dump, however that is appropriately justified looking at the content covered in the book and direction of the topic taken in the book. The Authors unveils the secretes of SQL Server 2005 internals. We can easily understand how the SQL Server 2005 is working, which helps when something goes wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vinay H. Thakur on May 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Excellent is the word.... great book.... We miss Ken Henderson.... only you could make this possible...

He was the real GURU for all guru of sql server.......
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I've read several reviews by people who said they were disappointed Henderson wasn't the author of all portions of this book. Since I read the reviews before hand, I wasn't surprised or disappointed. Granted Henderson is a great expert and his hand was missed - but the technical knowledge stored within the text of this book is great. You can pretty intimately learn tons about the SQLOS. I suspect I'll have to reread the book a few times in order to fully commit what I've read to memory as there is just a lot to take in. Thankfully, once you pass the material once it does seem intuitive and certainly makes a lot more sense of things. The different authors for various sections can be somewhat annoying as they can repeat some previously shared tips/information, but its not that bad of a detractor. I would definitely recommend purchasing the book to anyone wanting to learn more about internals.

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By Sree on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really explains what you expect from it.
it is worth to read and as it sounded it has all kinds of real time scenarios and examples. even in some cases it pin points the problem
it is a book on office desk, when ever you need it you can go over and use the appropriate guidelines , its really worth to read
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jaewoo Kim VINE VOICE on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors of this book are very knowledgeable about the SQL 2005 architecture. No doubt, their explanations of SQL 2005 and its architecture are of high level and that makes this book worth reading for those who want to expand their MS SQL knowledge.

As with many books with several authors, the book lacks a pinpoint focus. Namely, the book lacks focus on the troubleshooting SQL issues. The book is great on SQL architecture and diagnosing problems. But the book is rather skimpy on the actual troublehshooting methods. For example, on a chapter on troubleshooting Master database corruption, the author writes the following about Master database recovery (not restore):

"The steps to use setup to rebuild master are actually well documented in SQL Server Books I don't list them here. an important point for you to keep in mind is that after rebuilding master, you must apply any service packs.."

I don't think anyone buys SQL books to tell them to read the SQL Books Online. Ironically, the same author goes to great lengths to explain how to diagnose Master database problems and how to choose which methodology to fix it.

The same issue exists throughout most of the book.

But I am being very critical. I woudld give this book 4.5 stars for its depth of coverage and functional and theoratical expertise of the authors.
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By Dima on August 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is definitely a must for everyone who is interested about how SQL Server works!
Great book, from great authors!
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