[dba-SQLServer] HELP, server completely unresponsive

Francisco Tapia fhtapia at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 11:01:33 CDT 2009

In the configuration ( properties) of the server you'll want to leave  
at least on CPU for the os so in your quad setup allow for 3 CPUs for  
SQL but one for the os or if you don't want to do this then you can  
always use the query hint option of MAXDOP=3 so only while the query  
runs you only tie up 3 CPUs and not all of them and this allows you to  
still have a responsive server.

Sent from my mobile

On Sep 24, 2009, at 7:56 AM, jwcolby <jwcolby at colbyconsulting.com>  

> I have a situation way outside my expertise.  Yea, yea, I know a lot  
> of you would ask what is IN my
> expertise, we can discuss that another day.
> Anyway, I run two Windows 2003 X64 servers.  Quad core, 16 gigs ram,  
> RAID6 arrays.  Reasonably
> powerful.  Mostly I run SQL Server on one and VMs on the other.  In  
> BOTH CASES I have told the
> software, SQL Server for instance, to only use X gigs of RAM, to  
> leave 2.5 gigs for the OS and other
> applications.
> And yet, SQL Server starts a long running process and the server  
> becomes unresponsive.  In some
> instances for example, I can load a spreadsheet or whatever... but  
> it takes forever to load.  Just
> clicking the start button I have to wait 30 seconds for the start  
> menu to show.
> Like that.
> I have a query running which is updating a field in a medium size  
> table - 8 million records or so.
> I tried to load another instance of SQL Server.  It loaded, but when  
> I clicked on the databases icon
> to drop down and show me the databases it just put up expanding and  
> locked up the entire system.
> I am at a loss to discover what is going on.  It APPEARS to be SQL  
> Server, though there is nothing
> else I run that uses all the memory in this thing so how do I know  
> it isn't just Windows 2003
> flaking out somehow?  I have run memtest-86 for an entire weekend  
> without a single failure, so I
> don't think it is the physical memory.
> I have no clue how to troubleshoot this problem.
> As I write this, the server is completely locked up.  I cannot  
> switch between tasks, the little task
> manager icon shows about 50% CPU usage but AFAICT that is just what  
> was displayed when it locked up.
> In the end I have to do a hard reboot to regain control, and when I  
> do that I corrupt whatever
> database was being worked on.  This is insane!
> -- 
> John W. Colby
> www.ColbyConsulting.com
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