[dba-SQLServer] HELP, server completely unresponsive

jwcolby jwcolby at colbyconsulting.com
Mon Sep 28 10:44:22 CDT 2009

I just managed to Alt-Tab back to Management studio, and that application is updating the screen 
again (though not the cursor movement).  the little "Executing query" icon is rotating, and the 
query timer is counting up the seconds (01:47:08 ATM).

I just discovered (on my laptop) the set IO affinity setting in SQL Server which I did not set.  No 
idea what that does for me but I wonder if that being assigned to SQL Server for all processors 
could be part of the problem.

John W. Colby

jwcolby wrote:
> Well I thought that assigning three processors to the SQL Server software was the answer, and it in 
> fact did make a difference in some cases, but there is still something happening that "locks up" the 
> server.  IO started a long running update query going this morning and immediately afterwards I was 
> able to move around, look at other stuff.  Then I went away to do other things.  When I came back it 
> was "locked up" - with the Management studio application full screen, and the cursor immovable.  Of 
> course I thought it was locked up, and I have always believed that it was literally never going to 
> come back.
> I just happened to to an Alt-Tab, then went off to my lap top to do other stuff.  When I came back I 
> was at Windows Explorer, not Management Studio.  So the machine is in fact responding, but 
> glacially.  The mouse cursor is locked up, cannot be moved.  I use a KVM switch, and when I move to 
> another machine the cursor is moving just fine, when I move back to this machine it is locked up. 
> However the cursor changed from the insertion pointer icon to the arrow icon when i switched from 
> Management Studio to Windows Explorer, so again the machine is definitely not unresponsive, it is 
> just responding glacially.
> This time I have SQL Server assigned three processors, and I was observing that SQL Server pegged 
> three of the processors when it began processing the query so I am comfortable that it in fact is 
> correctly using just three processors.
> So what is happening that would so completely freeze up the server that the cursor won't even move?
> Weird.
> Has anyone else out there ever experienced this?  Found a solution?
> John W. Colby
> www.ColbyConsulting.com
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