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One of our Windows 2003 servers that has WSUS is full on hdd space. Doing a search for files I find this SQLDump10000.txt file that is over 25gigs. I have done some googling and it says it's read write errors plus the query or what was in memory. Can someone give me a straight explaination of what is going on here?

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That's not normal. Anything interesting in the log file? –  Sam Jun 22 '09 at 15:51
    
The disk is full so transaction log writes failing at an astonishing rate. Thinking about wiping. –  Terry Jun 22 '09 at 15:56
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

These dump files are created under two circumstances:

  1. A SQL Server 'crash' occurs - either an A/V, assert or some other uncaught code error. In this case the file is a memory dump, the size and contents of which are dependent on the problem that occured.
  2. You're signed up for Watson error reporting and DBCC CHECKDB found corruptions in a database. In this case, the contents are the list of corruptions that were found and a dump of corrupt disk pages from memory

Can you look in the SQL error log to see an indication of something going wrong, with a timestamp in the error log around the same time as the creation time of the dump file?

As far as your transaction log being full - I would copy off the dump file somewhere else as it sounds like it's messing up your log management. Don't do anything like deleting the log file or anything like that, or you're guaranteed to cause corruption.

Hope this helps

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The easy answer comes by reading the file. It's a text file, not binary, so you should be able to glean what it is by just opening it up in Wordpad (Notepad can't open such large files).

More than likely it's a complete dump of all the data in the database, in one big SQL query. It's as large as it is because it's in text format, which doesn't use any compression at all.

Of course, the real problem comes when attempting to open a 25 Gig text file... I highly doubt you've got enough memory on that machine. I don't know if there's a windows version of head or tail, but they would come in mighty handy in this case.

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I wonder if notepad will open a 25 GB file –  Nick Kavadias Jun 23 '09 at 14:30
    
I don't think it will even open anything larger than 12 Megabytes. there's some hard limit that I can't remember, but it's pretty small. A program that reads a small part of the file at a time is what you need, unless you happen to have 25 GB of RAM. The unix programs "head" and "tail" can do that, but I don't really know of any Windows programs that do the same. –  Ernie Jun 23 '09 at 15:55
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