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I am running SQL Server Express on a Windows XP Embedded box. It runs for a day or two, doing some transactional processing for a POS type system, and with another system pulling data out to an OLAP DB for processing. After a while, I see in the event viewer the sequence SQL Server puts out when it restarts, copy rights, command line parameters, and so on. It seems like that coincides with our OLAP process crashing. I then see that when it restarts our transaction DB, it does a recovery, pulling in 10K or so in transactions that need to be rolled forward. Does this mean SQL has crashed? I don't really see much to indicate what happened.

Update 1

I noticed I have my memory limit set to 1MB per query and 2TB for the server. These are the defaults. I only have one GB in the box. We have seen SQL crash a whole box by just using all the system memory. In this case though the whole box is up when we get to it.

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3 Answers

Yes, SQL is restarting for some reason and recovering the database(s).

Check the penultimate sql log to see if there's an obvious error message for why the sql service stopped.

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This is building on SuperCoolMoss's answer, and a response to your update.

SQL is designed to use all the memory it can access, which is why we always recommend running it on its own server.

You can drop the max memory to 1GB but if that's all that's in the box, it'll use it all.

If your OLAP is running on the same box, you may want to drop this max RAM value down to a smaller amount (e.g. 512MB) so that SQL doesn't hog all the RAM (OLAP is a memory hog too), but it will impact performance and page memory out to disk.

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SQL Server has crashed - the lots of rolled-forward transactions indicate to me that something was preventing it committing a lot of changes to disk when the crash happened. This sounds like the OLAP system is both buggy (memory leak of some kind) and also locking tables while the queries run preventing the transactions being committed. I think more info is needed on the OLAP system.

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