How can I get a list of installed SQL Server instances?

Today we’ll talk about how we can get a list of locally installed SQL Server instances on a system.   This information is stored in the registry at the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\Instance Names\SQL EDIT: If you are looking for 32 bit instances on a 64 bit OS, you will need to look here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Microsoft…

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Searching through the SQL Server Errorlogs

Sorry – It’s been a while since my last post.  The past few months have been very busy for me.  The other day, I had a brief discussion with a colleague on ways to search through all of the error logs in SQL Server.  Obviously there are a few ways to do this – through…

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Have you checked out Denali? CTP 3 is here…

Did you know that CTP3 for ‘Denali’ or SQL Server Version 11 is out?  You can download it for free and play with it here: Microsoft® SQL Server® code-named ‘Denali’ – Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3)  (Build:  11.00.1440.19) https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/pd/SQLDCTP3CTA/enus/

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Troubleshooting Slow Disk I/O in SQL Server

If you suspect you are experiencing poor disk performance you can use internal DMVs combined with a Performance Monitor collection to get a good picture of the health of the disk I/O subsystem and any latency SQL Server is experiencing from its poor performance.     Performance Monitor Counters:   Below is a list of counters…

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Using Windows 2008 R2 as a workstation (and a lab)

Lately there seems to be an increasing number of people that want to run Windows 2008 R2 Server as their primary OS on their laptop or desktop systems as opposed to Windows Vista or Windows 7.  I’ve been doing this for some time now, and I thought I’d share my experience.   I first started out…

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Proper I/O Capacity Planning and Configuration Resources for SQL Server

To understand and perform proper IO Capacity Planning for SQL Server, you must understand the IO characteristics and data access patterns of the workload that will be sent to the SQL Server.   Unless you are using a vendor or 3rd party product, the workloads will be specific to each customer, environment, and application making capacity…

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Why is using “Instant File Initialization” on my SQL Server a potential security issue?

Starting in SQL Server 2005 and onward, data files can be “instantly” initialized.  This helps to drastically reduce the amount of time required for creating large databases, adding files to an existing database, increasing the size of an existing data file (i.e. an auto-grow operation), or restoring a database or filegroup.  I have seen auto-grow…

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Required rights for SQL Server service account

This topic comes up from time to time in my daily support work, so I thought I would make a quick post on the rights required if you do not want the SQL Server service account to be a member of the Local Administrators group on Windows.   Having the SQL Server service account as a…

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Finding which queries were executing from a SQL Memory Dump – revisited

A message about the previous post on finding queries in a SQL Memory Dump file: Back in October I did a post on finding queries in SQL Server Memory Dumps.  It has been a popular topic, but some have had difficulties following it.  After reviewing this with a reader, I realized there was an issue…

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Uninstalling a SQL Server Service Pack

Did you know that starting with service packs (Service Pack 1) in SQL Server 2008 you can uninstall them from Add/Remove Programs like any other update? But as always, backup both your user and system databases before applying any update, hot fix, cumulative update, or service pack! If you are still using SQL Server 2005…

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