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Posted Aug 24, 1999

SQL Sam and the Phantom Connection - Part 1 (with clues)

By Steve Hontz

Environment: SQL Server 6.5, SP5a

SQL Sam stood in front of the screaming crowd, with the game-show host urging him on. "Now Sam", he said, "You have to make a choice. Will it be Door Number 1, Door Number 2, or Door Number 3? Remember, behind one door is an incredible prize. Behind another door is a tiger. What's your choice?"

"What's behind the door marked 'Null' ?" asked Sam.

"Who knows???" shrugged the host with the brillant-white teeth. "What's your decision?"

The crowd screamed louder. "Pick number 1! ... Pick 2! ... NOT Null! ..." SQL Sam started to sweat. "I pick...uhhh...Number...uhhh..."

"...Sam...Sam! Excuse me, Sam! Please wake up!" Jimmy Jerry, the junior DBA with two first names, was gently shaking SQL Sam.

"Oh. Sorry, J.J. Must of dozed off," yawned Sam. "I was up all night helping to repair the production server. What's up?"

"Well, Sam, I'm trying to be a good DBA and make sure that our databases aren't corrupt by running consistency checks against them. Trouble is, we can't run the checks on the production servers- they cause too much blocking for too long. So, I thought I could restore the databases from the last database dump from the production server to my test machine, and do the checks there. But I'm having a problem loading the database dump on the test machine."

"Did you create the database with the exact same data and log device layout, size and order as the production server?"

"Oh, sure," grinned Jimmy. "I remember you telling us in DBA training how important that was. So I went to www.swynk.com and found a great script for reverse-engineering the database devices that make up a database. That's how I created the database on the test server. But the problem I'm having happens when I try to create a A CLUE!scheduled task to load the database."

Continue with SQL Sam and the Phantom Connection

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Steve Hontz is President of The Bit Corner, Inc., a Phoenix-based consulting firm specializing in Windows NT, C++, and SQL Server development. You can reach him at steve@bitcorner.com.

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