Archive for the ‘Virtual Machines’ Category

Quick one today:

Every time we we build a new cluster in our lab environment, we start with running cluster validation report before starting Sql Server installation. Once in a while, we need to go back to refer older validation reports.

All cluster validation reports are saved, by default, at the location below on the active node where the validation was executed from:




Hope this helps,


Read Full Post »

Interesting one today:

Earlier, when performing some cluster maintenance work, this error popped-up on the screen.

The specified disk or volume is managed by the Microsoft Failover cluster 
component. The disk must be in the cluster maintenance mode and the 
cluster resource status must be online to perform this operation

When attempting to format a new LUN to 64K allocation unit, this error popped up. Since the LUN/Drive is already added to the cluster, new format changes could not be made.


As the verbose error message suggests, assign this particular disk into “Maintenance Mode”, then perform formatting steps.

Go to Failover Cluster Manager and go to Storage > Disks; Identify the particular disk and right click and go to More Actions >> Turn On Maintenance Mode.


Once the disk is in maintenance mode, you’ll see under Status column as Online (Maintenance Mode).

Now we are free to format the disk. Computer Management >> Storage >> Disk Management go to the individual disk and right click and Format.


Now formatting works and once completed, go back to Failover Cluster Manager and set the disk back out of Maintenance Mode.


Hope this helps,

Read Full Post »

Interesting one today:

We have a bunch of lab Sql Server boxes machines and sometimes after a fresh Sql Server install, when we try to open Activity Monitor, we run into this problem.



TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

The Activity Monitor is unable to execute queries against server DC2POLTPS02.
 Activity Monitor for this instance will be placed into a paused state.
 Use the context menu in the overview pane to resume the Activity Monitor.

Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED)) (mscorlib)


Since these are lab machines, we are remotely logged into the machines and looks like there is some setting that prevents Activity Monitor from opening successfully. Activity Monitor provides great detail on what is going on with Sql Server at any given point-in-time and such activity needs “high level insight” into the Operating System and Sql Server; Such “high level” permissions are not enabled by default for user accounts.

Following steps show a way to enable elevated permissions when logged in remotely.  From what I could gather from Microsoft Connect this seems like elevated permissions on remote operating system’s DCOM. So we need to enable Remote Launch & Remote Activation permissions on remote Operating System (lab machine)


RDP to the remote machine and

  1. Open Component Services (DCOMCNFG) from start menu
  2. In the left hand tree, under Console Root, expand Component Services, expand Computers, right-click on My Computer and go to Properties
  3. In My computer Properties window, go to COM Security tab.
  4. In the Launch and Activation Permissions section, click on Edit Limits button.
    1. In the Security Limits tab, see if your user/group name exists. If not add to the list by clicking on Add button.
    2. Once user is added, highlight the user and make sure it has both Remote Launch & Remote Activation permissions checked.
  5. In the Access Permissions section, click on Edit Limits button
    1. In the Security Limits tab, see if your user/group name exists. If not add to the list by clicking on Add button.
    2. Once user is added, highlight the user and make sure it has Remote Access permissions checked.
  6. Hit Okay to save changes.
  7. Now expand the My Computer in the left-hand tree and go to DCOM Config.
    1. Find Windows Management and Instrumentation and go to Properties.
    2. Go to Security tab and under Launch and Activation Permissions section, click on Edit button
    3. In the Security tab, see if your user/group name exists. If not add to the list by clicking on Add button.
    4. Once user is added, highlight the user and make sure it has both Remote Launch & Remote Activation permissions checked.
    5. (See the image below)
  8. Save all changes and re-open Activity Monitor
Activity Monitor Error

Activity Monitor Error




Hope this helps,

Read Full Post »

Interesting one today:

Earlier this month, during Sql Server Cluster set up on a new set of VMs, ran into this interesting warning message.

Network binding Order generated a warning.

The domain network is not the first bound network. This will cause domain operations to run slowly and can cause timeouts that result in failures. Use the Windows network advanced configurations to change the binding order.
Cluster Setup Network Binding Order

Cluster Setup Network Binding Order

Upon further investigation, it became clear that the NIC that connects to the Domain network is not given highest priority (as needed) for Sql Cluster.


In Clustered environments, it is recommended to have the network interfaces properly ordered for maximum efficiency.

Go to “Network connections” and open Advanced Settings. See the image below:

Network Connection - Advanced Settings

Network Connection – Advanced Settings

In the resultant window, under Adapters and Bindings tab, make sure the network interfaces are ordered according to the recommendation. Domain network needs to be on the top, then Heartbeat Network and Remote Access Connections. See the image below, for the recommended order.

Network Binding Proper Order

Network Binding Proper Order

After saving the new order, go back to “Install Failover Cluster Rules” and re-run the checks. This blog has more info, if interested about the rest of cluster set up.

Hope this helps,

Read Full Post »

Interesting one today:

On one of our production machines, we recently added a new LUN to a SQL cluster. A task like this is a team effort. Sysadmins perform some steps and DBA carry out the remaining. In this article, the main focus is on covering the steps after the LUN is added to the OS & Sql Cluster by the sysadmins.  For context, we’ll start with high level steps before going into details.

Sysadmins steps

  1. Add new storage to the machine/OS as an available storage
  2. Format the available drive with appropriate settings (cluster size) and add it as a new drive
  3. Make drive available to the Cluster using “Add Disk” screen in FailOver Cluster Management tool.

DBAs steps

  1. Add available storage to Sql Cluster
  2. Configure dependency (and check the report before & after)
  3. Add data file on the new cluster storage drive

Here we’ll cover the DBA steps in detail:

Some of these steps were covered under a different recent article as part of dealing with an error message, but here we’ll cover it as a task by itself (which it is).

Add New Storage

Once sysadmins have made the new storage as an ‘available storage’ to OS Cluster, it needs to be added as a new storage location to the SQL Cluster.

In FailOver cluster manager, go to Sql Server Resource Group for this SQL Cluster and right click for detailed options and choose “Add Storage” (see image below)


Once successful, go to Storage\Disks under in FailOver Cluster Manager to confirm the availability. See image below:


Configure Dependency

Adding the storage is an important step, and equally important step is adding the new drive to Sql Cluster Dependency Chain. Dependency Chain informs Sql Sever “how to act”, when any resource in the Cluster becomes unavailable. Some resources automatically trigger cluster failover to other node; some resources do not. This decision is made based on the configurations in Dependency Chain.


Critical: Data drive/LUN that has database files is critical for optimal availability of the Sql Cluster. So, if it becomes unavailable, failing over to other available nodes is imperative to keep the cluster available.

Non-Critical: In some scenarios, Sql Server Agent is not considered as Critical. So if it stops for some reason, Cluster will make multiple attempts to start it on the same node, but may not necessarily cause failover.

This is a business decision. All these “response actions” will be configured in Cluster settings.

Now, check the dependency report (before); We can see that new drive exists in Cluster, but is not yet added to the Dependency Chain.


To Configure Dependency Chain, go to the Sql Server Resource Group under Roles in FailOver Cluster Manager. See the image below for clarity:

Then go to the bottom section for this Resource Group, where all the individual resources that are part of this Resource Group are displayed.

Under “Other Resources“, right click on Sql Server Resource and choose properties.

do As show


In the “Sql Server Properties” window, we can see the existing resources already added to dependency chain logic.


Now, go to the end of the logic list and choose “AND” for condition and pick the new Cluster Storage to be included. See image below for clarity:


After saving the settings, regenerate the Dependency Chain report. Now, we’ll see the new drive as part of the logic.


Add Database Data File to New Cluster Storage

Now, that the new drive is ready, we could easily add a new data file to the new location.

-- Add data file to new storage location
USE [master]
		  NAME 			= 	N'SampleDB_Data3'
		, FILENAME 		= 	N'U:\MSSQL\Data\SampleDB_Data3.NDF'
		, SIZE 			= 	3500 GB
		, FILEGROWTH 	= 	100 GB
		, MAXSIZE 		= 	3900 GB
Hope this helps,

Read Full Post »

Interesting one today:

Recently, on one of the lab machines, we had to rebuild SSRS machine on a new VM. After walking through the regular install and other configuration steps, when browser is opened and pointed to the SSRS URL, we get this error.

Error Message:

The report server cannot decrypt the symmetric key that is used to access sensitive
or encrypted data in a report server database. You must either restore a backup key
or delete all encrypted content.

This error message seems cryptic and familiar at the same time. After pacing back and forth for a few minutes near my desk, it dawned on me. This VM with pre-installed SSRS must have some encryption keys set up already, that need recreation or just deletion.


  1. Open Reporting Services Configuration Manager
  2. Connect to the SSRS engine on the VM
  3. Open Encryption Keys tab on the left
  4. Click on ‘Delete’ button to remove the keys (from previous set up)
  5. Now open browser with Administration privileges
    1. Open SSRS URL

Now the error message is resolved.


Note: Since this is a lab machine (and freshly minted VM), these aggressive steps are warranted. But in a production environment, you want to restore the encryption keys with the correct backup keys.

Hope this helps,

Read Full Post »

Quick one today:

Ran into an interesting version of the familiar error message. When installing Sql Server 2012 on a Windows Server 2012 R2, this error appeared.

Please note that, during pre-install checks, it just highlighted lack of .Net 3.5 it as a warning, but not as a failure. When installation is attempted, it fails asking for .Net 3.5.

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Setup

The following error has occurred:

Error while enabling Windows feature : NetFx3, Error Code : -2146498298 , 
Please try enabling Windows feature : NetFx3 from Windows management tools 
and then run setup again. For more information on how to enable Windows features, 
see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=227143

For help, click: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=20476&ProdName=Microsoft%20SQL%20Server&EvtSrc=setup.rll&EvtID=50000&ProdVer=11.0.5058.0&EvtType=0x681D636F%25401428%25401


It seems like a cryptic error message, but its just a different variation of the same old “Missing .Net 3.5” error message. To resolve follow these steps:

Step 1:

From Task Bar, open Server Manager. Go to Manage, Add Roles and Features.


Step 2:

In the Add Roles and Features Wizard, click through the initial screen; When you are in ‘Installation Type’ tab, choose ‘Role-based or Feature-based installation’.



Step 3:

Under Server Selection tab, choose the appropriate server name. If you are running it on the server, its name will be displayed in the Server Pool section.


Step 4:

Skip the next section (Server Roles). Installation of .Net 3.5 is under Features. In the Features section, click the check box to install .Net 3.5.


Step 5:

Components necessary to install .Net 3.5 are usually not readily available, so having access to Windows Server 2012 DVD or ISO would be necessary.


In the Confirm Installation Selections step, at the bottom of the screen, click on Specify an alternate source path link to specify the path to Windows Server 2012 ISO.

Once necessary binaries are identified, installation will progress to completion.

Then reattempt, Sql Server installation.


Hope this helps,

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »