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"Dreadful" i/o errors

by on October 12, 2009

Okay, now I have to admit that this one is not quite cert related, but still:

Friend: I tango with a suspect database.
Me: suspect database? why?
Friend: well, at some point I got an error telling me that it took too much to write something to the database.
Me: that would be a premiere… sure it ain’t something else?
Friend: well, I was lucky, no errors reported by DBCC, and I could bring the database online (yes, ALTER DATABASE stuff).

Long story short: it was a soft i/o error, 823 (although initially reported by the 1117 error). And it was thrown because they were running out of space in one of their virtual machines. So you can encounter i/o errors in virtualized environments as well, so please bear this in mind.
Also, mind that i/o error 823 is what we call “soft i/o”, while i/o error 824 is what we call “hard i/o”. While 823 is a reason to worry (but no so much, as I’ve shown you in this post), a 824 error is an indication that your disk subsystem is about to give you some unpleasant surprises.

I hope this helps.

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