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Unknown cause of SQL Server 2000 corruption

Performance and Tuning expert Jeremy Kadlec reviews troubleshoots what may be causing corruptions in a non-default instance of SQL Server 2000 running on Windows Server 2003.

We have a non-default instance of SQL Server 2000 running on Windows Server 2003. In the past few months we have experienced a number of database corruptions. We managed to restore data from backups and Microsoft Support attempted to diagnose the corruptions without a successful conclusion. We now think the corruptions could have been caused by one of two things: It could be that the 2003 automated disk defragmenter was running against disks containing SQL Server database files and transaction logs while the SQL Server application processes and backups were running. Or, a third-party backup utility (Tivoli Storage Manager) attempted to back up the disks containing the database files and transaction logs again while the application processes and other SQL Server backups were running. Are either of these likely causes for corruption and would you advise on a complete reinstall of the SQL Server instance?
It is entirely possible that any combination of these items could have caused corruption. Without additional information I could not give you a definitive answer. I would research the individual items further and contact the vendors to find out the implications of using the applications with SQL Server. I have had corruption experience with another client and the bottom line came down to hardware issues. From working with SQL Server in the past, I would say hardware can be a common issue. With that being said, I would ensure your hardware, operating system, SQL Server and server-based applications have no issues. As far as a reinstallation is concerned, I would say based on the information that it would not be necessary as long as the SQL Server executables are not corrupted or your system databases are not corrupted. I would be more concerned about ensuring your databases are free of corruption. If you are unable to resolve the corruption then I would consider building a skeletal database and importing the data and objects into a fresh database. Good luck!

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