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Archive for July 10th, 2014

Troubleshooting : Slow Delete Database from Management Studio

Posted by blakhani on July 10, 2014

Not very long ago, I had a database on my SQL 2012 Instance which was getting log shipped happily at frequency of 1 minute. Long long ago I have done such configuration for a demo purpose and forgot. Today I had “Memory Recall” when space was getting filled up with log backups. Since the demo was complete, I decided to drop the database. So I broke log shipping and tried dropping the database. What you do as a DBA to drop a database? Right Click > Delete .. huh?


When I clicked on “OK” button it was taking a long time. GUI to seem like its hanging. As usual, troubleshooting started! Ran my standard troubleshooting query to find out what is going on.

 SELECT s.session_id
    ,r.blocking_session_id 'Blk by'
    ,r.wait_time / (1000.0) 'Wait Sec'
    ,r.total_elapsed_time / (1000.0) 'Elaps Sec'
    ,Substring(st.TEXT, (r.statement_start_offset / 2) + 1, (
                CASE r.statement_end_offset
                    WHEN - 1
                        THEN Datalength(st.TEXT)
                    ELSE r.statement_end_offset
                    END - r.statement_start_offset
                ) / 2
            ) + 1) AS statement_text
    ,Coalesce(Quotename(Db_name(st.dbid)) + N'.' + Quotename(Object_schema_name(st.objectid, st.dbid)) + N'.' + Quotename(Object_name(st.objectid, st.dbid)), '') AS command_text
FROM sys.dm_exec_sessions AS s
INNER JOIN sys.dm_exec_requests AS r ON r.session_id = s.session_id
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_sql_text(r.sql_handle) AS st
WHERE r.session_id != @@SPID
ORDER BY r.cpu_time DESC

Here was the result (I have removed few columns to avoid clutter)

session_id status cpu_time logical_reads writes Elaps Sec statement_text command_text
60 runnable 247734 42732577 29196 545.223 DELETE msdb.dbo.backupmediaset

FROM msdb.dbo.backupmediaset bms

WHERE bms.media_set_id IN (SELECT media_set_id

     FROM @media_set_id)


  FROM msdb.dbo.backupset

  WHERE media_set_



Why would delete database do that? Well, it’s done by a small little checkbox which we never noticed.


That little checkbox executed this command (along with drop database). If we use “Script” button, this is the outcome

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_delete_database_backuphistory @database_name = N'AdventureWorks2014'
USE [master]
DROP DATABASE [AdventureWorks2014]

Now we know why it’s taking time but can this be made faster? Well, I check msdb database and there are few indexes which have been added in SQL Server 2014 which would help in this situation. Here is the quick comparison.

Select @@version
     TableName =,
     IndexName =,
     ColumnName =
     sys.indexes ind 
     sys.index_columns ic ON  ind.object_id = ic.object_id and ind.index_id = ic.index_id 
     sys.columns col ON ic.object_id = col.object_id and ic.column_id = col.column_id 
     sys.tables t ON ind.object_id = t.object_id 
     ind.is_primary_key = 0 
     AND t.is_ms_shipped = 1
     AND in ( 'backupfile', 'backupfilegroup', 'backupmediafamily', 'backupmediaset', 'backupset', 'restorefile', 'restorefilegroup', 
'restorehistory' ) ORDER BY,, ind.index_id, ic.index_column_id



If you are facing the same problem which I described on SQL 2008 or SQL 2012, you may want to try creating new indexes as advised on other blogs (search for “msdb performance tuning” in bing/google) but my only suggestion is that it might be unsupported.

If you clean msdb backup history regularly, you might not face the issue though. There is maintenance plan to do that. Try it out!

Hope this helps.

  • Cheers,
  • Balmukund Lakhani
  • Twitter @blakhani
  • Author: SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOnPaperback, Kindle
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