Monthly Archives: June 2006

Shrink the SQL Server Transaction Log

I don’t consider myself an expert on Microsoft SQL server, as a matter of fact I don’t know much at all and depend almost entirely on the Internet to solve my problems.

So on Monday morning when I came into the office to find that our Intranet wasn’t working because the database server was full I didn’t know where to start. After searching around for a while on the server I discovered that the database log file was about 9.5GB!

Before I shrunk the log file I had to backup the database and the log file, but to do that I needed space, which I didn’t have on the hard drives in the machine (You can’t use a network share for this because of how the SQL Service runs). Also, it was a SCSI only machine, and I didn’t have any working SCSI drives around to use. I ended up pulling in an old IDE RAID controller and 2 x 40GB IBM Hard Drives to do a backup of the database and log files. Unfortunately one of the two hard drives had failed, so I ended up with a single hard drive and no mirrored set-up like what I originally wanted.

After finally backing up the database and log files I then went on a search to figure out how to shrink the log file. Keeping in mind that I know pretty much nothing about Microsoft SQL I was totally lost when I read the Microsoft Support page on Shrinking the Transaction Log in SQL Server 2000.

I finally found a tool that totally saved my bacon on The Code Project.

Sample Image

The Transaction Log Shrink Wizard was basically built for SQL ignorants like me to do exactly what I needed. It’s a very useful tool and brought my log file down to 100MB. I only wish that it hadn’t taken me 3-days to figure out everything else before getting to the point of being able to use this tool.

Google Notebook and Spreadsheet

Yesterday Google launched an online spreadsheet to compliment their online notebook. It is being widely said that this is an attack on Microsoft – which to a certain extent it is….but it is so reliant on one thing that google can never guarentee– bandwidth. These tools are great for an office environment where bandwidth is usually working, and especially useful in an environment of hot-desking. However the places that really need free software like this – developing nations can not use it because their internet connections are so slow and unreliable.

Having said that, these really are useful tools and can allow collaboration on projects, thus making ‘virtual teams’  an even easier proposition. The Spreadsheet allows the files to be exported as .csv or .xls but the notebook does not support any exporting (yet), but I guess one could just copy and paste!!!

I guess the next question is will we ever see an online Powerpoint??

Software RAID on Windows 2003

On Friday my primary Microsoft Active Directory Server hard drive failed. In our planning we did not set up the server with RAID on the OS Hard Drive. Now I am stuck loading the system up from scratch.

In planning for the rebuild I went ahead and purchased two identical hard drives so that we would not have a crash of our entire network should the hard drive fail again. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 includes the ability to set-up free software RAID. This should prevent a total failure should another hard drive fail.

The best tutorial that I have found on-line for setting this up can be found here: