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Select Distinct ColumnName From Table produces error I believe due to spaces, tabs or carriage returns

I'm running a query against one of our tables.
Select Distinct ColumnName From Table. (SELECT DISTINCT FULLERROR
FROM [DMS].[dbo].[SD_LOGDATA])
When I run this command it produces the error "The text data type cannot be selected as DISTINCT because it is not comparable."
There are these funny looking squares in the FULLERROR Column and I believe these may be spaces, tabs or carriage returns.
Does anyone know what command I should run or if there's a way to change something up on the table to fix this?
Regards,
Wally
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wally_davis
Asked:
wally_davis
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3 Solutions
 
Daniel WilsonCommented:
It's not due to the carriage returns.  It's due to the data type -- TEXT.

Are you allowed to change data types?  If so, change to Varchar(Max) -- new for SQL 2005.
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BrandonGalderisiCommented:
OR... since changing the data type of a column can have massive ramifications, CAST the column in your select.

SELECT DISTINCT cast(FULLERROR as nvarchar(max))
FROM [DMS].[dbo].[SD_LOGDATA]
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wally_davisAuthor Commented:
I used varchar in place of nvarchar(max)). So, yes we can change the datatype and we eventually will. both are great solutions and will award you each 250 points.
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BrandonGalderisiCommented:
the problem with varchar is that varchar, without specifying a length, will default to 30.

So use varchar(max) instead of nvarchar(max) if you have a text column isntead of ntext.  But you should use max probably.  Why else would it be a TEXT column if it didn't house long data?
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wally_davisAuthor Commented:
Good point Brandon. Well, someone else on my team assigned Text datatype to this column that will hold a large amount of data when they should have assigned datatype varchar.
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