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Unable to shrink SQL log file

Posted on 2009-05-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello - we are running SQL Server 2005 on a 2003 Windows Server, and have a miantenance script in place to maintain the database.  Part of the script issues a DB shrink command:

[USE [LaCo_AX_Test]
GO
DBCC SHRINKDATABASE(N'LaCo_AX_Test', 10, TRUNCATEONLY)]

"LaCo_AX_Test" is the name of our database.  The log file is at 3.7tg, and has stayed that size for the past few shrink executions.  What are reasons that a log file would not shrink down in size?
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Question by:Damian_Gardner
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Accepted Solution

by:
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3] earned 668 total points
ID: 24325644
if the database is in full recovery mode, while there are not regular transaction logs performed, that is normal.

note: if the database is in full recovery mode, you HAVE to run regular transaction log backups, and the .ldf file will NOT grow endlessy (except someone keeps a transaction open forever ...)
note: if the above is implemented, or the database is in simple recovery mode, you shall NOT need to run the shrink regulary. doing so just wastes I/O ....
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by:chapmandew
chapmandew earned 668 total points
ID: 24325658
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by:RiteshShah
RiteshShah earned 664 total points
ID: 24325705
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 24326704
Thanks to everyone for all of your info.  How do I tell if we're in FULL or SIMPLE mode?
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Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 24326816
it's in the database properties (advanced tab)
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 24326986
Great. So looks like I'm in FULL mode.

Thanks to all again.  I'll split up the points.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:RiteshShah
ID: 24326999
no problem. :) good luck
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 24327544
I know I closed the case, but I came up with another question.  I went ahead and created a backup of my logfile (which I hadn't done before), and then tried issuing a Shrink command through the SQL Mgmt interface.  It executes very quickly, and has no effect on the file size.  I'm reading about the Truncate Only command, and one of the gurus discourages using it.  If I've just made a backup of the log, should Truncate Only be ok to use?  This is an active production database, and active transactions are open against the log right now, BTW.

Thanks,
Damian
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LVL 143

Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 24327590
the first log backup usually is not enough on it's own to make the shrink file effective.
after that first log backup, some transactions + another log backup will do the effect.
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Author Comment

by:Damian_Gardner
ID: 24327757
Ah - ok.  I'll wait to see how the auto backup plan runs tonight then, and check it again in the morning.

Thanks again
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