Blog posts written during March 2013

A backup problem and the solution

Thursday Thursday, March 21, 2013 by Ian Pettman

Backups: what we recommend.

Your database should (nay must) be backed up. Ideally off site.

When I started this blog, over five years ago, I recommended a nice little product called SQLBackupandFTP. If you are in a large organisation with your own IT department then you will not need it. They will have all this organised.

If you are in a medium or fledgling company then this product is even better today that it was years ago. These days it will backup databases and logs, eamil you it has done it and even (paid version) ftp them of to your inexpensive Amazon S3 account.


The story

I recently experienced the solidity of SQLBackupAndFTP.  It will email you if there is an error. In  this case, there was a strange error saying the backup had completed successfully (it restored OK on another machine so no argument there) but there was still an error.

It reported (non techies can skip the description):

03/18/2013 11:45:15     Creating backup of "server database" to C:\Windows\TEMP\Pranas.NET\SQLBackupAndFTP\lcgxus5n (full)
03/18/2013 11:45:52     ERROR: Attempt to fetch logical page (1:376) in database 4 failed. It belongs to allocation unit 562949959843840 not to 72057594045005824.
Could not insert a backup or restore history/detail record in the msdb database. This may indicate a problem with the msdb database. The backup/restore operation was still successful.
Processed 48992 pages for database 'Server database', file 'AVAPADat' on file 1.
Processed 2000 pages for database 'Server database', file 'AVAPAObject' on file 1.
Processed 4 pages for database 'Server database', file 'AVAPALog' on file 1.
BACKUP DATABASE successfully processed 50996 pages in 36.274 seconds (10.983 MB/sec).
The statement has been terminated.
SQL Server: ".\AVA2008R2EXPRESS".
03/18/2013 11:45:52     ERROR: Job finished (With Errors)

The important thing was it reported the error and in sufficient detail that we were able to determine for our customer that whist their data itself was good, there was a problem with the MSSQL Database Engine. MSSQL is about as solid a piece of software as it is possible to get, so this is very unusual. In this case probably cause by a recent machine freeze and restart.


The solution (non techies can skip this):

We ran DBCC CHECKDB on the customer database: all passed.
We ran DBCC CHECKDB msdb and it reported a crossed allocation in the backup log table and otherwise ok. I was happy with that, if we lost a backup record so be it.
II used the following script to repair msdb:


The outcome

No customer data was lost, it took under an hour to fully resolve and everything was fine.


Useful links


SQL Server - Repairing the database using DBCC CHECKDB


Parents are entitled to up to 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave for each child under the age of five from 8 March 2013

Friday Friday, March 8, 2013 by Ian Pettman

This is an increase over the current allotment of up to 13 weeks.

Parental leave applies to both men and women where the employee has a minimum of one year's continuous service and has Parental responsibility. For each child receiving a disability allowance, the allocation of unpaid parental leave will increase to 18 weeks up until their 18th birthday.

In the case of multiple children, the employee has the right to take unpaid parental leave in respect of each child.
During the unpaid parental leave, the employee's rights will be protected against holiday entitlement or notice of termination.


Links which may be helpful

Parental responsibility is defined here:

Children Act 1989:

In Scotland:

Children (Scotland) Act 1995

Adoptive parents here:

Adoption and Children Act 2002

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