SQL Server Image http://www.Oostdam.Info General pictureMicrosoft SQL Server is a great product to work with. Especially from the release of version 2005 and now 2008. For me, it is the standard for all kinds of databases. The Object explorer, Tuning Advisor, the Query Analyser and T-SQL statements work great, and are a joy to work with. When it goes wrong somewhere, it is mostly a syntax error, program(bug) error or a user error that causes the problem. Stable as it is, I can recomment the use of it to anyone. In this articles I like to share with you, some errors and "best practices" that came up during my work several times. So, initially set up was for my own references, now I share it with you. Enjoy these articles!! Due to the fact that a big percentage of visitors of this page are international based, this article is in the english language.


Error message 803 came up:
Alltough this error is more common in a Sybase SQL server environment it is possible to get this error in MS SQL as well. This is not always a very easy error to resolve. The text can be something like: "Unable to place buffer 0x%lx holding logical page %ld in sdes for object '%.*s' - either there is no room in sdes or buffer already in requested slot". Where "sdes" is an abbreviation for "session descriptors." Refer to "Error 603" for information about session descriptors by the way.  Now let me explain something ingeneral about the session descriptor. A session descriptor is an internal data structure in SQL Server which contains information about a table. All open objects in SQL Server require a descriptor structure. When a connection to SQL Server attempts to open a table, it gets a session descriptor. To ensure that a buffer read by the session remains in the buffer cache and does not age out, SQL Server "keeps" the buffer. The session descriptor contains eight slots where buffers that are "kept" by the session are stored. Now to the error 803. This can occur when one of the following 2 things happen.
(A) SQL Server runs out of session descriptors.
(B) A buffer was already in the session descriptor's requested slot.


Solution:
Look for other errors in the SQL Server error log that indicate the specific source of the problem (not enough locks, not enough open objects etc.) and try to solve those errors first. THIS IS IMPORTANT! After that,.. Restart SQL Server so that the configuration change will take effect. Restarting will also clear the buffer cache, as well as the 803 error at that moment. If the 803 errors still remain, I'am afraid you have to contact your supplier for support, because there is something very wrong in your database or software programming. The sesssion descriptors are very solid, but can get corrupted by bad programming or mixed up store procedures. Before contacting your supplier be sure you have enough screenshots, log etc. to backup your story. 803 errors do not often happen. In some occasions, hardware changes can cause these type of errors. Especially in clustered SQL enviremonts this can be the cause.



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Ben OostdamBen Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. Worked for several companies as a system administrator, and is currently a Senior Support Engineer for Qurius Managed Services in the Netherlands specialized in System Center Solutions.

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