How To See What is Making a SQL Server Run Like Crap

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  • Post category:Microsoft

I have a customer who reported that their SQL-based software started running like crap. Usually I’d just use SQL Management Studio to show active processes but the server was getting pounded so hard that it would time out when trying to display activity. That’s when I pulled out my secret weapon sp:whoisactive.

From their website, “sp_whoisactive is a comprehensive activity monitoring stored procedure that works for all versions of SQL Server from 2005 through 2017”.

You download it from and run it from the command line on the SQL server by running:

Sqlcmd -I c:\who_is_active_v11_32.sql

It does a great job of only displaying what is probably bogging down the server so don’t freak if it doesn’t show much.

In my case, the output showed that there was a runaway query that was running over and over. I brough it to the attention of the SQL developer and he was thankful that it was identified and he corrected it.


Jason works as a project specialist at an IT MSP in Pennsylvania, USA. He's an IT/security professional with 20 years experience.