FIX: Error message when you rebuild indexes for a table that contains sparse columns in SQL Server 2008: "Cannot alter table '<TableName>' because the table either contains sparse columns or a column set column which are incompatible with compression"

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Article ID: 958792 - View products that this article applies to.
Microsoft distributes Microsoft SQL Server 2008 fixes as one downloadable file. Because the fixes are cumulative, each new release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release.
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SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft SQL Server 2008, you have a table that contains sparse columns. When you try to rebuild the indexes for the table, you receive the following error message:
Msg 11418, Level 16, State 4, Line 1
Cannot alter table 'TableName' because the table either contains sparse columns or a column set column which are incompatible with compression.
This issue occurs when you rebuild the indexes for the table by using one of the following methods:
  • You use the REBUILD argument together with the ALTER TABLE statement.
  • You use the REBUILD argument together with the ALTER INDEX statement and specify the DATA_COMPRESSION = NONE option in the statement.

RESOLUTION

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 2. For more information about how to obtain this cumulative update package for SQL Server 2008, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
958186 Cumulative update package 2 for SQL Server 2008
Note Because the builds are cumulative, each new fix release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release. We recommend that you consider applying the most recent fix release that contains this hotfix. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
956909 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 was released

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

After you apply this hotfix, you receive the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section only when data compression is explicitly used in the scenarios that the "Symptoms" section describes. In SQL Server 2008 environments, you cannot use both sparse columns and data compression techniques on the same table. This behavior is by design. If you try to enable both features on the same table or on an index of the table, you receive the error message.

For more information about what files are changed, and for information about any prerequisites to apply the cumulative update package that contains the hotfix that is described in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
958186 Cumulative update package 2 for SQL Server 2008

REFERENCES

For more information about the list of builds that are available after the release of SQL Server 2008, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
956909 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 was released
For more information about the Incremental Servicing Model for SQL Server, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
935897 An Incremental Servicing Model is available from the SQL Server team to deliver hotfixes for reported problems
For more information about the naming schema for SQL Server updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
822499 New naming schema for Microsoft SQL Server software update packages
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Properties

Article ID: 958792 - Last Review: May 17, 2010 - Revision: 2.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard
Keywords: 
kbexpertiseadvanced kbqfe kbfix KB958792

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