FIX: The Ghost Cleanup task uses 100% of the CPU on an idle system in SQL Server 2008 or in SQL Server 2005

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Article ID: 978430 - 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

Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a computer that is running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or Microsoft SQL Server 2005.
  • You remove some records from a database table.
  • The database engine marks these records as ghost records.
  • Then, the SQL Server service starts a Ghost Cleanup task to complete the removal of the ghost records from the table.
In this scenario, SQL Server uses 100% of the CPU.

CAUSE

This problem occurs because the Ghost Cleanup task tries to remove ghost records if there are no other runnable tasks on the same scheduler that the Ghost Cleanup task is located on. The Ghost Cleanup task continuously spins, even if there is no work for it to do. This behavior causes 100% CPU usage on idle systems.

RESOLUTION

SQL Server 2005

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 9 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3. For more information about this cumulative update package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
980176 Cumulative update package 9 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3
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 2005 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:
960598 The SQL Server 2005 builds that were released after SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 was released
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 hotfixes are created for specific SQL Server service packs. You must apply a SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 hotfix to an installation of SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3. By default, any hotfix that is provided in a SQL Server service pack is included in the next SQL Server service pack.

SQL Server 2008

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 7 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. For more information about this cumulative update package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
979065 Cumulative update package 7 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1
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:
970365 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 was released
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 hotfixes are created for specific SQL Server service packs. You must apply a SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 hotfix to an installation of SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. By default, any hotfix that is provided in a SQL Server service pack is included in the next SQL Server service pack.

MORE INFORMATION

This cumulative update fixes this problem by backing down the Ghost Cleanup task after it has retried removing ghost records a certain number of times.

Note This fix only works when there are no other tasks in the scheduler.

STATUS

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

REFERENCES

For 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: 978430 - Last Review: March 15, 2010 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3
Keywords: 
kbsurveynew kbqfe kbfix kbexpertiseadvanced KB978430

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