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This fix introduces a new startup trace flag, –T8002. With trace flag –T8002, you can change the meaning of the affinity mask so that it is treated like a process affinity.
A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.
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Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
By default, the affinity mask for SQL Server is set to zero, permitting the SQL Server worker threads to use any available processor. When the affinity mask is set, the SQL Server worker thread is affinitized, and the worker thread can only use one specified processor. The addition of the SQL Server startup trace flag –T8002 treats the affinity mask like a process affinity and invokes the SetThreadAffinityMask function. However, the SQL Server thread affinity is set to all bits supplied in the affinity mask when the trace flag is used.
For example, if the affinity mask is set to 0x3 (processor 0 and 1) and the trace flag –T8002 is not used, half of the worker threads are affinitized to processor 1 and the other half are affinitized to processor 2. However, when the trace flag –T8002 is enabled and the affinity mask is set to 0x3, the worker threads are affinitized to both processors. If you set the trace flag and the affinity mask, you can limit the overall processors that SQL Server uses.