A few of my databases are in a suspect state. How can I get them online? I don’t know what info is relevant and what isn’t, but I’ll give as much as I can. Here is what happened:

I enabled TDE in about 100 databases by the below. (The cert tde_certificate was created on another SQL server, same version, if it matters.)

use master
--the key/cert was generated on another sql server (same version), if it matters
CREATE CERTIFICATE tde_certificate
FROM FILE = '\\dir\cert.bak'
file = '\\dir\key.pvk'

--then for each database:
use [SomeDb];
create database encryption key with algorithm = aes_256
encryption by server certificate tde_certificate

alter database [SomeDb] set encryption on

Then TDE appeared to be “stuck” at 0 percent, for all TDE enabled databases. It was in this state for a while, at least a couple hours (some dbs are really small too).

The error message in log showed:

Please create a master key in the database or open the master key in the session before performing this operation. Database encryption scan for database ‘dbname’ was aborted. Reissue ALTER DB to resume the scan.

After there was a failover to the other node. All databases, except for the system and non-tde enabled ones were stuck in "RECOVERY_PENDING”.

I was able to get most of the databases online by opening the master encryption key and setting the db’s online by:

use master
open master key decryption by password = 'ReallyStrongPassword'
alter database [SomeDb] set online

This worked for all of the databases except for 3. Those db’s are now in a SUSPECT state.

I tried a repair with no luck:

use master
open master key decryption by password = 'ReallyStrongPassword'

ALTER DATABASE [SomeDb] set emergency
ALTER DATABASE [SomeDb] set single_user
alter DATABASE [SomeDb] SET multi_user
alter DATABASE [SomeDb] SET online

Results: Msg 926, Level 14, State 1, Line 30 Database 'SomeDb' cannot be opened. It has been marked SUSPECT by recovery. See the SQL Server errorlog for more information. DBCC results for 'SomeDb'. CHECKDB found 0 allocation errors and 0 consistency errors in database 'SomeDb'.

Also, I tried to restart the encryption scan, no luck:

use master
open master key decryption by password = 'StrongPass'

exec sys.sp_resetstatus
    @DBName = 'SomeDb'


Result: DBCC execution completed. If DBCC printed error messages, contact your system administrator. DBCC execution completed. If DBCC printed error messages, contact your system administrator. Warning: You must recover this database prior to access.

Msg 5069, Level 16, State 1, Line 131 ALTER DATABASE statement failed. Msg 9001, Level 21, State 1, Line 131 The log for database 'SomeDb' is not available. Check the event log for related error messages. Resolve any errors and restart the database.

I noticed that whenever I fail over to the other node, all databases (except system) are all back in a RECOVERY_PENDING state. I need to open the encryption key and explicitly set the database online to get them online (all except for the 3 SUSPECT dbs). This happens every time.

I am on SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, clustered with 2 nodes. I was able to enable TDE using the same cert in 4 other environments without any issues.

Any ideas on what I can do to get these databases online?

Edit: Here are the results from the error log. I filtered it down to "one of each" databases. One that was suspect and another that was in a recovery_pending state.


Edit: The files referenced within sys.master_files physically exist. I noticed that the STATE = ONLINE as well, sys.databases.state_desc = SUSPECT.

  • why in the world would you create a cert on network share ? The certs should be copied locally on all the nodes and created with same passwords. Also, post the error log as well.
    – Kin Shah
    Apr 14, 2016 at 20:37
  • just for clarification, you're testing this, this is not production, correct?
    – Hannah Vernon
    Apr 14, 2016 at 20:39
  • Yes, this is in a test environment. The cert used was already existing. It was was copied from a backup locally before being created, it was just referenced by using \\LocalMachineName. I will edit the original post with the log. Apr 15, 2016 at 17:01
  • There is more going on here. We're missing some pertinent information. What do you mean by "failover"? Have you checked the IO subsystem? Apr 15, 2016 at 17:30
  • Inside the cluster manager, the SQL service was moved from one node to the other. The IO subsystem is fine according to the SAN admin. Apr 15, 2016 at 17:47

2 Answers 2


For the 3 suspect databases can you check the log files referred to in sys.master_files physically exist on disk and have the same access permissions as the other working database log files? Just that one of the error messages you posted said the log file is missing, and unless it's a red herring, that would make their problem separate to your TDE issues and explain the suspect status.

I've noticed this in your log: 04/13/2016 15:18:23,spid61,Unknown,Database SuspectDb was shutdown due to error 9001 in routine 'XdesRMReadWrite::RollbackToLsn'.

This can happen if there are transactions in the log file which cannot be rolled back due to a lack of space, forcing the db into suspect mode. Can you confirm the underlying disk has free space, and also that you have not set and hit a size limit on that database's files (e.g. that auto-grow is enabled and set to grow by a sane fixed amount)?

  • Though this is solved, all add detail for completeness. There is plenty of space left (about 300 GB). The limits all look good. Autogrow is enabled, set to grow at 10%, and there isn't a limit set. The size of the database is 50 MB. Apr 20, 2016 at 15:56

I was able to get the databases back online, there must have been an issue with the transaction log. I rebuilt the logs and now the databases are online. I recreated the log file by:

use master
open master key decryption by password = 'strongPassword'

ALTER DATABASE SuspectDb set emergency
ALTER DATABASE SuspectDb set single_user
ALTER DATABASE SuspectDb REBUILD LOG ON (NAME=SuspectDb_new_log_name, FILENAME='X:\SuspectDb_new_log_name.ldf')
alter DATABASE SuspectDb set multi_user

dbcc checkdb(SuspectDb) with data_purity, all_errormsgs,all_errormsg

After running DBCC, there are a bunch of consistency errors, but that's out of scope of this question. If I can't resolve the corruption I'll post a new question.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.