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We experienced a failure on one of our MS SQL servers this morning and we are currently investigating the cause. One thing I have noticed is a massive jump in the size of the transaction log backups (.trn). We backup the logs every 15 mins and the average size is around 8Mb. This morning, at the time of the failure, the log file jumped in size to 5.8Gb.

I am assuming if I can read the contents of these TRN files it may give me some clue as to what was going on at the time everything failed.

Is there a way for me to read these files including a timestamp for each record?

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You can try to use fn_dump_dblog() to read log backup file, see detailes here: Using fn_dblog, fn_dump_dblog, and restoring with STOPBEFOREMARK to an LSN by Paul Randal.

But your file is big enough I don't know if it can be done, I never tried to use it on any file of similar size.

Is there a way for me to read these files including a timestamp for each record?

No, not every record has timestamp, only begin tran/commit tran/checkpoint begin.

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