I am experiencing a blocking issue in sql server 2005. An end user executes a query (e.g. select statements) and seems to get into a never-ending blocking until i kill the process e.g. for hours on end .

the end user querys run just fine when I test the. It seems to get into a blocking issue when qanother process tries to truncate and reload a table.

how can I troubleshoot this?

  • If it is SELECT-ing from a table that has been TRUNCATE-d by another still open transaction then yes it will be blocked. Are you saying the blocking continues even after that other transaction is completed? Jan 4, 2013 at 12:43
  • No its a select statemetn that normally runs (e.g. when i test it) in < 30 minutes, but it sometimes runs endlessly (and while it is running endlessly, it prevents a nightly etl process from truncating a table). I guess i should be looking into why it runs forever, and that would solve the overall issue.
    – GWR
    Jan 4, 2013 at 12:52
  • 3
    Ah I see. Well I guess either the SELECT is itself blocked by something else (look in sys.dm_os_waiting_tasks) or sometimes it gets a catastrophically bad plan that means it is actually doing much more work (e.g. parameter sniffing). You say "the end user querys run just fine when I test" so sounds like the second one. Compare and contrast the execution plans from both sessions. Jan 4, 2013 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


The easiest way I look at it is, right click on the database in SSMS and under Reports => Standard Reports => All Blocking Transactions. There are other standard reports with blocking transactions as well but I found all one pretty useful.

The other thing you could do is setup a SQL Server Agent Alert for figuring our locks for your database.

Type: SQL server performance condition alert Object: SQL Server:Locks Counter: Anything you want Instance: Database Rises above: {x} number of occurrences you want to look for.

And have the alert set to email you when the condition is met (considering you have Database Mail setup already).

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