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Learn T-SQL

Page Verification Settings In SQL Server

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Page verification is a setting in SQL Server that determines how the system checks for and corrects errors in database pages. There are two page verification options in SQL Server:


Checksum:

This is the default page verification option in SQL Server. With checksum, SQL Server calculates a checksum value for each data page and stores it in the header of the page. When a page is read, the checksum value is recalculated and compared to the stored value. If the values do not match, SQL Server reports an error.


Checksum is a page verification option in SQL Server that helps detect and prevent data corruption in database pages. When the checksum page verification option is enabled, SQL Server calculates a checksum value for each data page and stores it in the header of the page. During read operations, SQL Server recalculates the checksum value and compares it to the stored value. If the values do not match, SQL Server reports an error.


The checksum value is calculated using a hash algorithm that takes into account the contents of the page. The algorithm is designed to be fast and reliable, and is optimized for detecting most types of page corruption, including disk problems, memory problems, and other hardware issues.


The checksum option is the default page verification setting in SQL Server, and it's recommended that you use this option for all databases, especially those that store critical data. Checksum provides a higher level of protection against data corruption compared to the other page verification option, Torn Page Detection, which only detects partial page writes.


To set the checksum page verification option for a database, you can use the following T-SQL statement:

ALTER DATABASE YourDatabase SET PAGE_VERIFY CHECKSUM;

Torn Page Detection:

With this option, SQL Server checks for torn pages, which are pages that have been partially written to disk due to an interruption in the write process. Torn pages can result in data loss or corruption. When torn page detection is enabled, SQL Server checks for torn pages during page reads and reports any errors.


Torn Page Detection is a page verification option in SQL Server that helps detect partial page writes and other types of minor data corruption. When the Torn Page Detection option is enabled, SQL Server checks the page header for a torn page bit, which indicates whether the page has been written partially. If the torn page bit is set, SQL Server logs an error and tries to read the page again.


A torn page is a page that has been only partially written to disk due to a hardware failure or system error. This type of data corruption is relatively rare, but it can occur when a write operation is interrupted before it is completed.


The Torn Page Detection option is less reliable than the checksum page verification option, as it only detects partial page writes and not all types of page corruption. However, it's still a useful option to enable, especially if your hardware does not support the faster checksum calculations.


To set the Torn Page Detection option for a database, you can use the following T-SQL statement:

ALTER DATABASE YourDatabase SET PAGE_VERIFY TORN_PAGE_DETECTION;

You can configure the page verification settings at the database level using the ALTER DATABASE statement:

ALTER DATABASE [DatabaseName]
SET PAGE_VERIFY { CHECKSUM | TORN_PAGE_DETECTION }

It's generally recommended to use the checksum page verification option, as it provides greater protection against data corruption and is more reliable than torn page detection.


However, torn page detection may be useful in certain scenarios, such as when dealing with legacy applications or databases that cannot be modified to use checksum verification.

It's important to regularly monitor page verification errors using system monitoring tools, such as SQL Server Profiler or Performance Monitor, to identify and correct any issues that may arise. Additionally, be sure to periodically test your database backup and recovery processes to ensure that you can restore your data in the event of a page verification error or other data corruption issue.


How can I determine what Page Verification SQL Server is using now?

You can determine what page verification setting SQL Server is currently using by running the following query:

SELECT name, page_verify_option_desc FROM sys.databases WHERE name = 'YourDatabaseName';

Replace "YourDatabaseName" with the name of the database you want to check. This query returns the name of the database and the description of the page verification option that is currently set for the database.


The output will look something like this:

name          | page_verify_option_desc
--------------|-----------------------
YourDatabaseName | CHECKSUM

In this example, the database "YourDatabaseName" is using the CHECKSUM page verification option. If the page verification option is set to TORN_PAGE_DETECTION, the output would indicate that instead.


It's important to regularly check your page verification settings and monitor for page verification errors using system monitoring tools, such as SQL Server Profiler or Performance Monitor, to identify and correct any issues that may arise.


How can I check Page Verification in SSMS

You can check the page verification setting for a SQL Server database using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) by following these steps:

  • Open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the SQL Server instance that hosts the database you want to check.

  • Expand the "Databases" node and select the database you want to check.

  • Right-click the database and select "Properties" from the context menu.

  • In the "Database Properties" dialog box, select the "Options" page.

  • Look for the "Page verify" option under the "Other options" section. The current page verification setting for the database will be displayed next to this option.

If the "Page verify" option is set to "Checksum", then the database is currently using the checksum page verification setting. If the option is set to "Torn Page Detection", then the database is currently using the torn page detection page verification setting.

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