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Merrill Aldrich

Technical content about Microsoft data technologies. All opinions expressed are purely my own and do not reflect positions of my employer or associates.

SQL Server File Layout Viewer 1.1 Release

Edit 9 October 2013: A new version is out! Please download 1.2 from here

Back in the Spring I released a 1.0 version of a utility that will show the structure of SQL Server files graphically. Today I have a new release that includes some fixes and updates based on user feedback, bug reports, and suggestions.

In this release:

  1. The database scan is significantly faster because it now uses parallelism.
  2. Larger databases are supported, and files over 4GB are now read correctly – but don’t go too crazy. Really large data sets are not likely to work.
  3. SQL Server Auth is now available.
  4. Various bug fixes around pages that contained data at one time but are not currently allocated, and pages “captured” from other databases via instant file initialization.

Fundamentals about the app are the same:

  1. The app will read a database and then present a color-coded visualization of all the data by object and by page type.
  2. Mouse over the visualization to get details about the pages in a panel on the right edge of the app window.
  3. Use this in test, not production. It’ll scan the whole database, which probably would be performance impacting.
  4. This is designed to study and learn about storage internals using modest data sets. Running it on a large warehouse, for example, is probably not going to work.




I want to thank those in the SQL community who helped with this project via Twitter, testing for me, bug reports and critiques. You know who you are, and y’all rock :-).

Published Thursday, August 8, 2013 1:28 PM by merrillaldrich


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Merrill Aldrich : Public Release, SQL Server File Layout Viewer said:

August 8, 2013 4:56 PM

Vishal said:

Great Tool... Thanks...

I think it will be useful if you add textual description of page type in "PageTypeText" text box along with ID, i.e. "1 - DATA"

Also, if "barwidth" is changed to 10 then the block is more visible.

August 26, 2013 4:01 AM

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