System.OutOfMemoryException for Management Studio

I have seen multiple posts on the web trying to decipher the OutOfMemoryException thrown by Management Studio (SSMS) while executing a user query. Contrary to popular beliefs, this is not a SQL Database Engine Out of Memory condition. This is a client side OOM condition thrown by the .NET runtime while trying to receive the output of the query from the Database Engine. More often than not, the culprit is a large number of rows returned by the query submitted by the user.

A lot of times the error can be circumvented by using the TEXT mode output of SSMS. The error is a .NET Out of Memory exception pointing to the Management Studio running out of available physical memory. The GRID output requires a .NET GridView control to be created where as the Text mode output uses a TextBox to store the output returned by the database engine. The amount of memory consumed by the GRID is higher than a TextBox.

It is always advisable to store the output of a query returns a large number of rows into a file (CTRL+SHIFT+F) or use SQLCMD to generate the output into a CSV/TXT file. This would help optimize the memory usage on the box that is executing the query and also prevent re-execution of the query due to client box out-of-memory conditions. IMHO I cannot fathom the need to output a million rows in the GRID view because it is not possible to parse the output unless you put that into a flat file! Hope this sheds some light on this common misconception.

Once such issue is mentioned below:

Reference: OOM error when we access Schema changes report from SSMS – Microsoft


Upcoming Zeollar Presentation

I will be presenting a 30 minute demo on how to perform post mortem analysis for SQL Performance issues using RML Utilities and SQL Nexus on 24th June, 2010. The recorded and live session will be available on Zeollar. Zeollar is a Microsoft India DPE initiative that gets you the latest technical content on a daily basis in different channels. Think of it like a personal television that switches on every day at a specified hour allowing you to switch channels and view the channel of your interest.

You can download the calendar invite from here.

How to troubleshoot Windows Internal Database setup issues

Windows Internal Database is bundled along with Windows applications that need to use a backend database solely for their application purpose. Eg: WSUS, Sharepoint.

The application’s installation files will call the MSI package for installing the Windows Installer Database. In case the application setup fails due to a failure in installing the Windows Internal Database, then you would need the MSI log file for the WID MSI package. This can be found normally in the <System Drive:>\Windows folder and would have the following naming convention: *WSSEE*.log. If you are unable to locate the file, then find out all *.log files in the folder which were created recently.

Once you have located the file, you would need to search for the following string “Return Value 3” in the file.


MSI (s) (E0:88) [16:02:14:252]: Product: Windows Internal Database — Error 1402. Could not open key: <Reg Key Name>.  System error 5.  Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.

Error 1402. Could not open key: <Reg Key Name> System error 5.  Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel.
Action ended 16:02:14: InstallFinalize. Return value 3.

If you check what Operating System error 5 stands for, you will find out that it is a permissions issue.

C:\>net helpmsg 5

Access is denied.

Based on the error message, you will have to take corrective actions and re-run the setup.