is used by various components of the product to generate and save diagnostic information in the form of mini-dump and other log files. You will normally find the output files [with extension .mdmp, .txt and .log] created by sqldumper.exe in the LOG folder of the specific instance for the Database Engine. Recently while working with a customer we noticed a problem that prevents these important files from getting created and could affect some of you who are managing SQL Server 2008 failover cluster installations. There are 2 alternate options you can follow to
install SQL Server failover cluster
Integrated Installation with Add Node
Advanced/Enterprise Installation [Prepare and Complete]
If you perform a “Prepare and Complete” option of install for a failover cluster, then sqldumper.exe may not have the capability to automatically generate dumps for critical server health conditions including exceptions and other errors.
This problem is caused by a combination of two factors:
ErrorDumpDir registry value under the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMicrosoft SQL Server<instance>CPE] is pointing to an incorrect location
SQL Server service account and SQLDumper.exe does not have necessary permissions to write files here due to the ACL settings on this folder location
Under this condition, when SQLSERVR.EXE attempts to launch SQLDUMPER.EXE and generate dumps for sever conditions or events; you will notice the following in the SQL Server Error log.
2009-02-25 23:01:03.40 spid52 Using 'dbghelp.dll' version '4.0.5'
07/10/2008 04:40 AM 17,432 sql_fulltext_keyfile.dll
Directory of H:MSSQL10.MYINSTANCENAMEMSSQL
02/25/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> .
02/25/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> ..
02/25/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> Backup
02/25/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> DATA
02/25/2009 08:37 PM <DIR> FTData
02/25/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> JOBS
02/25/2009 10:52 PM <DIR> Log
02/25/2009 05:05 PM <DIR> repldata
H drive is the shared cluster disk drive that is part of the cluster group configured for this sql failover cluster instance. C drive is the local drive of the node.
Notice that the registry key ErrorDumpDir is pointing to the LOG folder in the C drive. If you examine the LOG folder in both the drives, you will notice that the error logs are present in LOG folder of the H drive. The LOG folder in the C drive will be empty.
The Prepare phase of the setup creates this LOG folder in the C drive and configures the CPE registry key to this folder. This LOG folder of C drive is not setup with correct ACL’s so SQL Server service account can create files in this folder. The Complete phase does not remap this registry key value to the LOG folder in the shared cluster drive. That is how we end up with this scenario.