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Kill SQL Server Process Ids (spids)

MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec By:   |   Read Comments (5)   |   Related Tips: More > Scripts

I have noticed some of my processes are failing because spids are already connected to the database.  This happens specifically when I need to a restore database.  I catch this problem pretty quick when I am working on it during the data and can fix it, but during nightly processing existing spids become problematic.  I have also noticed existing spids causing problems for my SQL Server 2000 Database Maintenance Plans.  I have found this issue in my logs specifically related to performing integrity checks (DBCC CHECKDB ('YourDatabaseName') REPAIR_FAST) when the database needs to be in single user mode before the integrity check commands run.  How can I kill these spids prior to running my processes?

Killing the spids is the process that needs to occur prior to issuing DBCC CHECKDB (when repairing) or performing the database restore process.  Killing the spids can be accomplished by adding another step to your SQL Server Agent Jobs or in your script\stored procedure calling the code below to perform the KILL  process prior to executing code that needs exclusive use of the database.

SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005

USE Master


-- 1 - Variable Declaration
DECLARE @CMD1 varchar(8000)
DECLARE @spidNumber int
DECLARE @SpidListLoop int
DECLARE @SpidListTable table
(UIDSpidList int IDENTITY (1,1),
SpidNumber int)

-- 2 - Populate @SpidListTable with the spid information
INSERT INTO @SpidListTable (SpidNumber)
FROM Master.dbo.sysprocesses
WHERE DBID NOT IN (1,2,3,4) -- Master, Tempdb, Model, MSDB
AND spid > 50
AND <> @@spid


-- 3b - Determine the highest UIDSpidList to loop through the records
SELECT @SpidListLoop = MAX(UIDSpidList) FROM @SpidListTable

-- 3c - While condition for looping through the spid records
WHILE @SpidListLoop > 0

-- 3d - Capture spids location
SELECT @spidNumber = spidnumber
FROM @spidListTable
WHERE UIDspidList = @SpidListLoop

-- 3e - String together the KILL statement
SELECT @CMD1 = 'KILL ' + CAST(@spidNumber AS varchar(5))

-- 3f - Execute the final string to KILL the spids

-- 3g - Descend through the spid list
SELECT @SpidListLoop = @SpidListLoop - 1


Next Steps

  • Check your Database Maintenance Plan logs or SQL Server Agent Job Step History to determine when existing spids are preventing your automated processes from succeeding.
  • Depending on the user and/or automated processes that are running dictates how the scripts above should be modified to meet your needs.
  • Although the scripts above are beneficial for you to execute your process, you may also need to consider the other processes that are running and determine if 1 or more of the processes need to be executed at another time period for all of the processes to complete in a reasonable time period.  For example, you may not want to kill a process at 4:00 AM that needs 4 hours to complete and must be finished by 8:00 AM.  In this circumstance, re-scheduling the process may be a better bet.
  • Check out these related tips from MSSQLTips.com:
  • Stay tuned for another tip on situational alternatives to issuing the KILL command.

Last Update: 5/18/2007

About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec
Jeremy Kadlec is the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions, co-founder of MSSQLTips.com, Baltimore SSUG co-leader and SQL Server MVP since 2009.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011 - 1:10:12 PM - Jeremy Kadlec Read The Tip


Gotcha.  Ken's tip is pretty good.  He has a few great examples.  He is a sharp DBA.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec

Thursday, February 03, 2011 - 12:09:13 PM - TIm Boesken Read The Tip

Never thought to use COALESCE. Great find. Now you went and made my agenda for the day go out the window as I play with that command more :-) 

Thursday, February 03, 2011 - 11:48:05 AM - Jeremy Kadlec Read The Tip


Thank you for the post.

Here is another alternative as well to kill spids - http://www.mssqltips.com/tip.asp?tip=1521.

Thank you,
Jeremy Kadlec

Thursday, February 03, 2011 - 9:22:26 AM - TIm Boesken Read The Tip

Before restoring:

Alter database <blah> Set Restricted_User With Rollback Immediate

Restore Database.


Monday, September 14, 2009 - 6:38:36 AM - manonbar Read The Tip

thanks, this tip was a great help.

One question,

Is the one line that is in error

AND <> @@spid

suppose to be AND spid <> @@spid or for any reason another field? It works fine with this modification, but just want to make sure not doing any unnecessary kills in there.


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