Useful SQL Server 2012 trace flags
Trace flags are used to temporarily set specific server characteristics or to switch off a
particular behavior. You can set trace flags by using the DBCC TRACEON command or by using the
-T option with the sqlservr command-line executable.
There are 2 types of trace flags in SQL Server 2012:
– global trace flags
– session trace flags
A global trace flag is enabled for the entire time SQL Server 2012 service is running and
is applied to each of the client connections. After activated, global trace flag will be in
effect until you restart server, or until you deactivate trace flag by using the DBCC TRACEOFF
command. A session trace flag is only applicable to the client connection that enables this
trace flag and when the client connection is closed, the behavior reverts back to default.
In this article, you can find the description of some useful SQL Server 2012 trace flags. By the
way, some of these trace flags are undocumented, but however may be useful for administering and
Enabling and disabling trace flags
You can use the DBCC TRACEON command to turn on the specified trace flag. This is the syntax:
DBCC TRACEON (trace# [,…n][, -1]) [WITH NO_INFOMSGS]
If you want to turn off the specified trace flag(s), you can use the DBCC TRACEOFF command.
This is the syntax:
DBCC TRACEOFF (trace# [,…n] [,-1]) [WITH NO_INFOMSGS]
You can use the DBCC TRACESTATUS command to get the status information for the particular trace
flag(s) currently turned on. This is the syntax:
DBCC TRACESTATUS ([ [trace# [,…n] ] [,] [-1] ]) [WITH NO_INFOMSGS]
To get the status information for all trace flags currently turned on, you can use -1 for trace#.
This is the example:
DBCC TRACESTATUS (-1)
Useful trace flags
1. Trace flag 1204.
This trace flag returns the type of locks participating in the deadlock and the current command
affected. This trace flag is documented in SQL Server 2012 Books Online. This is global trace flag.
2. Trace flag 1205 (undocumented).
This trace flag returns more detailed information about the command being executed at the time
of a deadlock. This trace flag was documented in SQL Server 7.0 Books Online, but is not
documented in SQL Server 2012.
3. Trace flag 1211.
This trace flag disables lock escalation based on memory pressure, or based on number of locks.
If turns on, then SQL Server 2012 will not escalate row or page locks to table locks.
Note. When the trace flag 1211 is turned on then excessive numbers of locks can be generated.
4. Trace flag 1224.
This trace flag disables lock escalation based on the number of locks. If both trace flag 1211
and 1224 are set, 1211 takes precedence over 1224.
5. Trace flag 1807 (undocumented).
You cannot create a database file on a mapped or UNC network location. This opportunity is
generally unsupported under SQL Server 2012. However, You can bypass this by turn on trace
6. Trace flag 2508 (undocumented).
This trace flag disables parallel non-clustered index checking for DBCC CHECKTABLE.
7. Trace flag 2528.
This trace flag disables parallel checking of objects by DBCC CHECKDB, DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP,
and DBCC CHECKTABLE. Usually trace flags 2508 and 2528 should not be used because checking in
parallel provides better performance, but sometimes when another process requires CPU resources
during checking, you can disable parallel checking to free some CPU resources for another process.
8. Trace flag 3205.
This trace flag disables hardware compression for tape drivers. You can use this trace flag
if your tape drives do not support compression.
9. Trace flag 3608.
This trace flag skips automatic recovery (at startup) for all databases except the master
database. To turn on this trace flag, you must use -T startup option. For example, you should
start SQL Server 2012 with the following parameter: -T 3608
To make it, run Services from the Control Panel, double click on MS SQL Server service, click
Stop button, then specify parameter value (-T 3608) and click the Start button.
10. Trace flag 3609 (undocumented).
This trace flag skips the creation of the tempdb database at startup. To turn on this trace
flag, you must use -T startup option.
11. Trace flag 4616.