SQL Server – Changing Sql Instance Collation – via sqlservr/-q

Background

Reviewing SQL Server Alwayson requirements and as should be expected Collation Uniformity is needed (at the SQL Instance level).

Keep in mind not just at the database level, but at Instance level.

Curious

Curious as to the means to change Collation.

Familiar with doing so via re-running setup.exe.

UnDocumented Method

Was fascinated that there appears to be an undocumented route.  Let us see how dark that road is….

 

Steps

Outline

  1. Stop the SQL Server Instance
  2. Connect to the box using the Account SQL Server is running under or try runas
  3. Launch Cmd.exe in Administrator mode
  4. Start SQL instance using “ -m -T4022 -T3659  -q[COLLATION]

 

Actual Steps

Stop the SQL Instance

 

Ensure you are SQL Server Account

Ensure that you are running as the SQL Server Account.

To do so try the methods listed below:

  1. Logoff and Logon
  2. Issue “runas /user <username>

 

Launch Shell in Administrator Mode

Launch cmd.exe in Administrator Mode

 

Start SQL Server with needed parameters

Parameters

You need the following parameters

  1. Trace Flags
    • T4022
      • Skip Start-up procedures
    • T3659
      • Writes all log to errorlog
  2. Command Line Arguments
    • -q
      • -q and collation

 

Sample Code

Change to United Kingdom [UK]

Code

set _FLD="D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL12.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\Binn\"

rem United Kingdom
set "_COLLATION=Latin1_General_CI_AS"

%_FLD%\sqlservr -m -T4022 -q%_COLLATION% 
Output

indexrestored-defaultcollationwaschanged-0516pm

Explanation
  1. -q “Latin1_General_CI_AS”
    • Targeted Collation is mentioned at command line
  2. Attempting to change default collation to <target collation>
    • Attempting to change default collation to Latin1_General_CI_AS
  3. Index Restored ….
    • Index Restores for various tables
  4. Default Collation was successfully changed

 

sqlservr.exe options

Again, this is undocumented.

If one goes into the SQL Server Binary folder and issue “sqlservr.exe /?“, one will not see the -q option.

Output

commandlinearguments

See -q is not listed.

 

Crediting

Crediting Douglas P. Castilho
Changing SQL Server Collation After Installation
Link

 

Additional Reading

  1. Pieter Vanhove
    • -m Startup Parameter issues
      Link

 

References

  1. Database Engine Service Startup Options

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s