Using SQLDiag and SQL Nexus to Troubleshoot Slowness

Luckily, two of the internal Microsoft tools used in order to diagnose slowdowns is also available for the publics use. These tools are SQLDiag (previously PSSDiag), and SQL Nexus. SQLDiag (short for SQL Diagnostics) monitors all aspects of the system that SQL Server is running on and generates all output needed in order to determine the bottleneck. The difficult challenge that follows is how to interpret that data. This is where SQL Nexus comes in.

SQL Nexus is an application written on the .NET framework, that utilizes a client distribution of Reporting Services in order to give us insight into the output generated from SQLDiag. While it is relatively hopping along on 3 legs, we are still very lucky to have it. This video walks you through the initial process of setting up the traces and gives a brief intro in the data you can expect to find.

In order to download, following this link and read the installation carefully.


The installation guide will also walk you through downloading the ReadTrace tool (contained in the Microsoft RML tools download). And it will also tell you to download the PerfStats scripts which are used in order to initiate the SQLDiag trace. These are also important.

Ricardo Bezerra 05 Jul 2011 at 11:49 pm

Hi Derek,

Thank for your detailed video. It is very helpful.

Unfortunately I’m not able to import the .trc file. It always failed for me. I tried to import it in a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine and Windows 7 x64 machine.

Do you have any idea on what is wrong?


Ricardo Bezerra

Derek Dieter 08 Jul 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hi Ricardo, unfortunately I don’t. Is there a specific error message you are receiving?

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