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How to trace SQL Server Backup

13 January,2020 by Tom Collins

Question: I'm trying to understand for educational purposes , what are the exact steps the SQL Server Backup is taking to progress through a SQL Server backup. Is there a way or method to trace the steps taken to complete a backup?

Answer:  Before I progress with outlining a method - I want to set a WARNING that this trace flag should only be used in guidance with experienced support staff - and only on non production systems.  Thoroughly test on non-production first and ensure consulting is involved 

Using the 3004 and 3605 DBCC TRACEON (3004 , 3605 , -1) , you can learn some interesting details about a backup operation. You can see examples on Slow SQL Server Backup and Restore with DBCC TRACEON (3004, 3605, -1)

I've used these trace flags previously to try and understand slow backup and restores 

An example of enabling the trace flags 3004 and 3605. Notice there is a command at the end which switched the trace flags off 

DBCC TRACEON (3004 , 3605 , -1);
backup database MY_DB to disk = 'M:MY_BB.bak'
DBCC TRACEOFF (3004 , 3605 , -1);


Author: Tom Collins (


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