Most unhelpful error message?

  • Carl Federl

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 25384

    Anyone else have a story about unhelpful error messages?

    Got an error message "an invalid directory pathname was passed" during SQL Server 2014 install, when specifying the service accounts.

    The cause was entering the account with a forward slash instead of a backslash. Usually I do these from home on my 23" monitor but this was done at a client with a 12" laptop screen, so did not notice the difference.

    Domain/account produced a invalid directory message.

    Domain\account is the correct format.

    SQL = Scarcely Qualifies as a Language

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 244733

    At least you didn't get this.

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.
    See for details of how to post T-SQL code-related questions.

  • tindog

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4892

    Used to use a marketing suite with some very unhelpful error messages. It used NSQL IIRC, and many of the errors were along the lines of "Error: No error".

    I do not miss it.

  • benjamin.reyes


    Points: 5249

    I would occasionally get an error with a SQL 7 box that would just have the Ok button and no message.

  • Alan Burstein

    SSC Guru

    Points: 61088

    There's one out there that I've seen since SQL Server 6.5. It reads something like:

    The query failed to process for the following reason(s):

    The operation completed successfully

    The one that drives me the most nuts though is

    String or binary data would be truncated

    SQL knows which column it is but doesn't want to share this info with you. That one drives me the most nuts, especially when it's a really wide table with many columns.

    "I cant stress enough the importance of switching from a sequential files mindset to set-based thinking. After you make the switch, you can spend your time tuning and optimizing your queries instead of maintaining lengthy, poor-performing code."

    -- Itzik Ben-Gan 2001

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