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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Internals by Bob Beauchemin Kalen Delaney Conor Cunningham, Jonathan Kehayias, Benjamin Nevarez, and Paul S. Randal

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System databases

A new SQL Server installation always includes four databases: master, model, tempdb, and msdb. It also contains a fifth, “hidden” database that you never see using any of the normal SQL commands that list all your databases. This database is referred to as the resource database, but its actual name is mssqlsystemresource.

Understanding the master database

The master database is composed of system tables that keep track of the server installation as a whole and all other databases that are subsequently created. Although every database has a set of system catalogs that maintain information about objects that the database contains, the master database has system catalogs that keep information about system-wide configuration settings, ...

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