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MySQL Troubleshooting by Sveta Smirnova

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General Steps to Take in Troubleshooting

Here are the steps I take to localize a problem. They aren’t perfectly linear, because there are different paths to take for different problems. But the sequence can serve as a checklist.

Try to identify the actual query that causes the problem.

I’ve discussed many ways to determine the query or, in the case of a concurrency issue, the set of queries that cause the problem collectively. Once you obtain the query and its environment, you’re halfway done. Either the problem is repeatable, or it has something to do with concurrency and you can investigate those issues.

Check to make sure the query’s syntax is correct.

The easiest way to do this is to run the query in the MySQL CLI. If the query is syntactically incorrect, it will return an error. In either case, once you figure out which part of the syntax is wrong, you have the source of the problem. Otherwise, continue to the next step.

Confirm that the problem is in the query.

If the problem is a wrong result or a performance issue, check to make sure the problem is repeatable in the MySQL CLI.

You may notice that I am branching out in various directions while listing steps to follow. These symptoms cannot always be resolved through a single path, because problems differ and the most effective methods to find the cause can vary.

If the query returns wrong data, try to rewrite it to get correct results, i.e., those that you expect to obtain.

If the problem is repeatable with a single query, it always ...

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