Error 14258: Cannot perform this operation while SQL Server Agent is starting. Try again later

 I saw SQL Server error 14258 today while i was diagnosing my log shipping issue in which primary and standby servers was not in sync. I checked log but i didn’t find anything even SQL Server agent was running and all jobs was showing as successful. Then I tried to bounce Agent service on primary node where i got below error:

“Error 14258: Cannot perform this operation while SQL Server Agent is starting. Try again later.”

To fix this issue, I tried stopping and then restarting just the Agent service but it never start and reported the same error again and again.

Solution

To fix SQL Server error 14258, I looked into SQL Server advanced server configuration option where i saw that SQL Server was running into fiber mode scheduling because Lightweight pooling option was set to 1.

Lightweight pooling option provide a means of reducing the system overhead associated with the excessive context switching sometimes seen in symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) environments. Setting lightweight pooling to 1 causes SQL Server to switch to fiber mode scheduling. The default value for this option is 0.

Fiber mode is intended for certain situations in which the context switching of the UMS workers are the critical bottleneck in performance. Because this is rare, fiber mode rarely enhances performance or scalability on the typical system.

The lightweight pooling option is an advanced option. If you are using the sp_configure system stored procedure to change the setting, you can change lightweight pooling only when show advanced options is set to 1. The setting takes effect after the server is restarted.

 I set lightweight pooling option back to the default value by running below T-SQL code.

sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1
go
reconfigure
go
sp_configure 'lightweight pooling', 0
go
reconfigure

And after this change, my issue about error 14258 got resolved.

Read more about Server Level Configuration Options:

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Manvendra Deo Singh

I am working as a Technical Architect in one of the top IT consulting firm. I have expertise on all versions of SQL Server since SQL Server 2000. I have lead multiple SQL Server projects like consolidation, upgrades, migrations, HA & DR. I love to share my knowledge. You can contact me on my social accounts for any consulting work.
Manvendra Deo Singh
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