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On large tables, DBCC SHOWCONTIG can take a significant amount of time. Restricting DML operations during this time can be prohibitive for the application. You can work around this problem in SQL Server 2000, if the table has a clustered index. This problem has been resolved in SQL Server 2005. In SQL Server 2005, all usages of DBCC SHOWCONTIG acquire an IS lock on the table, thereby allowing concurrent DML operations.
Moreover, in SQL Server 2005, it is recommended to use the table valued dynamic management function sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats instead of the DBCC SHOWCONTIG command.