Deadlock is a situation when two processes, each having a lock on one piece of data, attempt to acquire a lock on the other’s piece. Each process would wait indefinitely for the other to release the lock, unless one of the user processes is terminated.
SQL Server detects deadlocks and terminates one user’s process. A live lock is one, where a request for an exclusive lock is repeatedly denied because a series of overlapping shared locks keeps interfering. SQL Server detects the situation after four denials and refuses further shared locks. A live lock also occurs when read transactions monopolize a table or page, forcing a write transaction to wait indefinitely.