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ORA-01033 Tips

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting


ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress

Question:  I want to clone a production database into a test server. I restored the datafile from the production db to the test server and then ran the startup nomount command.  But if I connect using SQL*Plus, it's giving me this error:

“ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress.”


Answer: Oerr show this for the ORA-01033 error:

ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress.

Cause: An attempt was made to log on while Oracle is being started up or shutdown.

Action: Wait a few minutes. Then retry the operation

The first step in resolving the “The ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress” error is to check and see if the target database is indeed in the middle of startup or shutdown.


The ORA-01033 error also happens when you have leftover RAM regions held by the OS that makes Oracle think that an instance is already running.  See these notes on using the ipcs command to remove held RAM segments.


The ORA-01033 error also happens when the database is not open.  After you create the control file issue the command:


“alter database open”


That should stop the ORA-01033 error and make the database available for general use. 


The “ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress.” error can also happen when Oracle is attempting startup or shutdown and is "hanging" on a resource such as a failed disk, writing to redo, etc.


You may also see the ORA-19809: limit exceeded for recovery files related to the ORA-01033 error.






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