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ORA-01078 tips

Oracle Error Tips by Donald Burleson(S. Karam)

The Oracle oerr utility note this on the ORA-01078 error:

ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters

Cause: Failure during processing of INIT.ORA parameters during system

Action: Further diagnostic information should be in the error stack.

The ORA-01078 error is frequently thrown when you put comments on your initialization parameter file (pfile).  Removing the comments (denoted with the # character) from your pfile will often fix the ORA-01078 error.

The ORA-01078 error is typically thrown when you attempt to mount a database.  ORA-01078 indicates that there was an issue with the INIT.ORA parameters (database initialization file).

Resolving ORA-01078 consists of viewing  the error stack, because ORA-01078 usually has subsequent errors which are thrown at the same time.  The accompanying errors will most likely show the source of the problem.

Sometimes you will see the ORA-01078 combined with the LRM-00109 error when issuing a "create spfile from pfile":

ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters.
Cause: Failure during processing of INIT.ORA parameters during system startup.

Action: Further diagnostic information should be in the error stack.

LRM-00109: could not open parameter file "String"

Cause: The parameter file does not exist.

Action: Create an appropriate parameter file.

This combination suggests a missing parameter file, but it's commonly associated with corruption in the init.ora file (pfile or spfile), located in $ORACLE_HOME/dbs. 

Also see these notes on  setting Windows_file_permissions.

Restore the spfile

Restoring the SPFILE is an automated process in many cases with RMAN. You simply need to configure RMAN with the proper database DBID (which you should have recorded when you created the database) and you can then restore the SPFILE from any auto backup.

To restore the spfile, you still need to start the database, but you can do so with a minimal database parameter file. All you need to do is start your database instance is set the db_name parameter in a manual parameter file. Then you can start the instance using the startup command with the pfile parameter as seen in this example:

Startup nomount pfile=c:\oracle\product\\database\initbooktst.ora

Once the instance is started, you can start RMAN and restore the SPFILE as seen in this example:

RMAN> restore spfile from autobackup;




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