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ORA-01591: lock held by in-doubt distributed transaction string tips

Oracle Error Tips by Burleson Consulting (S. Karam)


The Oracle docs note this on the ora-01591 error:

ORA-01591: lock held by in-doubt distributed transaction string
Cause: Trying to access resource that is locked by a dead two-phase commit transaction that is in prepared state.

Action: DBA should query the pending_trans$ and related tables, and attempt to repair network connection(s) to coordinator and commit point. If timely repair is not possible, DBA should contact DBA at commit point if known or end user for correct outcome, or use heuristic default if given to issue a heuristic commit or abort command to finalize the local portion of the distributed transaction.

Oracle user David Brail questioned ORA-01591 in Oracle MOSC, which was being thrown in his RDBMS Version 8.1.6 of Solaris 2.6. The problem was occuring after attempting to run "in-doubt" distributed transactions in which, "nce we have a transaction "in-doubt", other transactions -- for instance, transactions that are trying to insert new rows into the same table that the "in-doubt" transaction was trying to update -- fail with error ORA-01591, "lock held by in-doubt distributed transaction". I don't understand this, as I thought that Oracle primarily used row-level locking. I could understand that from time to time the in-doubt transaction could be trying to expand the tablespace or the index or something, but the behavior is so consistent that it seems like something else is going on."

Melissa Holman of Oracle Support offered this advice in finding the root probelm of ORA-01591:

It is difficult to say what is happening here without more information. I would suggest generating a trace file for the ORA-1591 so that we will have more detailed diagnostic information. Also, querying v$lock should provide more information.

To set the event for the ORA-1591 trace, add this to the init.ora:

event = "1591 trace name errorstack level 10"

The next time this error occurs, you will find a trace file in the user_dump_dest.





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