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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle technical support and archivelog mode

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonDecember 13,  2015


I had another interesting recovery operation a few weeks ago.  We had a customer that was getting an error message when trying to open the database.  The error was 'file needs more recovery'.  I think we have all seen that one before.

However, this one was new.  The customers database was not in archivelog mode, and they were not and never had taken hot backups.  They were taking only weekly cold backups.

The customer had very little Oracle experience, but they were paying for Oracle support.  So they opened a Service Request with   They mentioned that their production database was down, and that the database was not in archive log mode.  Even though their production database was down, Oracle did not make this a severity 1 issue, which I cannot understand.  It met every requirement for a SEV-1 (top severity) emergency. 

In addition, Oracle support hemmed and hawed, first asking for substantial amounts of irrelevant information, including an RDA, etc.  But over the course of a week, Oracle support did not have the customer attempt a single solution to the problem.  Evidently as far as Oracle was concerned, if the database was not in archive log mode, they did not have to find a solution.

After dealing with Oracle support for a week, the customer called us in.  I had an idea of a solution to the customer's problem almost immediately, but to be safe, I first had the customer copy all of the Oracle database files in place in case I needed to take it back to the starting point.

Then I ran the following commands:

Sqlplus /nolog
Connect / as sysdba
Startup mount
Alter database open

(at this point I received an error that the undo tablespace needed more recovery)

So I ran this command:

Recover database;

Then I did:

Alter database open;

And the problem was resolved.

All I could figure out was that either Oracle support did not know that a recover command would run on a database that was not in archive log mode, or Oracle did not consider this customer a priority. 

In either case, this reflects extremely poorly on Oracle support.



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