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Oracle Troubleshooting

LRM-00109: could not open parameter file


When trying to start up Oracle, the following error is encountered:

LRM-00109: could not open parameter file '...'
ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters


Oracle could not open the init-ora file. Typically this is because either the init-ora file is in a different directory to the one Oracle is looking in, or it has a different name to what Oracle expects.

By default the init-ora file is located in the directory:


and is called:


Possibly Remedies:

  • Check the name and location of the init-ora file. Then when starting the database specify explicity the location of the initialisation file, i.e.

    Startup pfile='<full-pathname-of-initialisation-file>'

  • If the database is the 'default' database then set the location of the init-ora file in the registry. (This possibly only applies to Oracle 7?) This should be specified in the registry under the key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Oracle'. Add the values:

PFILE_<SID> = <full pathname of init file>

This page represents one page of many pages of notes I made whilst working with Oracle 7 through to 10i. I now no longer work with Oracle databases, but hope that these notes will continue to be of benefit to others.

About the author: is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.