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Oracle Troubleshooting

ORA-01113: file n needs media recovery


When trying to start Oracle, the error:

ORA-01113: file n needs media recovery
ORA-01110: data file n: '<full file name>'


Oracle has detected a corruption in the file specified.

Possible Remedies:

  • Try: (this requires archive logs)

    Recover datafile '<datafile-name>';

  • Restore the database from backup and reapply any archive log files.
  • If the database is a standby database then check the procedure for copying the file in the first place. A common mistake is to perform a hot backup of a database but without issuing a ‘alter tablespace ... begin backup ... end backup’ for the tablespace in question.

Once the media error has been recovered from the database can be opened normally (i.e. ‘startup’ or ‘alter database open’).

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.