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Oracle Troubleshooting

ORA-01990: Error opening password file ...


When creating the database (or at other times) the following error is generated:

ORA-01990: Error opening password file '...PWDOrcl.ora'

Where ‘Orcl’ is the SID of the database instance.


Oracle indicate that this error is generated if the instance/SID specific password file does not exist and the init.ora parameter ‘REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE’ is set to ‘EXCLUSIVE’ or ‘SHARED’.

Possible Remedies:

  • Edit the init.ora file and set the parameter ‘REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE’ to ‘NONE’, i.e.:


    Be aware that this indicates to Oracle that there is no password file and therefore all uses must be authenticated using Operating System Authentication.

  • Alternatly, create the password file:

    orapwd file=<path>\PWD<sid>.ora password=oracle

    Use the same path as given in the Oracle error.

    Be aware that the Oracle database creation scripts may contain a command to delete the password file. Accordingly if this error is generated during database creation it may be worth adding this ‘orapwd ...’ line immediately after the ‘oradim ...’ command that creates the Oracle SID.

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.