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Oracle Troubleshooting

Database Instance Failure


The database instance is no longer running.

Possible Causes:

  • The DBA has taken the instance down.
  • The server has been shut down.
  • The server has rebooted and the instance has not been set to auto-start.
    • Check the NT System Event Log to see if the server has been rebooted.
  • Some other hardware related problem.
    • Check the Windows System Event Log

  • Other sources of information to check for additional clues as to the probable cause are:

      Note: From Oracle 8.1.5 onwards, these files are instead located in the directory {ORACLE_HOME}\Admin\{DB-Name>\bdump

    • Check that the normal Oracle services are running.
  • If running OPS then also check the ‘errlog’ and ‘pgms.log’ files, both of which are located in the ‘WinNT\System32’ directory.


The remedy will depend on the reason for the instance failure.

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.