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Oracle Troubleshooting

Excessive Disk Activity


Excessive disk activity.

Possible Causes and Remedies:

There are a number of likely causes of excessive disk activity:

  • Poor database tuning. Is the database properly tuned? Excessive disk activity may be a symptom that Oracle has been allocated insufficient memory.
  • Heavy database usage. This is characterised by lots of reads or writes to the tablespace datafiles. Consider whether the organisation of tablespace files across disks could be improved.
  • The system is swapping. If there is much page file usage on the server then this indicates that there is either insufficient physical RAM or that Oracle has been allocated too much memory to use (given the amount of physical RAM).
    • Consider reducing DB_BLOCK_BUFFERS until swapping stops.
    • Consider increasing the amount of physical RAM on the server.

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.