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Oracle Troubleshooting


Oracle will not start up automatically


Symptom:

After the server is rebooted, Oracle does not start up automatically.

Possible Causes and Remedies:

The Possible Causes and Remedies are different for Oracle 7 and Oracle 8, be sure to use the appropriate section.

Oracle 7 - Things to check:

  1. Check that it is possible to start Oracle manually. If not then address that problem first.
  2. Check in the directory ‘{ORACLE_HOME}\Database’ that the command file ‘strt<SID>.cmd’ exists. If it does not exist then create it. It should contain the following single line:

    {ORACLE_HOME}\bin\oradimXX.exe –startup -sid <SID> -usrpwd <internal-password> -starttype srvc,inst –pfile <full-init-file-pathname>

    Then review the Oracle services (see next item, below).

  3. Go to Start > Control Panel > Services, and check that the services ‘OracleService<SID>’ and ‘OracleStartService<SID>’ both exist.
    • If neither service exists then create them both using:

      oradimxx -new -sid <SID> -intpwd ORACLE -startmode AUTO -pfile <full-init-ora-filename>

    • If only ‘OracleStart<SID>’ does not exist, then create it using:

      oradimxx -delete -sid <SID>
      oradimxx -new -sid <SID> -intpwd ORACLE -startmode AUTO -pfile <full-init-ora-filename>

  4. Check that the services ‘OracleService<SID>’ and ‘OracleStartService<SID>’ are both set to start automatically.
  5. Check that the command file ‘{ORACLE_HOME} \ Database \ strt<SID>.cmd’ will successfully start the database. If it does not (and the file contents are as outlined above) then a registry setting may be incorrect. Find the registry key corresponding to the service for starting Oracle ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ OracleStart<SID>’ and check the ‘ImagePath’ is valid. (For instance, if Oracle has been reinstalled on a different disk then the drive letter may be incorrect.)

Oracle 8 - Things to check:

  1. Check that it is possible to start Oracle manually. If not then address that problem first.
  2. Go to Start > Control Panel > Services, and check that the service ‘OracleService<SID>’ exists and is set to auto-start.
  3. Try recreating the instance (this will also create the service ‘OracleService<SID>’ if it does not exist):

    oradim -delete <SID>
    oradim -new -sid <SID> -intpwd oracle -startmode AUTO -pfile <full-init-ora-filename>

    This will recreate the instance and should start it.

  4. As a final resort, check in the registry that the database settings are correct. Look under ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ ORACLE\ HOME0’ the keys of interest are:
    Key Expected Value Description
    ORA_ORCL_AUTOSTART TRUE Whether or not the Oracle instance should auto start
    ORA_ORCL_PFILE <full init ora filename> The location of the init.ora file. This should include the drive, path and filename.

    Whilst these values can be changed manually, it is probably safer to use the ‘oradim’ commands above to recreate the instance. Only edit the registry directly as a last resort.


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.