Tales From A Lazy Fat DBA

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Recovering Parameter File

Posted by FatDBA on January 2, 2013

Today while working discovered that both my Pfile and SPfile from one of my test database are missing which we realized after a bounce, when it failed to start and started throwing error message about loss with it’s previous location.

ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters
LRM-00109: could not open parameter file ‘/u01/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/dbhome_2/dbs/initorcl.ora’

I tried starting my database from RMAN console to recover my SPfile from my latest Autobackup’s, which is not possible until the database is in atleast nomount mode by Recovery Manager.  This is not possible without parameter file hence Oracle allows RMAN to start-up related instance in nomount mode with the help of a DUMMY parameter file which it creates in it’s default location ($ORACLE_HOME/dbs).

The purpose of this DUMMY file is to aid restoration of SPfile from available backup’s. The file contains below information ( Database)


connected to target database (not started)
RMAN> startup nomount;
RMAN> startup force nomount;

startup failed: ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters
LRM-00109: could not open parameter file ‘/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_2/dbs/initorcl.ora’

starting Oracle instance without parameter file for retrieval of spfile
Oracle instance started

Total System Global Area     159019008 bytes

Fixed Size                     1335192 bytes
Variable Size                 75497576 bytes
Database Buffers              79691776 bytes
Redo Buffers                   2494464 bytes

Now you can retrieve your missing server parameter files from backup’s.

The another way to recover Parameter file when there is not any backup’s available is through the
1. Alert Log:
Database always copies all entries from pfile to alert log during every startup and shutdown of database.

2. If you have any recent stats reports available like: AWR (Automated Workload Repository) etc. :
It always contains PFile snap at the end of the report.



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