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Troubleshooting Oracle: Unable to Mount Database Due to Invalid PFILE

Recently in Oracle, I encountered an issue regarding the configuration of Oracle Database. Whenever I try to execute a startup command on the database console, the Oracle database gives me the init<SID>.ora can’t be found. So, the very first I do is to check for that particular ORA file, whether it existed or not. You can find your ORA file resides in the <ORACLE_HOME>/dbs folder. Upon inspection of the folder, there is no init<SID>.ora file which is a little bit weird.

So, I decided to clone the existing init.ora file and give the file name init<SID>.ora (Note: The <SID> refers to the SID name you given during the Oracle database installation. If you are not sure what SID you have set on the installation, you can check the tnsname.ora under the directory <ORACLE_HOME>/network/admin and check the SERVICE_NAME variable). Now, check the content of your ORA file that you have cloned:

Few things that need to be verified in this file:

  • The variable db_name has to refer to the Global database name that we have set during the Oracle database installation. I encountered that the db_name is ORCL while during the installation I set it to ACI. So I have to adjust my db_name value to ACI.
  • Make sure your audit_file_dest refers to a valid location. Initially in this file, the variable goes to /ora01/app/oracle/admin/orcl/adump while the valid location is /ora01/app/oracle/admin/aci/adump. Thus, I changed the value into a valid location.
  • Make sure the db_recovery_file_dest is pointing to a valid location. This is no issue for me since it already is pointing to a valid directory.
  • Make sure the control_files variable is pointing to a present control file. The control file is identified by a .ctl extension. In my case, it resides in the directory /ora01/app/oracle/oradata/aci/control01.ctl.

If you are sure with your configuration, don’t forget to save the file. On the command line, login to the Oracle database as sysdba by typing:

sqlplus / as sysdba

Once you are in the Sqlplus console, type as follow to start your database:

STARTUP PFILE=’/ora01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/db_1/dbs/init<SID>.ora’

If your ORA file configuration is correct, then the Oracle database should successfully mounted the database.

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