Friday, March 02, 2012

ORA-00208



I was reading some OCP test questions in the Sybex book above. I saw one which asked how many control files you could have. According to the book, the answer was 8 but this was for Oracle 9. I don't have access to Oracle 9 at home but I found an Oracle 10 database and decided to test it there. I could open it with 8 control files so I amended the appropriate line in the parameter file to allow for 9 control files:

control_files='/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control01.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control02.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control03.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control04.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control05.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control06.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control07.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control08.ctl','/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW/control09.ctl

Then I made an extra copy of the control file, giving me 9 in all:

[oracle@localhost ANDREW]$ pwd
/home/oracle/andrew/ANDREW
[oracle@localhost ANDREW]$ ls -1 control*ctl
control01.ctl
control02.ctl
control03.ctl
control04.ctl
control05.ctl
control06.ctl
control07.ctl
control08.ctl
control09.ctl
[oracle@localhost ANDREW]$

... and found that I could no longer open the database:

[oracle@localhost ~]$ sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.1.0 - Production on Tue Jan 1 00:26:25 2002

Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Connected to an idle instance.

SQL> startup
ORACLE instance started.

Total System Global Area  167772160 bytes
Fixed Size                  1218316 bytes
Variable Size              79694068 bytes
Database Buffers           83886080 bytes
Redo Buffers                2973696 bytes
ORA-03113: end-of-file on communication channel

SQL>

The alert log showed the cause of the failure as follows:

ALTER DATABASE   MOUNT
Tue Jan  1 00:26:30 2002
Errors in file /home/oracle/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_2/admin/ANDREW/bdump/andrew_ckpt_4476.trc:
ORA-00208: number of control file names exceeds limit of 8
Tue Jan  1 00:26:30 2002
CKPT: terminating instance due to error 208
Instance terminated by CKPT, pid = 4476

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