If you get an ORA-01078 when trying to open a database, this means there is an invalid value in the database’s parameter file:
Oracle 9: sqlplus '/ as sysdba'
SQL*Plus: Release 184.108.40.206.0 - Production on Fri Dec 27 17:21:19 2013
Copyright (c) 1982, 2002, Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.
Connected to an idle instance.
ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters
LRM-00110: syntax error at 'Andrew'
When this happens, you should normally locate the line concerned in the parameter file, correct it then try again. However, on this occasion, I closed the database and added the invalid value myself. I then started copying the database to another server. The line I added was as follows, right at the start of the parameter file (although you can add it wherever you like):
Oracle 9: cat initORCL.ora
Andrew is copying this so it is down.
I did this to stop another DBA opening the database by mistake. Once the copy has completed, I will remove the offending line from the parameter file and open the database again.