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Common Oracle Database Recovery Issues

There are also areas of Oracle database recovery where the DBA could make a serious error. These mistakes are often the result of stress and poor judgment, and even Oracle Technical Support may fail to insist of these precautions. Here are two common Oracle recovery issues to avoid:

Back-up your failed database first

The very first task of an Oracle DBA should be to back-up the corrupt database. Sadly, many Oracle shops do not test their recoveries, and in cases where you discover that your backups are not recoverable, you may be glad that you have a copy of the original corrupt database.

Rarely force open a bad recovery

When an Oracle database recovery is corrupt the Oracle database will not open. This is for a good reason and it is Oracle’s way of preventing the serious complications of having to manually repair thousands of corrupt database blocks. When a recovered database will not open you have three choices:

1 – Go to an earlier backup – It is far better to have a longer roll-forward period than to have to repair Oracle corruption.

2 – Restore the initial failed database – This may have less manual repair time than forcing open a bad recovery

3 – Force-open the database – It amazes me how many Oracle DBAs will have a failed recovery and call Oracle Technical Support asking them to force-open the database without considering other alternatives. Forcing-open a corrupt database is a last-resort and should only be done with the help of Oracle Technical Support and when there are no other options. At this juncture, many Oracle DBAs will realize that they are going to be fired anyway, and walk off the job.

In sum, the Oracle DBA is the custodian of the database and they must be prudent and cautious with their mission-critical system and always follow best-practices to ensure recoverability of the Oracle system.


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Burleson Consulting shares their personal arsenal of Oracle data dictionary scripts in this comprehensive download. With decades of experience using Oracle monitoring scripts and Oracle tuning scripts, BC experts share their secrets for navigating the Oracle data dictionary.

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