Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oracle RAC instance startup - ORA-29760

Having worked on Oracle RAC since 9i, there hasn't been a time when I haven't faced something new or realized something was not what I thought it was. I think this is one of the reasons why I enjoy working on these systems - always a challenge.
I stopped my RAC database to put it into noarchivelog mode using the srvctl command
[oracle@oradba10t oracle]$ srvctl stop database -d labrac

Next I proceeded to connect to the first instance to startup in mount mode
[oracle@oradba10t oracle]$ sqlplus /nolog
SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.4.0 - Production on Thu May 5 09:47:15 2011
Copyright (c) 1982, 2007, Oracle.  All Rights Reserved.
SQL> conn / as sysdba
Connected to an idle instance.
SQL> startup mount
ORA-29760: instance_number parameter not specified

Wait, what's this? I've never encountered this error message before. Googled a bit and realized that most of the responses were a bit far fetched since the database had been in perfect working order before I stopped it.
Then I realized that my ORACLE_SID was set to the database name and not the instance name. Makes sense.

[oracle@oradba10t oracle]$ echo $ORACLE_SID
labrac

Set the ORACLE_SID to the instance name and startup again
[oracle@oradba10t oracle]$ export ORACLE_SID=labrac1
[oracle@oradba10t oracle]$ sqlplus /nolog              
SQL*Plus: Release 10.2.0.4.0 - Production on Thu May 5 09:50:42 2011
Copyright (c) 1982, 2007, Oracle.  All Rights Reserved.
SQL> conn / as sysdba
Connected to an idle instance.
SQL> startup mount
ORACLE instance started.
Total System Global Area 1207959552 bytes
Fixed Size                  2083632 bytes
Variable Size             905970896 bytes
Database Buffers          285212672 bytes
Redo Buffers               14692352 bytes
Database mounted.

That's all there is to it. The correct solution would be to put the environment variables in the .profile of .bash_profile of the oracle user. This is one of my lab environments and I hadn't put the usual scripts in place to take care of the environment variables for RAC.


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