How to get Oracle 8i to Start on Windows XP

Oracle Error - Oracle Not Available

I'm working on a client project that uses an Oracle 8i database. We'll eventually convert this database to another platform at some point, but for now, we need to make some much needed changes to the existing platform.

Oracle 8i doesn't seem to run on modern Windows Operating Systems so I installed it on Windows XP. This worked fine until I restarted the machine. Upon restart, the once functioning database service would not open. Connecting to the database gave the error "Oracle not available".

It turns out, this is a common issue and after researching and exploring various options, I finally got the database to start up with a series of steps.

Here's what to do:

Since this process involves starting services in a particular order, we need to change the 5 Oracle services below to start up manually: (Administrative Tools > Services )

  1. OracleOraHome81TNSListener
  2. OracleOraHome81DataGatherer
  3. OracleOraHome81ClientCache
  4. OracleOraHome81Agent
  5. OracleWebAssistant0

While you are in there, change the name of your particular database service "OracleServiceWhateverYourServiceNameIs" to Manual also.

After a reboot, start all 5 services in the order listed above. Once all services are up and running, start your database service: "OracleServiceWhateverYourServiceNameIs"

It'll probably complain with an error afterwards, but that's ok.

Go to Task Manager and kill the ORACLE.exe process running and restart the service for your database instance: "OracleServiceWhateverYourServiceNameIs".

Try to connect to the database. Sometimes the service will be up and ready for service after these steps. If it is not, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Database Configuration Assistant ( start>Programs>Oracle-oraHome8i>database administration> database configuration assistant )
  2. Choose "Change Database Configuration"
  3. After pressing Next, choose the instance you want to connect to.
  4. Press next 2 more times and the database will be ready for service then

At this point, you should be able to connect to your database with SQLPlus, or any other preconfigured connection. I hope this works as well for you as it worked for me.

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