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You can put the database into recovery mode by forcing an unclean shutdown of any of the backend processes, other than the postmaster itself. For example, with kill -9. Yes, PostgreSQL restarts. That is why it going into recovery mode. Recovery mode is a part of starting up again after an unclean shutdown. If the database was idle when it crashed, then ...


If you want to force PostgreSQL into recovery, you can create a recovery.conf with no restore_command or streaming replication configuration set. Leave hot_standby set to off in postgresql.conf. Personally I recommend taking a base backup (pg_basebackup -X stream) and using that, rather than doing it to the original DB.

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