I have a customer who currently runs Oracle on Windows (not my choice, I just have to deal with their current setup)

The basic layout of the server

C:\ - operating system and oracle application

D:\ - oracle datafiles

E:\ - oracle log files

The server recently died. The customer managed to recover the drives to new ones. But while D and E seem fine, C drive is constantly throwing "file system corrupt" errors, which is massively slowing down system. I believe they just took a ghost image of the drive, which means they just transferred the corrupted data along with it

I've suggested formatting C and reinstalling Windows, but their concern is about reinstalling Oracle. Mostly because they took over the company from the original owners and don't know the license details

So they've now asked, is it possible to "transfer" the currently installed Oracle application to another drive temporarily, format C and reinstall Windows and then transfer the Oracle app back to C again?

2 Answers 2


You have my sympathies.

This sounds like [yet another] amateur-hour set-up where the "Administrators" think they can treat an Oracle database server just like they do a file server full of Word documents.

The fact that their attempted "Recovery" was done at the disk level instead of reaching for their database backups tells me they that have very little idea what they're doing.

Ask them directly about their "database backups" and see how blankly they look at you. Based on that, consider your "escape" options.

Moving forward:

  • Backup the database. The Data matter, not which server they host it on.
  • Build a clean Windows server,
  • install Oracle database,
  • port the data across,
  • test everything!

their concern is about reinstalling Oracle ... took over the company ... don't know the license details.

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

Start pointing them, strenuously, in the direction of an Oracle Account Representative.

Running Oracle database without a support contract is bordering on sheer insanity.


Yes it is possible using Oracle Home cloning:

  • clone the ORACLE_HOME to new drive
  • modify database configuration so that it uses the new ORACLE_HOME (SPFILE location, Windows services, Oracle Net files, etc.): this should be carefully done and checked otherwise database instance may not work any more
  • update Oracle Inventory.

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