I was attempting to fix another issue and set sec_case_sensitive_logon to false. I then removed this using Notepad++ instead of the CLI. But I then started getting various errors:

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When I attempt to run startup, I get the following error:

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I have no idea why it was trying to use the init ora file because I've started this DB fine in the past and this file doesn't exist.

I attempted to create a new PFILE from the existing SPFILE: enter image description here

So my only conclusion is this must have been from when I updated my SPFILE using Notepad++. But the line endings are correctly showing as LF.

I'm not sure what could be happening here.


2 Answers 2


Never edit the spfile directly! spfile settings should only be updated from SQL*Plus or SQLcl using alter system ... scope=spfile commands. The file format is not plain text and should never be edited directly.

If you must edit the config file, use the create pfile from spfile command to create a backup copy (be careful not to overwrite the original pfile, which may contain other info like a pointer to the spfile), edit the pfile copy, then use create spfile from pfile command to recreate the spfile with the changes from your pfile copy.


I was able to find an existing PFILE in ..\product\18.0.0\admin\XE\pfile\. I then recreated my SPFILE using CREATE SPFILE='PATH_TO_NEW_SPFILE' FROM PFILE='PATH_TO_PFILE' and started my server using STARTUP PFILE='PATH_TO_PFILE'.

  • 1
    Just to expand a bit, the spfile is a binary file -- in spite of the fact that MOST of the context appears to be clear text. Binary information in the file header includes a checksum of the file. So when you edit it directly with a text editor, you render the binary information, and by extension the entire file, invalid.
    – EdStevens
    Aug 2, 2021 at 14:46

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