An old computer with Oracle 8i is dead. We have the daily backup of the database (C:\oradata). We are unable to install this old Oracle version anywhere because we don't have the install CDs for it.

Can we read this database with, for example, Oracle Express? If yes, how?

  • You might try contacting Oracle directly about this problem too!
    – mdpc
    Dec 17, 2012 at 22:25
  • @MichaelHampton sadly not possible. The version is way too old
    – Philᵀᴹ
    Dec 18, 2012 at 1:45
  • 3
    I believe you can still download 9i which is not too far from 8. If this is worth the time you could install 9i on a test box and see if the files are recognized.
    – kevinskio
    Dec 18, 2012 at 2:05
  • Oracle does not allow mounting or restoring older backup? Jun 26, 2013 at 5:48
  • Well, "older" possibly, but as the poster said - this is ancient. At one point one drops totally outdated formats. Lesson: backups are useless unless you also have a SYSTEM backup and can get a database installed ;)
    – TomTom
    Jun 26, 2013 at 8:44

2 Answers 2


Oracle 8.x.x has been out of support for some time.

Apologies for the bad news, but your only option is to either recover the software from the dead disk, or ask Oracle (obviously with a valid support contract) for a copy of the software. Raise a ticket on My Oracle Support and they will help you.


You can upgrade this database to Oracle 9i if you have that, simply install 9i, run up the database using that ORACLE_HOME and run the upgrade scripts in ?/rdbms/admin. The format of the DBFs is compatible enough to make this work. If you can get onto 9i, then you're OK as there is a clear upgrade path from there to 10g and 11g.

Unfortunately if you don't have 9i (specifically then it's not straightforward - it's too big a jump to 10g by just running it up in a new ORACLE_HOME, you need a working 8i so you can exp/imp if you want to do it in one step. You will need to open a TAR and get Oracle's help (if only to get the media).

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