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I have a very old Oracle 7.x database that I need to open or convert to a new Oracle 11g. Here's the content of the old database:

control01.ctl
control02.ctl
control03.ctl
findata01.ora
finind01.ora
gstdata01.ora
rbs01.dbf
system01.dbf
system02.dbf
system03.dbf
temp01.dbf
temp02.dbf
tools01.dbf
users.dbf

Note: the .ora files are binary (spfile).

When mounting the old database the following error appears:
ORA-00205: error in identifying control file

Ok, first I've tried to create a pfile from spfile:

create pfile='c:\ora\pfile.ora' from spfile='c:\ora...\findata01.ora'

I get "File created" but the pfile is empty.

I've tried to change the control files to:

alter system set control_files='c:\ora...\control01.ctl,c:\ora...\control02.ctl,c:\ora...\control03.ctl' scope=spfile;

But then I get the error message:

ORA-32001: write to SPFILE requested but no SPFILE is in use

Anyone know what else to try? I'm running out of ideas.

Maybe the database format has changed and it's not possible to open a 7.x database from inside 11.x? Or maybe there's a third-party tool to convert the database format?

Thanks in advance!

marked as duplicate by Philᵀᴹ, Paul White, Taryn, billinkc, Mat Nov 27 '13 at 2:53

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 27 '13 at 0:01

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  • spfiles are a feature introduces in Oracle 9i. You can't have spfiles in your 7.x database. – Mat Nov 27 '13 at 2:55
  • 1st of all - do you also have 7.3 Oracle binaries? Theoretically you can also use 8i or 9i binaries(using startup upgrade). But you must start (open) the database first. If you can not start the database, then you are looking for DUL (database unloader), this is something I really do not recommend. – ibre5041 Nov 27 '13 at 9:40
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You should open your 7.3 database with Oracle server version 7.3. Than you need to export data using legacy exp command and import generated file into Oracle 11g using imp. That would be safest path.

If I remember correctly you can not migrate database directly from 7.3 to 11g version.

EDIT: As mentioned in comment, there are more ways to to get to 11g version. Here is upgrade guide http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/server.112/e23633/toc.htm

  • Actually this is not correct. You can upgrade, however you need to upgrade to 9iR2 first and then upgrade to 11.2. In addition there are additional ways to migrate, check the oracle upgrade manual. Exp is the worst choice as it is slowest way to migrate data. In addition exp/imp has been replaced with expdp/impdp. – steve Nov 27 '13 at 7:24
  • Actually, that's why I wrote word "directly" - you need to do more steps. – igr Nov 27 '13 at 11:42

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