Oracle Database Startup Issues Resolving ORA 27125 SPFILE Error

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Starting an Oracle database is a critical step in managing and accessing your data. However, sometimes you may encounter issues during the startup process. In this article, we will discuss a common startup issue – the ORA-27125 SPFILE error – and guide you through the steps to resolve it.

Understanding the ORA-27125 SPFILE Error

Before we delve into the solution, let’s understand what the ORA-27125 SPFILE error means. This error occurs when Oracle cannot find the SPFILE (server parameter file) associated with the database you are trying to start. The SPFILE contains essential configuration parameters that dictate how the database should start and operate.

Step-by-Step Solution

To resolve the ORA-27125 SPFILE error, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Verify User Privileges

Firstly, ensure that you have sufficient privileges to create a user. The only user who can create new users is the “SYSDBA” user or another user with the “CREATE USER” privilege granted.

Step 2: Log in as SYSDBA

To proceed, you must log in as the SYSDBA user. Open a command line interface and enter the following command:

sqlplus / as sysdba

Step 3: Check the Database Profile

Next, check the database profile to verify if the specified database exists. Type the following command:

cat ~/.bash_profile

Look for a line that mentions the database you intend to start. Ensure that the database name matches the one you expect. If the database name is incorrect or missing, it can cause the ORA-27125 SPFILE error.

Step 4: Examine the ETC/ORATAB File

The ETC/ORATAB file contains information about Oracle database instances on your system. To check if the expected database is listed in this file, run the command:

cat /etc/oratab

The presence of the database name in the ORATAB file confirms that the database is recognized by Oracle. If the database name is not present or misspelled, it can lead to startup issues.

Step 5: Locate the SPFILE

Now, locate the SPFILE associated with your database. Execute the following command to navigate to the directory where SPFILEs are stored:


Once inside the “dbs” directory, use the “ls” command to view the available SPFILEs. Look for the appropriate SPFILE that corresponds to your database. If the expected SPFILE is missing, it explains why you are encountering the ORA-27125 SPFILE error.

Step 6: Update the Bash Profile

To resolve the issue, you need to update the bash profile with the correct database name. Use the VI editor to make changes to the bash profile by running the following command:

vi ~/.bash_profile

Locate the line that references the old or incorrect database name and modify it to the correct database name. Save the changes by typing “:wq” and pressing Enter.

Step 7: Refresh the Bash Profile

To reflect the changes made to the bash profile, reload it with the following command:

source ~/.bash_profile

Step 8: Start the Database

Finally, start the Oracle database by executing the “startup” command:


If everything is configured correctly, the database should start successfully without encountering the ORA-27125 SPFILE error.


By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively resolve the ORA-27125 SPFILE error and start your Oracle database with ease. Remember to check user privileges, verify database profiles, examine the ETC/ORATAB file, locate the SPFILE, update the bash profile, and refresh it before attempting to start the database. These steps ensure that your database starts without any issues related to this particular error.