How can I make my database transportable? Or, how can I place and run my database on a USB hard drive or any such removable media?

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You'll want to place your database datafiles, online redo logs, control files, password file, and parameter file on this removable media. When you plug this removable media into a database server, that server must have the correct version of Oracle already running on it. You can then copy the parameter file to the default location, $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory for Unix and Linux or %ORACLE_HOME%\database directory for Windows. Also copy your password file as well. Assuming the directory path to your media is the same on both servers, all you have to do is point your environment to the new database, and it should start. In Windows, you'll have to create a service with the ORADIM utility. In Unix, simply set your ORACLE_HOME, ORACLE_SID, PATH, and any other platform-specific environment variables. When you attempt to start the instance, it will read the parameter file stored in the default location. This parameter file will point to your control files on your media. These control files will point to the rest of your database files.

If the directory structure changes, then it would be a good idea to have a copy of your control file dump to a trace file. The trace file can be used to create a control file with the correct directory structure.

This was first published in May 2005

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