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Is it possible to recreate or import a database by moving datafiles from one database to another?

Is it possible to recreate or import a database by just moving the datafiles from one database to the other? Can you outline the procedure of how it can be done? I know this can be done in Oracle 8.1.6, but is it possible in previous versions like 8.0.5?


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It is possible (at least for Oracle 7+) to accomplish this with a few caveats. One, the origin server and destination server must have the same operating system and block size. Two, unless you really want to confuse the issue, try moving the entire database. After the database is moved to the destination server, then you can get rid of what you did not want to move. Regardless of the database version, try this method:

  1. Dump the control file to trace
    ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROL FILE TO TRACE;
  2. Shutdown the database
    SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE
  3. Transfer the files to your destination server.
    If you are using FTP, make sure you use the Binary mode.
    Transfer all of the files including your controlfile dump, your data files, your init.ora file and your password file.
  4. Place the datafiles in their new directories.
  5. Modify the controlfile dump with the new directories so that the database can find the datafiles.
  6. Startup the database in NOMOUNT mode.
    STARTUP NOMOUNT
  7. Run the controlfile dump to recreate the control files.
  8. Open the database
    ALTER DATABASE OPEN;
  9. That's basically it!

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    This was first published in April 2001

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