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Need to worry about datafiles when upgrading OS?

We have one Oracle database installed on a Sun Unix box. We are planning on upgrading the OS from v.8 to solaris 9. The Oracle software and the datafiles are on separate mount point apart from root (/). Do we need to worry about the database files? I believe this installation will only affect the root disk? What to do before and after installation? Thanks for your help.

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I don't think you should run into any major issues with Oracle given the circumstances you outline, but every time anything changes so significantly, you do need to worry (at least a little bit!).

What you need to make sure you do is to check with Oracle (use Metalink) to verify compatibility with your database version. Then, before the OS is upgraded, Oracle needs to be shutdown and a cold backup needs to be taken so that you'll have a "safe" recovery point should things go amiss. You might even want to do a full export of your database as well, just to be "safe".

I'd err on the side of caution if it was me and plan for the worst happening. If you're backed up to the hilt with multiple options for recovery, Murphy's Law (in reverse) will likely insure that nothing will happen so that you'd need to put any of those options to use!

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This was first published in October 2002

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