I have used Oracle to store some information. I have not taken any backups. Now the hard disk has crashed. I recovered the database file, control file, *.ora file and log files. How do I get back the data?

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I'm sorry to say that your data is most likely lost. If you have not taken any backups then you do not have the files that contain your data. And if you used simple OS utilities to just copy the datafiles, then you most likely have inconsistencies since I'm also going to assume that you are not running in Archive Log mode.

A good backup and recovery strategy is a must for anyone managing a database, of any type! You can recreate the database from scratch. And you can reconfigure and reinstall software. But it is very hard, and sometimes impossible to recreate data. Backup and recovery are topics that every DBA should be very familiar with for their specific RDBMS.

I would highly recommend reading the Oracle documentation, specifically the Oracle Backup and Recovery Guide to better understand not only how to backup an Oracle database, but how to recover from failures. You can find a copy on Technet.

This was first published in April 2004

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