We are trying to restore a backup from a database in another host. We created the same directories structure, we copied the init.ora and the current dump of the control file (cf_SID.bak) to its place. We started the database in nomount option and then we run RMAN to restore it:
% rman nocatalog
RMAN> connect target sys/pwd@xxx

run {
allocate channel 'dev_0' type 'sbt_tape'
allocate channel 'dev_1' type 'sbt_tape'
sql "alter database mount";
set until time = 'date_string';
restore database;
recover database;
sql "alter database open resetlogs";
sql "alter database open";
release channel 'dev_0';
release channel 'dev_1';

We got several errors during the compilation of restore like: no backup or copy of datafile xxx found to restore.

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An exact error message would have been preferrable. But I'm assuming that your error is occurring simply because RMAN does not know which backup sets are required to restore a datafile. In this case, it doesn't know which backup sets are required to restore *any* datafile.

That is most likely because the backup of the control file that you are using doesn't contain this information. It would be best to use a current control file, not a backup control file for this operation.

If you have the source database still available, another method you may want to try is to duplicate the database with RMAN. The following chapter in the docs has all of the details: http://download-west.oracle.com/docs/cd/B10501_01/server.920/a96566/rcmdupdb.htm#441628

This was first published in March 2004

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