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Why does database keep crashing?

I have Oracle9.1 running under Win2K. We are experiencing database crashes where the Oracle service suddenly crashes out. The only message is in the system event log for Service Manager that the service has crashed. No other peculier messages are present in any Oracle logs either. We have not been able to determine any events or activities that consistently preceed the crash. We have moved to another server with a fresh OS installation and the problem persists.

The crash frequency is also not consistent. It works for a month and then crashes a few times and then works. The system is not overloaded and we have monitored the system parameters preceeding the crash and no peculiar patterns were evident.

We have VB applications accessing the database and have observed that once when the application was restarted the DB service crashed but this is not consistent.

I am now all out of options.

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I've never seen the Oracle database crash suddenly like you mention without issuing some sort of trace or error information. Make sure you fully examine your Alert log for clues to the crash. Also check the USER_DUMP_DEST, BINARY_DUMP_DEST, and CORE_DUMP_DEST directories for any trace files. Also check %ORACLE_HOME%database directory for any information. You might also want to consider patching to Oracle 9.2.0.4 as this may fix known bugs.

This was first published in December 2003

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