Oracle on Windows

Sara Cushman, Assistant Site Editor

Running Oracle on Windows is a common enterprise setup, and predictably, database administrators run into common problems with it. To clear up the confusion,'s resident experts Eli Leiba, Karen Morton and Brian Peasland offer their advice for overcoming some frequent frustrations.

Can 9i DB be installed on any other Windows OS than Windows XP Pro, Windows 2000 and Windows NT?

Brian Peasland: Oracle 9i is only certified for XP Pro, 2000 and NT on the Windows platforms. It is not certified for XP Home. Straight from Oracle's support web site is this comment: "Oracle will ONLY certify on Professional" when referring to Windows XP.

I would like to know Oracle 9i's minimum requirements for installation such as processor, operating system, memory capacity and hard disk space.

Brian Peasland: The minimum server configuration depends on several factors such as the installed options, server usage, using Enterprise Edition vs. Standard Edition, etc. You did not mention which platform you wish to install Oracle 9i on. I'll give you the figures for Oracle 9i on Windows as a guide. Oracle Corp. is recommending the following server capacities for Oracle 9i running on Windows:

Memory: 128 MB (256 MB recommended)
Disk Space: 2.75 GB for software install. More for the
database itself. 
Operating System: Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000
CPU: Pentium 166 (Pentium 233 recommended)

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How can I view the ORA error in a Windows 2000 environment? In Unix, I would have typed (oerr ora-0----) at the $ prompt.

Karen Morton: There is not an equivalent utility for the Windows environment to oerr. But, you can do this in SQL*Plus:

SQL> set serveroutput on
SQL> exec dbms_output.put_line( sqlerrm( -1422 ) );
ORA-01422: exact fetch returns more than requested number of rows

Would you move your Oracle application from Windows to Unix? We have developed our own depository software on Oracle 8i on a Win2k platform. The database size growth rate is exponential, and we feel that we are not getting the performance boost and security shield we need, therefore we are considering moving the application to a Unix-based machine.

Brian Peasland: The application is separate from the database. It is very hard to move non-Java based applications between two disparate environments. This can require recompiling and things may not work as well after that. So moving the application should be thoroughly thought out and tested.

But what I think you are really asking is whether I would move the database itself. The answer is yes. It sounds like your system is not scaling well. You may be able to resolve some of these issues by tuning, but Oracle on Windows does not scale nearly as well as Oracle on Unix. So you may want to consider moving the database. Since Windows and Unix are two completely different platforms, you'll have to use Oracle's export/import method of moving the database.

Which platform do you prefer for Oracle? Linux or Win2000?

Eli Leiba: Windows 2000 is more admin-friendly to use if you'e using the newer Oracle versions like Oracle 8.1.7 and above. Linux is considered slightly better in performance. I myself prefer Win2000, maybe because I have more experience in that environment.

I have installed Oracle9i database on a Win2000 machine. The install program failed on installing the Database Configuration Assistant Tool. I got the following errors in the same order:

 ORA-03113: end-of-file on communiction channel.
 ORA-24324: Service handle not initialized.
 ORA-01041: Internal error: hostdef extension doesn't exist.
 ORA-01034: Oracle Not Available.
The install program prompted me with the message that I can always try to reinstall any tools that did not get installed, and it prompted me with another message that the Oracle9i database has been installed successfully. I tried to reinstall the DBCA again, and it failed again at the same place and displayed the same errors.

Brian Peasland: This problem typically occurs when you don't have your environment set up correctly. Try to drop the database with the DBCA and recreate it again. This will also set up your environment. See if that helps. If it doesn't, then you have to solve the ORA-3113 error. This is quite a lengthy topic, so I'll refer to your Oracle Support's discussion. Go to Metalink and look up Note 19790.1. It discusses how to solve ORA-3113 errors.

Are there known issues concerning the installation of SP2 or SP3 on Win2000 Advanced Server running Oracle 8.1.7 Enterprise Edition?

Karen Morton: There is a known problem/bug with trying to install 8.1.7 on W2K sp 3 on a Pentium 4 where the installer just doesn't want to start up due to some problem with an incompatible JIT compiler (symcjit.dll). This can be gotten around as follows:

  1. Copy your CD (Oracle8i Client Release 3 (8.1.7) for Microsoft Windows 95/98/2000/NT Part #: A87675-01) to your hard disk (e.g. to C:oracleOraclient8.1.7).
  2. Rename the file C:oracleOraclient8.1.7stageComponentsoracle.swd.jre to (e.g.) symcjit.dll.ori.
  3. Disable "Read Only" for C:oracleOraclient8.1.7installoraparam.ini and edit the file like this:
    this original line:
    replace with:
    JRE_MEMORY_OPTIONS=-nojit -ms16m -mx32m
    Save the file and set "Read Only".
  4. Run Oracle Universal Installer
This is documented on Metalink under note 1312999.1.

For more information

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