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Can the dat file be deleted?

Can I delete the dat file in the Oracle database?

Most Oracle DBAs don't use the ".dat" extension for their datafiles, but it's not impossible. To find out if the datafile is currently in use, issue the following query:

SELECT file_name FROM dba_data_files;

But something else may be using it. I've often found that it is best to "rename" the datafile. For instance, instead of "myfile.dat", call it "myfile.dat.old". This way, if you find that you really need the datafile, you still have it. If some time passes (weeks? months?) an no one ever complains, then you may be able to safely delete the file. Archiving to non-disk media won't hurt either.

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If the file in question shows up, then you can't delete it since it is required by the database. If it doesn't show up, then Oracle isn't using it.

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