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Cause of TNS packet writer errors

I am running an old version of Oracle and in the past few weeks, I have been getting numerous TNS packet writer erros. Can you give me some pointers as to the causes of these?

I am running an old version of Oracle and in the past few weeks, I have been getting numerous TNS packet writer erros. Can you give me some pointers as to the causes of these? The server is not behind a firewall and the clients connecting to it have the local firewall disabled.
Below is Oracle's explanation for "TNS-12571 TNS:packet writer failure":

"Cause: An error occurred during a data send. This message is not normally visible to the user.

In addition, this message could occur when any of the following SQL*Plus commands have been issued:

SHUTDOWN ABORT 

SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE 

SHUTDOWN TRANSACTIONAL 

Action: For further details, turn on tracing and re-execute the operation. If the error persists, contact Oracle Support Services."

When I receive this error, I exit out of SQL*Plus. Then I set my oracle home and sid. For example, in Windows: set Oracle_home=c:myoraclehome; and set Oracle_sid=test. Then try your Oracle command again.

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