My question is what is the best way to delete all expired backups and flag the repository without the use of change backupset xxxx delete?
Once a backup set has been marked as expired, you can use the DELETE EXPIRED command to remove these backups from your Recovery Catalog.
Upgrading to Oracle 9i or 10g will help you even more as you can define a retention period within RMAN and have RMAN automatically purge expired backup sets. Until you upgrade, you will have to handle this yourself as outlined above.
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