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ORA-00204 and ORA-07373 errors during database recovery

Attempting to recover an Oracle database on a new Unix server, the system returns an ORA-00204 error when trying to start up the databases.

Attempting to recover an Oracle database on a new Unix server. System returns error as follows when trying to start up databases. Block sizes are identical between servers.
ORA-00204: error in reading control file 
'/appl2/ORACLE/SSFD/CONTROL.dbf' (block
1, # blocks 1)
ORA-07373: sfrfb: read returned incorrect number of bytes.
NCR System 3000 Error: 8380: Unknown error
Additional information: 1
Additional information: -1
Additional information: 8192 
Your help is much appreciated.
The control file is not valid for some reason. The ORA-7373 error is telling you that the control file is not the correct number of bytes. Typically this happens when the backup of the control file was not correct, or something happened during the restore. If you do not have a good controlfile, you can create one with the CREATE CONTROLFILE command. Startup NOMOUNT the database and then create the controlfile manually. You'll have to know the particulars of your database to be able to create the controlfile correctly. Then perform incomplete recovery with a backup controlfile.
This was last published in May 2007

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