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Only able to log in after creating new database

I created a new database and I was able to login. Prior to creating a new database I was receiving the error "oracle not found." I closed SQL*Plus and tried logging in. This time it did not work. I created another database. It worked. What's going on?

I was testing the installation of 8i on my PC (Windows XP Pro). It did not work after installation was complete. So I created a new database and I was able to login. Prior to creating a new database I was receiving the error "oracle not found." I closed SQL*Plus and tried logging in. This time it did not work. I created another database. It worked. What's going on?
Oracle8i is not certified on Windows XP, so I would recommend installing and using Oracle9i (release 9.2) or higher on this platform. Have a look at Oracle's certification matrix.

From your explanation, it's not clear to me what the sequence of events were so it is very difficult for me to troubleshoot your problem. How were you testing the installation of the Oracle software? How did you know it did not work? Did you review the installation logs? When you tried to create a database, what errors did you receive? These specific details are important for troubleshooting problems such as these.

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