Oracle 8i is not certified to run on Windows XP. Only Oracle 9i and 10g are certified on the XP platform, and only XP Professional at that. Oracle does not have any products of any version certified on XP Home.
The most common errors with uncertified Oracle products on XP, or with XP Home, are networking issues. The ORA-1034 error could very well be that your client software cannot communicate with the database. And to make matters worse, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
I highly recommend using a certified version. Download Oracle 10g from Technet and make sure you are using XP Pro.
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