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Timed out error and slow computer performance

I installed Oracle9i( Personal Edition on Windows XP Pro(2002 SP1). My computer is P4 1.6GHz and 256 MB RAM with lots of hard drive space. I have two problems:

1. I cannot connect to database -- I'm getting ORA-12535 TNS timed out error. (I checked that timeout listener parameter is set to 0.)
2. Overall computer operations seem to have been slowed down as a result of installing Oracle9i.
For your ORA-12535 problem, I'm wondering if the database is local or remote. If the database is local, then in your DOS window, make sure you issue the following:

set ORACLE_SID=my_sid (use your database SID here)
set ORACLE_HOME=c:oracleora9i (use your ORACLE_HOME here)

Then try to connect with SQL*Plus.

If your database is remote, then you are probably having issues with a firewall blocking your connection requests. Take down the firewall and try to connect. If you can, then start up your firewall and try the connection again. You now know that the firewall was the problem and you can poke holes in the firewall to get access to the database.

As for your "overall slowness," I would suggest that 256 MB of RAM is not enough to run Oracle on a machine. You can verify through task manager that you are using much more than 256 MB of RAM. When this happens, the operating system has to write portions of memory back to disk and then when that memory is read, it writes other portions to disk and reads the portion it needs. This can slow down everything on the machine. I would suggest purchasing more memory for this machine. You can also modify some Oracle initialization parameters so that it uses less memory, but you'll still probably need at least 512 MB.

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