When you start the database after a crash, SMON is responsible for recovering the database. For data that was changed SMON determines if it has been committed or not. If it has been committed, SMON determines if the change was written to disk or not. If the committed change was not written to disk, SMON writes that change to the datafile on recovery. SMON uses the information in the online redo log files to determine what changes were committed or not.
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