STARTUP fails with LRM-00123 ORA-01078


Quite interesting issue that is worth a short blog post.

If You try to STARTUP your Oracle database instance, but provide SPFILE instead of your PFILE, then you will see next non-meaningful error messages:

SQL> STARTUP PFILE=’/bla-bla-bla/spfileorcl.ora‘;
LRM-00123: invalid character 0 found in the input file
ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters

What is more interesting is that there are no any additional information in ALERT.LOG file, so You have to guess…

Someone will try to restore PFILE/SPFILE from backup, but You have just startup you instance with spfile from default location or include next line in your PFILE:


Keep in mind that there are no variant of STARTUP with SPFILE option – You will get next error:

SP2-0714: invalid combination of STARTUP options

The reason for mentioned errors is that SPFILE is BINARY file, but Oracle will try to use it as a text file
My Oracle Support portal has document(see Reference section) that may seems to be useful, but there are some discussions about character sets that are not real problem for issue discussed in this blog post.



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