Oracle – PFILE or SPFILE when instance is down

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

This may be a stupid question, but I can’t find any information out there on this.

Is there a way to tell if the database uses a pfile or spfile when the instance is down?

For example if an Oracle database went down that I was not familiar with and had no documentation on, and I was tasked with getting it back up and running. How would I know if it used a PFILe or SPFILE? Startup vs Startup pfile=

Thanks in advance

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

It does not really matter, but spfile is favored because it provides better functionality.

When an instance is down, it does not use any of them.

You may check the alert log for the previous startups, the pfile/spfile location is displayed there after each startup.

If the database is registered in Grid Infrastructure as a database resource, the spfile location is typically (but not mandatorily) specified there (srvctl config database -d database_name).

By the way, most databases use SPFILE.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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