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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    53

    Unanswered: Oracle .DBF Files

    Hello,

    I have been asked to pull "historic" data from tapes from the late 90's. Basically, I have tapes from 95-99 which are a yearly full backup of our entire unix / oracle server. The 99 tape should have all the tables and data from 1995 - 1999.

    Is there an easy way for me to load the .dbf files from these tapes and then dump the table data? At the same time, I do not want to affect the integrity of the current tables on the Unix Server.

    Is there a tool that I can use external to Oracle?

    Thanks,
    Jason
    Jason

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Liverpool, NY USA
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    While oracle (for a very hefty fee) will pull files from the DBF files, they are NOT a valid backup. The only way to recover the data is to create a new oracle database using the same version that the datafiles were running in, Recover the database, perform an export, import the data into your production server.

    Backups of datafiles are to be used to recover the database. Using them for long term archival backup is NOT a good idea. If you need archival data, store them in the database or convert the data to a form that can be read back in.

    While it is possible that there are tools outside of oracle corp that can read the dbf files, I personally do not know of any.
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma, USA
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    354
    Jason,

    If you indeed have all the files associated with the database in a yearly backup, then the restore can be rather trivial. I think the best (probably, only) way to do it would be to create an entirely new database using the .dbf and control files from your backup. From there, export the tables to a file and then import into your existing database...
    JoeB
    save disk space, use smaller fonts

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Because of the date (1995-1999), your backups may be at or older than Oracle version 8.
    You can create an Oracle 8.1.7 database and try to "import" the data schema by schema into this "staging" database, and then using regular exp/imp or some other means, you can transfer the data to test/production database.

    The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it. -- Chinese proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    53
    Thanks All,

    I have a limited amount of space on the production server I am currently using, we do not have another unix / oracle environment. Do you think I can load one DBF file at a time or will have to reload all the DBF files from the tape to recreate the database?

    Thanks Again.
    Jason

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Cool


    Ooops, sorry I was refering to "EXPORT" backups, not DBF files.

    With DBF files you would require to create database same version as backup, and no, you cannot restore one file at a time without knowing the original structure.

    After installing the correct software version, you may attempt the following:

    1) Restore controlfile and init<sid>.ora file
    2) Restore all files for SYSTEM tablespace.
    3) Restore all files from one or more "user" tablespaces (when opening database, it will give "missing file" errors)
    4) Attempt to "export" the tables from the recovered tablespaces.

    The above seems simple, but it's not.

    Good luck!

    PS: If you do have "export" backups, it's easier to recover old data.
    The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it. -- Chinese proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Liverpool, NY USA
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    The database is made up of all the datafiles, the control files, and the redo logs. If you do not have all these backed up, then you will have problems. You can't restore only one datafile, all elements of the database ,at least system and data tablespaces, and redo logs must exist to perform a recovery. I would be very careful if you are planning on using your production server to recover the data. You could easily corrupt your production instance.
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    53
    Thanks everyone for your advisement. As I figured originally, I am probably "up a creek". I have all the files I need for a restore, but I think it will be too tedious to load all the files in the minimal amount of space I have available.

    Will advise management;

    Due to "historic" backup procedures and insufficeint space on production server I am unable to recreate the "historic" sales data.

    PS. All my 2000 + data is in the DB and I will be dumping it to .dmp files at FYE.

    Thanks Again.
    Jason

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
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    Cool


    Quote Originally Posted by jhuck
    ...I have tapes from 95-99 which are a yearly full backup of our entire unix / oracle server....
    Another option would be to buy a cheap Desktop (Now you can buy one for $399) to work with.

    Because you have a server backup, you could restore all files for a year's backup, and (theoretically) it will include the Oracle software and possibly a working database!!!

    Good luck!!!

    The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it. -- Chinese proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    53
    Hello,

    I am now looking to outsource this task by sending my tapes to someone. If anyone has recommendations please let me know.

    I also have some old .dmp files I found from 94 - 97 these seem to have been incorrectly FTP'd off the Unix Box. I have tried many things to get these to load without success. I would like any recommendations on this process or would also be willing to outsource this.

    Thanks,
    Jason

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    565
    DUDE might be worth a shot.

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