Replace or Recover Bad Control Files in Oracle

Created by: Brendan Bone
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Introduction: If manual attempts to startup the Oracle database from the sqlplus tool reports there are issues with the Control Files, you may need to recover or replace the bad Control Files.


  1. Open a Command Prompt (as Administrator)
  2. Start SQLplus with the command sqlplus
  3. Log into the database with the username sys as sysdba
  4. If the customer performed a custom Oracle installation, when prompted, enter the password they set during installation.  If the customer performed a "typical" Oracle installation, call Support for assistance.
  5. Ensure the database is stopped with the command shutdown
  6. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the Control Files (usually <OracleHome>\oradata\FTK2)
  7. Create a new folder called "Backup" and move the 3 Control Files (CONTROL0X.CTL) to the new folder.
  8. Create three copies of CONTROL01.CTL from the "Backup" folder, placing them back in the original "FTK2" folder, and name the copies CONTROL01.CTL, CONTROL02.CTL, and CONTROL03.CTL
  9. Back in the Command Prompt, attempt to startup database with command startup
  10. If you continue to receive errors about the Control Files, delete the newly created Control Files, and repeat steps 8 and 9, using the backups of either CONTROL02.CTL or CONTROL03.CTL as a base for 3 new Control Files
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