Oracle Woes

I’ve been waiting for over a year to get a new PC at work. Developing on a Pentium 4 machine with barely 1Gb of ram was a nightmare. Ok so I will admit that I was given extra ram, which then made a total of 3Gb – this made working a little more bearable.

I was told by a person very high up in the company that a PC replacement project was underway and that I just needed to wait a bit as I would definitely get a new PC. So that’s what I did.

2.5 weeks ago, to my delight, a brand new core i5 with 8Gb of ram, running Windows 7, arrived. Only 3.8 Gb of the ram was actually usable since some genius installed a 32-bit Windows 7. But what the hell, I preferred Windows 7 to my old XP, so I didn’t care.

Then came the setting up. Visual Studio 2008-great. SQL Server 2008 R2 Express-great. Now…time for Oracle. There was no real reason to instal any other version besides 10G, so that’s just what I did, using the client setup file that we all used. Done. Loaded the code from SubVersion-great.

Just when I thought I could start working again, something seemed to be wrong with the application. Logging in, while running it from my PC, without me doing any choose changes, seemed to be freezing when trying to make a connection to the database. Yes, I also wondered what the hell was going on because this code is as old as the hills and works fine everywhere, including production. That’s when I realised something was up with the Oracle installation.

I thought since its Windows 7, perhaps installing a newer version of Oracle may help. So I installed the 11G client. Still no difference. I restarted my PC, and again, no difference.

What if the order in which you instal the different versions makes a difference? So, I uninstalled both 10 and 11G, and restarted. To my horror, my LAN connection disappeared. I couldn’t do anything for 2 days. After I got it back from the IT guy (conveniently named Neo), he said the only way to fix it was to format the machine. He initially thought it was an issue with the LAN card, but when he replaced the hard drive, the problem vanished!

So began setup again. The same procedure of installing 10G was repeated. Amazingly, things suddenly worked.

Then the weekend happened. Patches were applied, and everybody’s PCs were rebooted. Monday arrived. Bang….my login died again.

After some installing and uninstalling, off went the network again. This time for 2 full days. Of course I became extremely frustrated since I have so much to do and want to finish it before my 3.5 weeks of leave which are only 2.5 weeks away. When Neo brought the PC back, he said he didn’t have to format it this time, but he fiddled so much with it that he can’t remember what actually worked. Thanks dude, that helped!

I then decided to do some proper research on what Windows 7’s problem is with Oracle (or vice versa, since I’ve liked Windows 7 a lot longer, and much more now, than Oracle) and came to find that yes, by all means instal Oracle 10G, but make sure the VERSION is correct.

So which one is wrong and which one is right for Windows 7?
Wrong: 10.2.0.1.
Right: 10.2.0.3, plus the 10.2.0.5 patchset.

It helps to instal using the Universal Oracle Installer.

Did this help me? I believe it did, after a hell of a lot of trying and testing!

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