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Troubleshooting ORA-1031 or ORA-1017 Errors When Connecting As SYSDBA (Doc ID 730067.1)

Last updated on DECEMBER 16, 2022

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.


This document is intended to supply some commonly used steps for diagnosing errors ORA-1031 or ora-1017 encountered while connecting as sysdba.

In the most recent versions the error for this kind of authentication failures was changed from ORA-01031 to ORA-01017 , this was done to consistently return the error "ORA-01017: invalid username/password; logon denied" for all authentication failures and ORA-01031 for all insufficient privileges errors occuring when already connected to the database.

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Troubleshooting Steps

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In this Document
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Troubleshooting Steps
 Generic Concepts
 SYSDBA OS Authentication
 SYSDBA Password File Authentication
 Troubleshooting ORA-1031 when connecting as SYSDBA using OS Authentication
 1. Check whether the OS user is part of the OSDBA group.
 On Unix
  On Windows
 2. Check the value of the SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES parameter in file $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/SQLNET.ORA
 On Unix
 On Windows
 ORA-12638 might be seen when the user is managed in Active Directory rather than locally
 For Unix
 For Windows
 Troubleshooting ORA-1031 seen while using password file authentication
 1.Check the value of parameter remote_login_passwordfile. This has to be set to either EXCLUSIVE or SHARED:
 2. Check whether the password file with the correct name exists in the right directory/folder and has the right ownership and permissions
 On Unix
 On Windows
 3. Check whether the user was granted the SYSDBA privilege 
 4. Check that there is no issue with the configuration of the listener used to connect to the database.
 Frequent problems with passwordfile authentication

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