Startup Fails With ORA-27300: Os System Dependent Operation:Fork Failed With Status:17 (Doc ID 812115.1)

Last updated on SEPTEMBER 02, 2017

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version 10.2.0.4 to 11.2.0.3 [Release 10.2 to 11.2]
IBM AIX on POWER Systems (64-bit)

Symptoms

Unable to startup database. Fails with error:
ORA-27300: OS system dependent operation:fork failed with status: 17
ORA-27301: OS failure message: File exists
ORA-27302: failure occurred at: skgpspawn5
ORA-27303: additional information: skgpspawn5
Wed Apr 22 13:55:20 2009
Process ASMB died, see its trace file

After shutting down the incomplete startup, issuing command: sysresv 
indicates-
IPC Resources for ORACLE_SID "<sid_name>" :
Shared Memory
ID KEY
No shared memory segments used
Oracle Instance not alive for sid "<sid_name>"

Issuing startup again may display this error if using ASM:
SQL> startup
ORACLE instance started.

Total System Global Area 314572800 bytes
Fixed Size 2083696 bytes
Variable Size 176161936 bytes
Database Buffers 130023424 bytes
Redo Buffers 6303744 bytes
ORA-00205: error in identifying control file, check alert log for more info

and the same ORA_27300 / 27301 / 27302 errors reported in the alert log

You had checked the swap size and it is within recommended guidelines of:

2 X RAM if RAM < 8Gb
.75 X RAM if RAM > 8Gb

Changes

Adding new instances to the server

Cause

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