Thanks Brandon, you're right on the money. As it turns out, I found the MetaLink reference right after I posted. I've analyzed SYS and things are moving right along, even w/ optimizer_mode=FIRST_ROWS. -Mark -- Mark J. Bobak Senior Oracle Architect ProQuest Information & Learning "Exception: Some dividends may be reported as qualified dividends but are not qualified dividends. These include: * Dividends you received on any share of stock that you held for less than 61 days during the 121-day period that began 60 days before the ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date is the first date following the declaration of a dividend on which the purchaser of a stock is not entitled to receive the next dividend payment. When counting the number of days you held the stock, include the day you disposed of the stock but not the day you acquired it. See the examples below. Also, when counting the number of days you held the stock, you cannot count certain days during which your risk of loss was diminished. See Pub. 550 for more details." --IRS, Form 1040-A Instruction Booklet, Line 9b: Qualified Dividends ________________________________ From: Allen, Brandon [mailto:Brandon.Allen@xxxxxxxxxxx] Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 11:18 AM To: Bobak, Mark; oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: RE: Export w/ rows=N taking hours...... Hi Mark, See Metalink 181072.1 for a couple alternative solutions: 1) remove FIRST_ROWS from init.ora or 2) create a logon trigger to set optimizer_goal=choose for your exp user. Regards, Brandon Privileged/Confidential Information may be contained in this message or attachments hereto. Please advise immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email for messages of this kind. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of this company shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by it.