I'm not making myself clear. the init.ora's and select name,value from v$parameter where isdefault = 'FALSE' are all identical except for the instance appropriate values. I spent half the day yesterday verifying that everything is set properly. The only thing that I can think of is that somehow, VMS has become case sensitive in file names. that's the only thing that's the tiniest bit off. on instance has pfile named initSID1.ora and the the second has pfile named INITSID2.ORA. That or the environment is not set properly, but the environment is out of my control or so it appears. john David Sharples <davidsharples@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: dont compare the init files, look at what is actually running in all of the instances, someone might have changed it when the database was up or used a different init.ora file to start the database up eith On 18/10/06, John D Parker <orclwzrd@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: No spfile at this point,but it's in the plan for the future. I've compared the init files repeatedly, there is no difference except for the appropriate instance settings. I've looked at everything I can think of but I'm not having much luck. --------------------------------- Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls. Great rates starting at 1¢/min.