How to FIX “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress” in 5 Easy Steps

You are here means you are facing “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress” error while trying to login into the Oracle database. A few days ago I faced the same issue and here are the steps that I have followed to troubleshoot which helped me login into the database successfully.

This article will help you understand the error message, possible causes, and their solutions. So without wasting time, let’s start digging into the error message.

What does “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress” error mean?

The error message is very clear and explains that the Oracle initialization or shutdown process is in progress, hence we cannot perform any other action on the database till initialization/shutdown is in progress. After completion of either initialization or shutdown, you will be able to perform the required action on the database.

How to resolve “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress”:

There are following five reasons that may result in the error message and the steps you need to follow in order to fix the error.

1. The database is in the middle of starting or shutdown process

Reason:

If you have just started or shut down the database and executed a new command then you may end up receiving “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress” error message as already some process is going on and you are trying to execute a new command.

Solution:

Wait for the process to complete. Sometimes starting or shutdown down the database may take some time due to system performance or some processes are used in another application. If you still facing the same error after some time, then check out the below point.

2. An issue with the database services

Reason:

There may be some issues with the database services. Either database services are stopped or getting issues while starting. Many users have observed that they faced an issue while starting the database service due to updated security settings. Due to security settings, users may face port or access-related issues.

Solution:

Restart the database services. Check if database services are up and running. There is a possibility of the database service got hung and in that case, restarting the Oracle services will solve the issue. Here are the steps to do so.

  • Got to search bar, type Services and select Services app.
  • Restart Oracle Service and then Oracle Listener Service as shown below.
Oracle Service and Oracle Listener Service

3. Forced shutdown or incomplete shutdown of database

Reason:

When you execute a command to shut down the database, database software internally executes some stepwise procedures to shut down the database. And it may take a few minutes. If you forcefully close the database service or shut down the system due to a power cut issue in between the database shutdown process then it may result in a complete shutdown of the database. Which can cause the above error message while login into the database again.

Solution:

Shut down and start the database. If there is any issue during the shutdown and startup process then try shutting down the database forcefully and start again using the below steps.

  • Open command prompt and log in as sysdba using the following command
    sqlplus / as sysdba
  • Enter the following command to forcefully shutdown database
    shutdown abort;
  • Execute the below command to startup the database again
    startup;
Force shut down Oracle database and restart

Now try to login into the database and you should be able to log in without any error message. If you are still getting the error then try the next step.

4. The database is not mounted or opened

Reason:

If the database is not mounted properly, while starting the database then it can result in the error message “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress“. If the database is mounted then it’s available for the database administrators only. Normal users can’t access a database that is mounted but not opened.

Solution:

Try to mount and open the database using the following steps and it should fix the error.

If the database is mounted but not open then you may end up getting the error as well. To check whether the database is MOUNTED or OPEN or neither of those, you can execute points #4 and #6 to understand the current status.

Check Database Status

Note: If STATUS is MOUNTED then it means the database is mounted but not opened.

  1. Open command prompt and log in to database as sysdba.
    sqlplus / as sysdba
  2. Forcefully shutdown database.
    shutdown abort;
  3. Mount the database.
    startup mount;
  4. Check whether the database is mounted or not.
    select status, database_status from v$instance;
  5. Open the database.
    alter database open;
  6. Check whether the database is open or not.
    select status, database_status from v$instance;
how to fix ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress error

5. Corrupted database files

Some intentional or unintentional invalid activity may damage some database files. If DBF, CTL, or ORA files are corrupted then it can cause the error “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress”.

If all the above steps do not work and you are still getting the same error message, then uninstall the database software and install it again. Before uninstalling the DB, make sure you take a backup of the data.

Create a new database instance and try to import the previous database files if you have taken the backup of the running instance.

Note: It’s highly recommended to take a backup of the database from time to time. If you come across such issues where it cannot be resolved, then restoring the DB to a previous stage is easy or else you will end up losing all the data.

Final thoughts:

We hope you are able to get rid of the “ora-01033 oracle initialization or shutdown in progress” error using the above steps. Let us know in the comments which steps helped you fix the error. If you are still having challenges, do mention them in the comment section and we would be happy to help you.

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