ORA-01031: insufficient privileges with logon as sydba


I guess we all sometimes have that famous face palm moment where we do not have a direct success story to offer when a customer asks something . In my case I was asked to offer the sys password to a third-party. I did grumble about it but hey that is the way it is sometimes.  And yes during the time where they have sys-password  not responsible for that database AND I will  have to audit the system after  I take control of it again but that is another story.


In this case I had altered the password of sys , I tested it locally on the machine and I had given it to the customer and well he came back to me telling me it did not work …

The error they got and the one I researched for:

sqlplus "sys/password@MYB.prod.nl as sysdba"

ORA-01031: insufficient privileges

Well That one made me frown because : 
sqlplus system@MYDB.prod.nl

Connected to:

And then do this locally without connect string:

SQL> connect sys as sysdba 
Enter password: 

So with the Web on my side  I was looking for clues-on this one. And again love the on-line community of Oracle because soon I found out  that I should check if password files existed and if the password on that file was set according to the sys password.

I checked and frowned because there was no password file present at all in the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs ! So I created a password file. Tested it and  it worked !

Surely that was a face-palm moment to me like hey I have been there – done that 🙂  but still nice got it working asap after all .

Syntax  IN $ORACLE_HOME/dbs: 
orapwd FILE=orapwMYDB1 password=
After that I copied it to the second node with scp and of course renamed  orapwMYDB1 to  orapwMYDB2.

See. Sometimes it is not that complex a matter to keep customer and Dba happy 🙂

Happy reading,


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