Oracle10g ORA-27300 error

My Oracle10g ( Standard Edition) database running on Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP2 with 3GB of RAM was intermittently encountering the errors below in the alert.log:

Thu Oct 02 13:06:09 2008
Process startup failed, error stack:
Thu Oct 02 13:06:09 2008
Errors in file i:\oradba\admin\stad101\bdump\stad101_psp0_7268.trc:
ORA-27300: OS system dependent operation:CreateThread failed with status: 8
ORA-27301: OS failure message: Not enough storage is available to process this command.
ORA-27302: failure occurred at: ssthrddcr

In addition, a corresponding error was found in the Windows Event Viewer:

Unable to begin another thread.

Searched Google using “unable to begin another thread” and found a discussion on the OTN Discussion Forum mentioning the /3GB switch.

More information on how to set this switch in this Microsoft Technet article.  Some in-depth information about the /3GB switch from Ask the Performance Team.  Amit Bansal provides some insight on AWE at

The plan right now is to set the OS switch and reboot the server.  We’ll see if this resolves the problem.  My initial thoughts are positive from what I have read and when this error occurs.  I will update this blog entry once I have a more definitive result.

References Forum – Calculate Size of PGA

Update (24-Oct-2008)
The Oracle instance has been running for two weeks now since we set the /3GB switch.  We have yet to encounter any errors as previously mentioned.


4 Responses to Oracle10g ORA-27300 error

  1. Amit says:

    Mike ,

    You have not mentioned any of your Memory settings. What is amount of SGA+PGA settings on your server. I do not see any advantage of keeping /3Gb switch on a 3 GB ram machine. You can look at reducing the SGA+PGA in such a way that value is less then 1.7 G


  2. mrothouse says:

    Currently my memory settings are totaling about 1.2GB (800MB SGA + 400MB PGA), but that is due to the low usage at the moment which also seems to explain why I have not seen the errors in the last 5 days mentioned in my post. Since this is a shared development database server and memory consumption is likely to increase, I am hesitant to reduce SGA/PGA settings.


  3. Amit says:


    Actually I believe that at time of error, your PGA memory consumption would have increased. Note that unlike SGA, PGA is not limited and can exceed pga_aggregate_target. You can also look at switching to shared server mode as it would help in reducing the PGA memory consumption.

  4. raymond says:

    I have a problem with a 16GB of Window 2003 Server 32bit..

    We can’t switch to /3GB because OS itself need more then 1 GB to address those upper memmory address as well..:(

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