ORA-38701: Flashback database log seq thread

The database does not startup, and gives errors like:
ORA-38737: Expected sequence number 2483 doesn’t match 2304
ORA-38701: Flashback database log 143 seq 2483 thread 1:

These errors can be seen in the Alert.log file. These errors occur and prevent the database from starting up because, at some point prior, we were not able to write to the flashback area.

Review the alert.log file prior to these errors on startup. You may see other information indicating an issue writing to the flashback area. For example, you may see something like:

ORA-38701: Flashback database log 36 seq 2305 thread 1…..
ORA-27041: unable to open file
OSD-04002: unable to open file

To get the database open,  try:

1. Mount the database:
SQL> startup mount;

2. Turn off flashback.
SQL> alter database flashback off;

3. Open the database:
SQL> alter database open;

4. Shutdown
SQL> Shutdown immediate;

5. Mount the database:
SQL> Startup mount;

6. Turn flashback back on.
SQL> alter database flashback on;

7. Open the database:
SQL> alter database open;

Note : 1 If your are on Oracle  10.2.0.4  your instance will not hang but the alert log will display information like below.

************************************************************
Thu May 20 08:32:43 2010
Errors in file /u1/oracle/OraSWX/admin/SWX/bdump/swx_rvwr_17519.trc:
ORA-38701: Flashback database log 1 seq 1 thread 1: “/u5/flashback/SWX/flashback/o1_mf_5z66yxwt_.flb”
ORA-27037: unable to obtain file status
SVR4 Error: 2: No such file or directory
Additional information: 3
*************************************
RVWR encountered an error when writing flashback database logs.
See error stack in alert log.  To avoid crashing the instance,
this instance has turned off flashback database.
*************************************

The database will disable flashback automatically to prevent the instance from hanging.

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