How to re-organize your data files of a tablespace

Problem statement: 

  • How to move data files from one location to another on same storage.
  • How to move data files from one storage to another.
  • How to rename data files to make data file name standardized

Environment / Scenario:

  • You have a database where you have to move your data files from old slower storage to new faster storage
  • You want to organize your data files to one location from various locations
  • You want to standardized data file name so that you can relate your data files with tablespace just by seeing data files names.
  • You have one db on one or multiple storage system where data files are scattered across storage.


In any of the above scenario, we are just doing re-organization of data files on both database and Operating System level.

How it works:

To reorganize data files of tablespaces, we first have to change either its path (i.e. move to new location) or its name (i.e. Rename) or both on O/S level by using cp or mv command.  Once O/S level reorganization is completed, we then have to reorganize this on database level.  Both steps are required and has to be performed in sequence.

To perform these steps tablespace or data files has to be taken offline during this period.  As a result, user may face some error like “” if they hit any object which belongs to the same tablespace or data files.

Steps to Perform:

  • Login to Database with SYS user or any DBA user

[oracle@TESTServer ~]$ sqlplus / as sysdba


SQL*Plus: Release Production on Wed May 4 12:53:30 2016


Copyright (c) 1982, 2009, Oracle.  All rights reserved.



Connected to:

Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release – 64bit Production

With the Partitioning, OLAP, Data Mining and Real Application Testing options


SQL> select instance_name from v$instance;







  • Generate the list of data files for each tablespace(s ) which has to be re-organize.  List highlighted in blue color is candidate for re-organization in our case.

SQL> r

1* select tablespace_name, file_name from dba_data_files order by 1 desc



——————- ————————————————————

UNDOTBS             /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/undo.dbf

TEST_IND_04         /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_IND_04_01.dbf

TEST_IND_03         /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_IND_03_01.dbf

TEST_IND_02         /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_IND_02_01.dbf

TEST_IND_01         /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_IND_01_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_04        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_04_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_03        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_03_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_02        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_02_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_01        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_01        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/t4590.dbf

TEST_DATA_01        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/r546789.dbf

TEST_DATA_01        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/t1_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_01        /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/z1_01.dbf

SYSTEM              /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/sys.dbf

SYSAUX              /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/sysaux.dbf


15 rows selected.

  • We will be considering these 4 data files because two reasons.
    • Path of these data files does not matching up.  It should include TTS folder it its path
    • Naming convention is not correct.
  • Hence, Seeing the above list we will be doing both action here i.e. Moving and Renaming.
  • Take one of tablespace in offline mode.  We can take even one data file offline and perform all the steps required.  When you take the tablespace or a data file offline, any operation on those tablespace or that particular data file will not be possible.  Hence, perform this step as per your permissible outage.
  • We are taking tablespace READ ONLY instead of each data files.


Tablespace altered.


  • Open another terminal to perform Operating system level activities
  • Copy/rename data files of this tablespace to the desired location with desired name.
    • Copying files from current location the desired location for re-organization

[oracle@TESTServer mydb2]$cp t1_01.dbf TTS/.

[oracle@TESTServer mydb2]$cp z1_01.dbf TTS/.

[oracle@TESTServer mydb2]$cp t4590.dbf TTS/.

[oracle@TESTServer mydb2]$cp r546789.dbf TTS/.

    • Rename file name to make it standarized.

[oracle@TESTServer TTS]$ mv t1_01.dbf TEST_DATA_01_02.dbf

[oracle@TESTServer TTS]$ mv z1_01.dbf TEST_DATA_01_03.dbf

[oracle@TESTServer TTS]$ mv t4590.dbf TEST_DATA_01_04.dbf

[oracle@TESTServer TTS]$ mv r546789.dbf TEST_DATA_01_05.dbf

    • We can merge above two steps (cp & mv) into one single step using mv as well.  Above two steps mentioned was just for clarity.
  • Switch old data files with new one for this tablespace in database using SYS login.

SQL> r

1*  alter database

rename file ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/t1_01.dbf’

to          ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_02.dbf’


Database altered.


SQL> alter database

rename file ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/z1_01.dbf’

to          ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_03.dbf’;


Database altered.


SQL> alter database

rename file ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/t4590.dbf’

to          ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_04.dbf’;


Database altered.


SQL> alter database

rename file ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/r546789.dbf’

to ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_05.dbf’;


Database altered.


  • Once switching for all data files are done, take the same tablespace online.

SQL> alter tablespace TEST_DATA_01 online;

Tablespace altered.



  • Perform these steps for all tablespaces one by one.

We can take individual data files offline copy/rename to the desired destination, switching old to new data files in database, and bring the same data file online.  Here are example of working with individual data files.

  • Take the list of data files for data files or tablespaces to be organize.  List in blue color is candidate in our case.

SQL> r

1* select tablespace_name,



from dba_data_files

where tablespace_name=’TEST_DATA_01′



————— ——- ————————————————–

TEST_DATA_01          4 /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TEST_DATA_01_01.dbf

TEST_DATA_01         12 /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_02.dbf

TEST_DATA_01         13 /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_03.dbf

TEST_DATA_01         14 /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_04.dbf

TEST_DATA_01         15 /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_05.dbf



  • Taking individual data files offline.  Since file id is 4 for this file, we have used file id 4 here.

SQL> alter database datafile 4 offline;


Database altered.



  • Copying or Renaming individual data files from O/S.  We have used mv here.

[oracle@TESTServer TTS]$ mv /u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TEST_DATA_01_01.dbf


  • Switching data files from database.

SQL> alter database

rename file ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TEST_DATA_01_01.dbf’

to          ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_01.dbf’;


Database altered.




  • Bringing individual data files online.  While bringing online a data file we need a media recovery first.  Before media recovery, if we try to bring the data file online, it will raise the requirement of media recovery.

SQL>  alter database datafile 4 online;

alter database datafile 4 online


ERROR at line 1:

ORA-01113: file 4 needs media recovery

ORA-01110: data file 4: ‘/u03/oracle/oradata/mydb2/TTS/TEST_DATA_01_01.dbf’




    • Recovering media.

SQL> recover datafile 4;

Media recovery complete.


    • Bringing data file online.

SQL> alter database datafile 4 online;


Database altered.



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