Oracle EMEA Customer Support Services Excellence Award 2014

The corporation announced today that I got the Customer Services Excellence Award 2014 in the category ‘Customer Champion’ for the EMEA region. It is an honor to be listed there together with these excellent professionals that I proudly call colleagues.

CSS Excellence Award 2014

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Windows 7 error “key not valid for use in specified state”

When you see that error upon trying to install or upgrade something on your Windows 7 64-bit machine, chances are that it is caused by a Windows Security update that you need to uninstall. There is probably no point in messing around with the registry or the application that you want to upgrade. Instead, remove the Windows update KB2918614 like this:

Open the control panel, then click  Windows Update

Windows 7 control panelClick Update History and then Installed Updates:

Update HistoryScroll down to Microsoft Windows and look for KB2918614 (I have removed it already before I took the screenshot):

Uninstall KB2918614Finally, hide that update so you don’t get it installed later on again:

Hide KB2918614I’m using a corporate notebook with automatic Windows security updates coming from time to time and encountered that problem while trying to upgrade VirtualBox to version 4.3.12. It is not a VirtualBox issue, though, other installs or upgrades may fail for the same reason. For me, this was a serious problem, because I rely on virtual machines for many demonstrations. Kudos to the virtualbox.org forums! They helped me resolve that problem within a day. Thank you once again, guys! :-)

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Don’t go directly to Maximum Protection!

With a Data Guard Configuration in Maximum Performance protection mode, don’t go to Maximum Protection directly, because that leads to a restart of the primary database:

 Attention!

DGMGRL> show configuration;

Configuration - myconf

  Protection Mode: MaxPerformance
  Databases:
  prima  - Primary database
    physt  - Physical standby database
      physt2 - Physical standby database (receiving current redo)

Fast-Start Failover: DISABLED

Configuration Status:
SUCCESS

DGMGRL> edit configuration set protection mode as maxprotection;
Operation requires shutdown of instance "prima" on database "prima"
Shutting down instance "prima"...
Database closed.
Database dismounted.
ORACLE instance shut down.
Operation requires startup of instance "prima" on database "prima"
Starting instance "prima"...
ORACLE instance started.
Database mounted.
Database opened.

Instead, go to Maximum Availability first and then to Maximum Protection:

DGMGRL> edit configuration set protection mode as maxperformance;
Succeeded.
DGMGRL> edit configuration set protection mode as maxavailability;
Succeeded.
DGMGRL> edit configuration set protection mode as maxprotection;
Succeeded.

The demo was done with 12c, involving a cascading standby database, but the behavior is the same in 11g already. The odd thing about it is that DGMGRL will restart the primary without warning. Wanted to share that with the Oracle community for years but always got over it somehow.

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