Can't initialize OCI. Error -1

Today I siwtch on the computer and TOAD seems to upgrade itself when I tried to load it. Once the loading process was complete I had lost all my connections and passwords.

So I tried to manually type in the connection details. Each time I get:

Can’t initialize OCI. Error -1

Yes I have looked at other threads but have not found anything relevant.

I’ve unistalled TOAD and loaded back in without any success. The confusing issue is I can use SQL Developer without any issues. So, to my limited knowledge, the clients are OK.

Im not convinced its a PATH issue either since I can run Crystal Reports 2008 (32 bit) without issue and dont want to mess up the configuration.

Any thoughts?

Can you connect via SQL*Plus? SQL Developer doesn’t use OCI to make connections, it uses JDWP so isn’t a valid test of your OCI client.

When I fire the sqlplus.exe the black box appears for an instance and then vanishes.

It does not give you a chance to enter any details.

The only sqlplus.exe I have is the one found in the 11.2.0 client folder.



Send the contents of your Support Bundle. It’s available from the Help menu within Toad.

Worked it out….thanks for the tip Michael.

Steps taken:


Go to TOAD help and click on ‘Support Bundle’


Scroll down the information until you find:


(Oracle Root)

inst_loc = C:\Program Files\Oracle\Inventory

KEY_OraClient11g_home1 ***** This is the home currently used by Toad *****

ORACLE_HOME = C:\ORACLE\ORA_11g_FULL\11.2.0\Client_1


Im using ‘Windows 7’…………….Go to the Control Panel Home and click on ‘Advanced system Settings’.

Click on ‘Environment Variables’.

If you don’t have an ORACLE_HOME create one. If ORACLE _HOME exists make sure it is the same as the ORACLE_HOME in the ‘Support Bundle’.

Close all instances of TOAD and open up another one.

I was able to log into my databases. NOTE: I have not done a full test, yet.

This goes to inform my opinion that Microsoft SQL Server is a superior product to anything ORACLE can supply.

Go figure out this!

When I changed the ORACLE _HOME other applications stopped working. So I changed the ORACLE_HOME back to its original value.

I fully expected TOAD to fail i.e. fail to connect to the databases, but it did not. I have been able to connect to all the databases and my other applications are working.

I have no idea what went wrong and why changing ORACLE_HOME makes TOAD work.

I also dont have any idea why changing the ORACLE_HOME back to its original value still allows TOAD to work.