Toad and Oracle Home

I recently upgraded work PC. One of the bigger hassles was setting up Toad and my Oracle connections again.

Steps (and mis-steps) I took:

  • I downloaded an Instant Client from the Oracle Instant Client Downloads
  • I selected a 32-bit client because I recall that Toad is picky about that, and a 10.2 client. I picked 10.2 primarily because I think that is what I had before, but also because I had downloaded a 64-bit 12.1 client that definitely did not work.
  • I copied it to my computer: C:\oracle\instantclient_10_2. That location is arbitrary–you should be able to save it anywhere.
  • I added an ORACLE_HOME environment variable (although this appears to have been unnecessary):
    C:\> SET ORACLE_HOME=C:\oracle\instantclient_10_2
  • I copied my old tnsnames.ora file to the same folder.
  • Start Toad

“No valid Oracle Client found. Please note that Toad only supports 32 bit Oracle Client installations. Please view the release notes for additional system requirements.”

When I try to select a client from the installed clients menu, another error:
“You do not have any Oracle homes installed!”

I had to add the client to the PATH environment variable. There are a couple ways you can do this:

  • C:\> PATH=%PATH%;C:\oracle\instantclient_10_2
  • Go to Control PanelSystemAdvanced System SettingsEnvironment VariablesSystem VariablesEdit

Toad then started without the error, but also did not recognize my tnsnames.ora file.

First I tried adding the TNS_ADMIN environment variable via the command-line:
C:\> SET TNS_ADMIN=C:\oracle\instantclient_10_2

For whatever reason, that did not solve the problem. I could echo the value back with echo %TNS_ADMIN%, but it did not appear under Environment Variables in the Control Panel.

I added TNS_ADMIN as a user environment variable in the Control Panel, restarted Toad, and then it recognized my tnsnames.ora file.