Sunday, June 2, 2024

How to Survive Pearson Vue exam glitch nightmare


Recently, I passed the AWS SAA certification, and while sharing your achievement on socials after long months of preparation and grind can be gratifying, some Pearson Vue test takers, didn’t have the same smooth experience, for unexpected challenges due to OnVue software glitches.

In this short post, I’ll take you through the surreal blunders of my proctored exam stint and share some tips to help you navigate the technical nightmare I went through with OnVue software on my exam. strap in!!

Note: I had this with on  Windows with a dell XPS laptop but it could be any setup.

I. Day 1: Houston, We've Got a Problem!

  System test failed (Exam Rescheduled)


1. OnVue: Microphone undetected

    How to Book and Take Your AWS Certification Exam Online - Tutorials Dojo
    Here’s the deal,  I’m all set up and ready to knock out this proctored test from home. I checked in early, my gear’s all set, I download the OnVue software but right when I run the first check—it’s like it’s got a beef with my mic. My mic's good, I checked it a hundred times, works like a charm every time, but for OnVue? nada! almost acting like my mic’s invisible.


    I’m on the line with support, trying to fix this mess myself after I was told to use another laptop.Time runs out, but no dice. They say we’ll need to reschedule (◡︵◡).

    I don’t blame the support folks but PearsonVue’s management of their software patching is ridiculous. What’s next ! a laptop fleet to write an online exam? 


    After a couple hours of digging around on Google and trying every fix I could find, I finally cracked it. Here’s what you gotta do if OnVue’s complaining about your Mic.

  1. Hit the Windows key + R to fire up the Run box.

  2. Punch in mmsys.cpl and smack Enter. This pops open the Sound window.

  3. Click over to the Recording tab. Look for your microphone—it should have a green tick next to it.

  4. Right-click the mic, hit Properties, then move over to the Levels tab.

  5. Crank that volume up to the max. See a red symbol on the speaker icon? Click that "mute" symbol to get rid of it if it’s checked.

    See picture below :

2. OnVue:  Video Streaming issues


Just when I thought I was out of the woods with the mic issue, bam, the video streaming starts acting up. In the middle of the system test, the above error popped up during the Diagnostics - Network check.
Now, you might think it's a bandwidth problem, right? Wrong.That’s just a red herring.


The first part of the error shows the below:
The streaming connection requires that can be reached as well as a stable connection of at least 1mb upload and download speeds.
So I run a quick Speedtest, and my internet’s hitting 300 Mbps, so no problems there. Something else was off.

But at the bottom of the message, I noticed this line:
“..ensure any network filtering software is disabled..
WebRTC WebSocket
connections must be allowed to *.* on TCP port 80, 443, 1935


So, it’s not just about speed—it’s about reaching When installing OnVue, a pop-up asks you to create firewall rules for *

If you missed or ignored this, you have two ways to fix it.

Option 1:
Do it manually through windows firewall as explained in this tutorial manually-open-ports-in-windows-firewallopen-ports-firewall-7


Just re-run the installer again which show you the pop up so you can let OnVue to add the rules automatically


II. Day 2: Second Attempt - OnVue App Goes Nuts

  •  OneVue App Froze 1 Minute Before Final Submission



Picture this: I answered all my questions in an hour and started reviewing them. In the last minute, a crazy pop-up shows up, telling me an application is still running, which could revoke my exam. I barely had time to think. I quickly try to close it to keep the proctor off my back. But guess what? The exam freezes completely.

Nothing's working. I'm sitting there, shocked, wondering if my time's still ticking or if the proctor's pulled the plug on me. Not a single clue.

The app in question? WhatsApp. But windows store apps like WhatsApp don't show up in Task Manager like other processes. And to make matters worse, the system check didn't even spot it when I checked in. Maybe it woke up later, who knows? Anyway, I was stuck.I call support, and what do they tell me? Just wait for the OnVue screen to unfreeze. Completely useless.


I nearly lost it, but then I decided to take a chance. I closed Chrome, where my session was being recorded, and restarted the OnVue software with the same Access Code.
The system check was okay, so I got back into the exam queue. The proctor greeted me, and I acted like it was my first time. I figured, at worst, I'd have to retake the exam :).

I didn't say a word to the proctor, and then—poof—my previous session came back. All my answers were there, with 30 seconds left on the clock. I hit send, and the rest is history! I passed the exam :).


  • System Test Failures: Run thorough system checks well in advance many times.

  • Microphone Issues: Adjust settings via Windows sound properties.

  • Video Streaming Problems: Confirm firewall rules and re-run the installer.

  • Handling Background Apps: Close or uninstall all unnecessary apps from windows store 

  • App Freezing: Restart OnVue browser after calling support and try checking with same access code

  • Close other user sessions open in the computer: applies to Mac too (siri is not welcome)

  • Stay Calm Under Pressure: Contact support and act quickly to regain control.

  • AWS PearsonVue Hotline : 866-207-9983 (Americas) , worldwide check here.

Pearson VUE exam day guidance recap

1. Login to your Pearson VUE account and check in to your exam 30 minutes before it is due to start**
2. Copy your access code on screen and run OnVue
3. Enter your access code to begin check-in
4. Enter your phone number for the verification process
5. Confirm age of consent (to use artificial intelligence)
6. Complete the system check by following the prompts on screen
7. Click on the link sent to you via text message and enter your access code in your cellphone
8. Take a photo of your face
9. Select your type of ID and take a photo of your document
10.Take 4 photos of your workspace (front, back, left, right)
11. Agree to the exam rules
12. Close down any other running applications
13. You will now see your face displayed on screen while the proctor checks your details
14. You will then be guided to start your test

Good luck!!!!



Saturday, December 23, 2023

What Autoupgrade won't Catch for you when moving to 19c Part1: Ghost OLAP

Granny Fight GIF - KungFuPanda3 Training Slow GIFs


So far, I have used Oracle AutoUpgrade, many times in 3 different OS’. Yet the more you think you’ve seen it all and reached the highest confidence level, another Upgrade will come byte you in the butt. The truth is every maintenance in any software or platform is unique, Oracle databases are no exception.
Automation will not solve all your problems which means organizations will still need humans when things get nasty.

This is my last series on AutoUpgrade troubleshooting as I anticipate reduced work on DBs in the near future. but I wanted to document few fixes to save your production upgrade from blowing up.   Enjoy

AutoUpgrade is still the best

Despite some issues, AutoUpgrade remains the best option to upgrade databases to 19c and it’s easy to agree, after checking the below methods available to upgrade/migrate to 19c in this migration white paper.

The environment

In my case, I needed to migrate my 12c CDB to 19c, while preserving the Data Guard setup & reducing downtime. 

PlatformSource CDB database SITarget CDB SIGrid /ASM   Dataguard
Linux RHEL 812.1.0.2 Enterprise Edition19.17.0.0 Enterprise Edition Yes YES


19c jdk              autoupgrade.jar
1.8.0_201     Build.version 22.4.220712 

The Upgrade strategy

While the upgrade process itself isn't covered here, I’ll mention the steps required to reproduce our AutoUpgrade in a Data Guard protected environment. If you want to look further into the steps, check out the excellent article by Daniel Overby Hansen called How to Upgrade with AutoUpgrade and Data Guard.

Overview of upgrade with a data guard

The following is assumed to be already completed on both primary and standby hosts:

  • Install and patch a new 19c Oracle Database Home to the latest RU

  • Installing and patching a new 19c grid infrastructure to the latest RU

  • Upgrading the existing 12c grid into the new one (19c)

The steps

  • Stop Standby Database

  • Upgrade the primary DB

    • Run AutoUpgrade with the appropriate Config file [analyze, fixups, deploy]

  • After Upgrade

    • Restart Data Guard

      • Update the listener and /etc/oratab on the standby host.

      • Upgrade the DB by updating the Oracle Home information (srvctl upgrade database)

      • Re-enable Data Guard

      • Update RMAN catalog to new 19c client’s version

Reproduce the issue

After running AutoUpgrade Analyze to clear all warnings from the prechecks. The deploy unfortunately crashed.

The Configuration

-  The Config file as shown below, can defer redo transport & stop Data Guard broker automatically if in use.

#Global configurations global.autoupg_log_dir=/u01/install/Autoupgrade/UPG_logs ################### # Database number 1 ################### upgd1.sid=PROD upgd1.source_home=/u01/app/oracle/product/ upgd1.target_home=/u01/app/oracle/product/19.0.0/dbhome_1 upg1.log_dir=/u01/install/Autoupgrade/UPG_logs/PROD upg1.run_utlrp=yes upg1.source_tns_admin_dir=/u01/app/oracle/product/ upg1.timezone_upg=yes upg1.restoration=yes

1. Autoupgrade analyze

C:\> java -jar autoupgrade.jar -config UP19_PROD.cfg -mode analyze

2. Autoupgrade deploy

The environment was ready for a go so I launched the deploy phase

C:\> java -jar autoupgrade.jar -config UP19_PROD.cfg -mode deploy
... An hour later
upg> lsj
| 110| PROD |DBUPGRADE|STOPPED | ERROR | Nov 02 16:42 | |UPG-1400 |
Errors in database [PROD-MYPDB1] Stage [DBUPGRADE]
Operation [STOPPED] Status [ERROR]
Cause: Database upgrade failed with errors
REASON: ORA-00604: error occurred at recursive SQL level 1

The OLAP Error

The upgrade phase never finished but most of the PDBs  were having issues halfway through the upgrade (incomplete catalog)

This is just an example for one of the error received by most of the PDBs  in the source 12c  CDB

When I check the line described in the error in catupgrd log file we can see the below excerpt

When we look at the status of the components on those impacted PDBs we can see that OLAP API is Invalid

Furthermore if we check the plugging database violations for these PDBs we find 2 OLAP culprits

NAME CAUSE MESSAGE STATUS -------- -------- ------------------------------------------------------- --------- MYPDB1 OPTION Database option APS mismatch:PDB installed version PENDING CDB in stalled version NULL. MYPDB1 OPTION Database option XOQ mismatch: PDB installed version PENDING CDB in stalled version NULL.



This occurred because their previous upgrade from 11g to 12c didn't properly remove the deprecated 11g OLAP component from their PDBs after the conversion to multitenant. Refer to the preupgrade run note below.

Indeed looking back at the Autoupgrade prechecks , we can notice that most PDBs have APS (Analytic Workspace)and XOQ (OLAP API) components that are there but market as ‘OPTION OFF’.


This is where the AutoUpgrade should come in and flag these sort of issues as critical right from the early Analyze stage to help DBAs avoid upgrade crash during a production upgrade. Opening an SR is already a loss in terms of planned downtime.   


We’ll have to manually cleanup OLAP remnants before resuming the upgrade as described in  Doc ID 1940098.1

I have gathered all the sequenced commands in 2 scripts olap_remove.sql along with remove_olap_leftovers.sql

$ vi olap_remove.sql

col  name new_val pdb_name  noprint
select name from v$pdbs;
spool &pdb_name..log

prompt  ----> Remove OLAP Catalog
prompt  ----> Remove OLAP API

prompt  ----> Deinstall APS - OLAP AW component

prompt  ----> cleanup leftovers and Recompile invalids
spool off

Run the cleanup script for each PDB 

SQL> alter session set container=MYPDB1; @olap_remove
alter session set container=MYPDB2; @olap_remove

------ Repeat for all PDBs


Once the removal performed , we should verify that is no conflicting OLAP issue is left in the environment    

------ Repeat for all PDBs

1. The status of the components
SQL> select COMP_ID, COMP_NAME, VERSION, STATUS from dba_registry;
---- No OLAP component should be listed (Valid 19c options only)

2. Confirm there is no violations remaining
SQL> SELECT name, cause, message,status
FROM pdb_plug_in_violations

Resume the job

upg> resume -job 110

After this the Autoupgrade completed successfully and the standby database was re-enabled as expected in the remaining steps.


  • While automation tools like AutoUpgrade are powerful, they can't predict and fix all potential bottlenecks.

  • Staying vigilant and utilizing troubleshooting skills remains crucial.

  • However, the integrated flagging of known issues would go a long way into improving the user experience of DBAs fostering greater adoption in the future.

Thanks for reading