How can you find out if the database is using PFILE or SPFILE?

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You can query Dynamic performance view (v$parameter) to know your database is using PFILE or SPFILE.
SQL> select value from V$parameter where name= ‘SPFILE’;
        A non-null value indicates the database is using SPFILE.
        A null value indicates database is using PFILE.

You can force a database to use a PFILE by issuing a startup command as
SQL> startup PFILE = ‘full path of Pfile location’;

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