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Error: Starting ArcSDE: ORA-24314: service handle not initialized

Solution or Workaround

Problem:

When attempting to start a newly-installed ArcSDE instance on an Windows NT host which has multiple Oracle Instances, the following error may occur and be logged in sde.errlog:

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ArcSDE 8.0.1 for Oracle8i Build ...
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...
init_DB DB_instance_open_as_dba: -51
DBMS error code: 24314
ORA-24314: service handle not initialized

Cause:

It is very likely that the value of ORACLE_SID hasn't been set properly, i.e. the ORACLE_SID in the registry isn't the one that corresponds to the new ArcSDE instance. You must set ORACLE_SID if you do not use the default ORACLE_SID (and it is a good idea to set it anyway.)

Fix:

Check for the correct setting for ORACLE_SID in these places:

1. %SDEHOME%\etc\dbinit.sde.

2. The system environment variables in the Environment tab in the System control panel.

3. In the registry under HKLM -> SOFTWARE -> ESRI -> ArcInfo -> ArdSDE -> ArcSDE for Oracle -> (instance name) -> ORACLE_SID.

4. The Oracle Home selector (provided by Oracle.)