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Error: Initialization of the dynamic link library WINNT\system32\COMCTL32.dll failed

Error Message

When connecting to ArcSDE, the following error message occurs:

“Initialization of the dynamic link library WINNT\system32\COMCTL32.dll failed. The process is terminating abnormally."

Cause

On Windows NT, the ArcSDE service is started as a noninteractive desktop. The maximum amount of heap memory allocated
to noninteractive desktops is limited by a Windows NT initialization parameter called SharedSection.

The default value is 1024,3072,1024. The third argument--1024 kilobytes, or one megabyte--is the maximum amount of heap memory allocated to noninteractive desktops.

At this setting, an ArcSDE application server accepts approximately 132 connections. Each time a desktop spawns a process (in this case the ArcSDE service spawns a gsrvr process for each ArcSDE connection), it consumes some heap memory.

Increasing the maximum heap size of noninteractive desktops to two megabytes, for instance, allows the ArcSDE application service to spawn up to 270 connections.

The SharedSection value would be 1024,3072,2048 when the noninteractive heap size is set to two megabytes.

Solution or Workaround

Warning:
The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary.

Esri cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions; therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.
  1. Click Start and Run. Type 'regedt32' on the input line and click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry path and double-click the Windows registry:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\SubSystems\Windows
This string contains startup parameters for Windows NT. The SharedSection parameter is located within the string.
The default value is 1024,3072,1024. The third argument is the maximum amount of heap memory allocated to noninteractive
desktops.
  1. Change the value of the third argument and reboot the Windows operating system for the change to take effect.