Error: SDE Error (-255) Spatial reference entry does not exist

Error Message

This article pertains to a legacy product. Later versions of ArcGIS applications may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

When using cov2sde or shp2sde to load a layer, this error message may occur:

SDE Error(-255) Spatial reference entry does not exist
Cov2SDE Error -255: Error in SDE_CreateLayerCover ().


The "-R" option was used to specify a coordinate system identification number, as found in the file "$SDEHOME/include/pedef.h".

Solution or Workaround

Use the "-G" option to specify the coordinate system identification number.

The "-R" option is used in commands like cov2sde or shp2sde to specify the Spatial Reference Identification (SRID) number to use. This corresponds to an entry in the table SDE.SPATIAL_REFERENCES.