Error: Error starting esri_sde service(997)

Error Message

sdemon -o start returns the error:

"esri_sde service failed during initialization.
Please check event log or error log files.
Error starting esri_sde service(997)
Could not start ArcSDE -- Check Network, $SDEHOME disk, DBMS settings"


This error has been known to occur with an incorrect or incomplete installation or configuration of ArcSDE.

Solution or Workaround

  • Confirm that the correct password is being entered for the SDE user. If an incorrect password is being used, a -93 error will be present in the sde.errlog.
  • Completely remove the current SDE service and create a new SDE service.
    1. Delete the SDE Service using the 'sdeservice -o delete ...' command. Check the registry for orphaned SDE service keys. Look in the following directories and delete the [esri_sde] folder/key if it exists:

    ** HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > ESRI > ArcInfo > ArcSDE > ‘ArcSDE for [RDBMS]’ > [esri_sde]

    ** HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet001 > Services > [esri_sde]

    ** HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet002 > Services > [esri_sde]

    ** HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet003 > Services > [esri_sde]

    ** HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > [esri_sde]

    2. Reboot the server machine to flush the registry of the changes.

    3. Type 'set' at a command prompt and verify that %SDEHOME%\bin is the first entry in the PATH environment variable (PATH=%SDEHOME%\bin;...).

    4. Verify the SDE Service Name and Port Number in the %SDEHOME%\etc\sdeservices.sde file matches the entry in the C:\WINNT\system32\drivers\etc\services file.

    5. Navigate to the %SDEHOME%\bin directory and recreate the sdeservice using 'sdeservice -o create ...' command.

    6. Execute the 'sdeservice -o list' command and verify that the SDE Service Name, SDEHOME Path, and License Server are all correct.

    If there is a '\\' in the SDEHOME path or a '\' at the end of the path, manually remove it.

    7. Restart the SDE service using 'sdemon -o start -i esri_sde' or the 'net start esri_sde' command.
  • If the problem persists, reboot the SDE Service Machine. If that does not resolve the issue, contact ESRI Support Services.

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