Error: SQL Server - Error starting esri_sde service -93 DBMS error code: 18456

Error Message

The following error message may be logged in the SDE error log after trying to start the ArcSDE service:

"ArcSDE 9.1 SQL Server Build 2101 Thu Mar 3 18:55:48 PST 2005
IDBInitialize::Initialize Failed
init_DB DB_instance_open_as_dba: -93
DBMS error code: 18456
Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server: Login failed for user 'sde'."

This is usually related to an inconsistency with the SDE user password.


The service fails to start, because the password that the SDE service was created with, and the password set for the SDE login in the database do not match. This could be caused by typing the password for the SDE user incorrectly when creating the service, or changing the SDE password within the database.

The password can be changed within the database without affecting the ArcSDE service, until it is stopped and restarted. A reboot of the server could cause the problem to surface.

Solution or Workaround

The following options may help to resolve the problem, so that the service can be started:

  1. Delete and re-create the service.
    A. Delete the service.
    B. Reset the SDE user password to ensure accuracy.
    C. Re-create the service.
    See the knowledge base article titled, "Delete an ArcSDE service", at the link below or in Related Information, for the ArcSDE command references:
    Delete an ArcSDE service
  2. Change password in database for SDE user.
    If the SDE password that the esri_sde service was initially created with is known, update the SDE password for the SDE user in the database accordingly to match the old password. SQL Server Enterprise manager can be used to do this.
  3. Alter the SDE user password for the service.
    If the SDE user password has been altered within the database and the SDE password needs to be changed for the service to match it, use the following command.


    ESRI ArcSDE System Service Utility Fri Nov 11 14:58:01 2005
    sdeservice -o modify -r <registry_keyword> -v <new_value>
    -p <SDE_DBA_Password> [-i <service>]

    The SDE password for the service must be known to set the value in -p <SDE_DBA_PASSWORD>.

    The old registry keyword for the SDE password needs to be set for SDE_DBA_PASSWORD.
  4. See the knowledge base article titled, "Error starting esri_sde service(997)", in the Related Information secion, if sdemon -o start returns the following 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"

Related Information