Error: Error opening SCManager. You must have administrator privileges to perform this operation

Error Message

Windows machines that have User Account Control (UAC) turned on while attempting to delete or start an ArcSDE Service, may return the following errors:

• When deleting an ArcSDE Service,

"Error opening SCManager.
You must have administrator privileges to perform this operation
Error deleting esri_sde service
Error opening instance key
Error deleting instance 'esri_sde' key in registry"

• When creating and starting an ArcSDE Service,

"The ArcSDE service (esri_sde) service on Local Computer started and then stopped. Some services stop automatically if they are not in use by other services or programs".

• The ArcSDE service log file (sde_esri_sde.log) reports the following error:

"IDBInitialize::Initialize Failed
Spatial Engine Connection Failed (-9).
Cannot Get Access to Instance esri_sde
Error (-9):Couldn't Start Server Task.."


User Account Control (UAC) is a technology and security infrastructure introduced with Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, with a more relaxed version also present in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. This feature helps prevent malicious programs, also known as 'malware', from damaging a system. UAC stops the automatic installation of unauthorized applications. UAC also prevents unintended changes to system settings.

Solution or Workaround

This issue can be resolved by running the command prompt as an administrator.

A security risk may result by using administrative credentials to run an unknown program. Only run programs that you trust as an administrator.

To run a program as an administrator, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the command prompt icon, and click Run as administrator.
  2. If prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the administrator password, or click Continue.

    For additional information regarding the UAC settings, please review the following links from Microsoft.
    What is User Account Control?

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