Problem: Unable to start an ArcSDE service after installing Service Pack 2 or higher
After installing Service Pack 2 or higher for ArcSDE version 10, the ArcSDE service does not start.
Listed below are a few potential reasons that might explain why an SDE service may not start after installing SP2 or higher:
• The geodatabase was not upgraded after installing the service pack. • The SDE admin user password has changed since the creation of the service. • The geodatabase was upgraded from version 9.x but never authorized for version 10 (Please see Related Information for details about authorizing an ArcSDE geodatabase.)
Solution or Workaround
Use a direct connection in ArcCatalog to upgrade the geodatabases to SP3.