Error: Failed to connect to the specified server. Underlying DBMS error [ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve the connect identifier specified. No extended error]

“Install ArcGIS in a folder like C:\ArcGIS”… This is advice I have heard yet always ignored. It seemed like dumb advice; if Windows has dedicated folders for program files, then that’s where program files should go, right?

Well, today I found the issue when an ArcGIS installation at C:\Program Files (x86) wasted about 3 hours of my afternoon.

Error: Failed to connect to the specified server: This error can be caused by having parentheses in the ArcGIS installation path. You will see this in ArcCatalog when trying to connect to an Oracle database with the Oracle 32-bit client on a 64-bit machine.

If the ArcGIS installation path has parentheses, the Oracle 10g 32-bit client (version will fail.

More info here: