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In ArcMap 10.0, how do I find where the connection file is that is being used to connect to ArcSDE 10 on Sql Server 2008?

Some non administrative users are hooking up to SDE as the user 'sde' with db auth. The users are passed around a few mxds and I am trying to find the connection file to delete it.

If the connection file is embedded in the mxd I suppose I could use python to comb the network and individual c drives finding all the mxd that connect up with db auth and sde user.

Is there a way to block this at the db level or some other? Thanks.

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I am pretty sure the connection information is embedded in the mxd. As for db level changes, anything that breaks their connection could break the SDE user's abilities as well (i.e. don't disable the sde account). Easiest way might be to change the SDE user's password. – Michael Todd Sep 4 '12 at 20:21
+1, time to change that password and pronto. – blah238 Sep 4 '12 at 21:59
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I was working with SDE connection files today. You can search C: for .sde files, or in Win 7 you can find them in C:\%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcCatalog\

But the layer definition will store connection info in the mxd as well. See this forum post.

In any case, like the others say, it sounds like you should change the sde password. Then the mxd layers will not connect, but you can right-click on each and Repair Data Source, or use a script like the one cited in the above forum post.

share|improve this answer
And, for 10.1 users, they are located in: C:\%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.1\ArcCatalog\ – Michael Todd Sep 5 '12 at 21:47

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