I have a layer in ArcSDE (Oracle11g, ArcSDE 9.3) that does not drawing on screen without any error message show up.
When you select the features from "Attribute Table" and click on "Zoom To Selected" the selected features is drawn in the selected color only, I mean: It is drawing boarding of polygons only - as attached picture (have a look below).
The attribute table looks fine.
I have exported that layer to a shapefile and for my surprise ALL features have been drawed fine. For shapefile there is no problem.
Spatial indexes, that might just be it. I know I have run into this exact problem, but I have been racking my brain trying to remember what fixed it. Your comment got a light bulb to flicker, buy maybe it is just a short.