I want to run a python script that uses arcpy. It was running earlier on a 32-bit machine without problems. On a 64-bit machine I get a MemoryError. The 64-bit backgroundgeoprocessing of ArcGIS 10.3 should solve this problem. If I type import arcpy to the IDLE which is 64-bit too I get the following error message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#20>", line 1, in <module>
    import arcpy
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\arcpy\arcpy\__init__.py", line 21, in <module>
    from arcpy.geoprocessing import gp
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\arcpy\arcpy\geoprocessing\__init__.py", line 14, in <module>
    from _base import *
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\arcpy\arcpy\geoprocessing\_base.py", line 598, in <module>
    env = GPEnvironments(gp)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\arcpy\arcpy\geoprocessing\_base.py", line 595, in GPEnvironments
    return GPEnvironment(geoprocessor)
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\arcpy\arcpy\geoprocessing\_base.py", line 551, in __init__
  File "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\arcpy\arcpy\geoprocessing\_base.py", line 553, in _refresh
    envset = (set(env for env in self._gp.listEnvironments()))
RuntimeError: NotInitialized

To make sure I installed everything correctly: ArcGIS 10.3 (Advanced Concurrent License); ArcGIS 10.3 64-bit backgroundgeoproessing patch; Python 2.7.9 x64

I also adapted the system paths fron ...\bin to \bin64 and from Python27\ArcGIS10.3 to \ArcGISx6410.3

  • I also changed the python\bin path to python\bin64...
    – Franz
    May 25, 2015 at 14:29
  • Did you install 64 bit Python separately? I know with 10.2.1 you shouldn't have to install the 64 bit Python or alter paths at all, the 64bit Background Geoprocessing Patch handles all of that. May 29, 2015 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


10.3 does not use 2.7.9. For this reason I can tell you've installed your own Python. If you install your own, you need to have made sure you've installed numpy, matplotlib and a couple more packages that escape me right now.

Quite honestly, the easiest way to "fix" this is to go back and start from scratch.

  • uninstall BG
  • uninstall Python 2.7.9
  • remove the entries you've created in the path that point to Python
  • just install BG64. Thats it. no pointing of paths, no worrying about getting the right packages. The installer will make sure everything gets laid down in the correct spot.

Right now you're going to play whack-a-mole trying to find what piece you have that is pointing at something incorrectly.

If you absolutely do want to play the game of trying to fix it...its probably an issue with your paths. Instead of adding to your system path, BG uses a .PTH file, generally located here when you have a default install: "C:\Python27\ArcGISx6410.3\Lib\site-packages\DTBGGP64.pth"

Inside the file will be 3 lines:

C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\bin64
C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\ArcPy
C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.3\ArcToolBox\Scripts

If you replicate this workflow with the file and these paths in your site-packages directory, it may lead you in the right direction.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I also read that there is nothing else to do than installing ArcGIS and BG64. So the Python is running but i still can't import arcpy (after uninstalling everything and reinstalling except separate Python - also the PTh-file exists). The error is the same. Afterwards I tried to add another arcpy system variable pointing to the arcpy paths but nothing changed. In earlier version you had to set this variable. Any other suggestions about the arcpy import? Thanks in advance
    – Franz
    Jun 16, 2015 at 9:52

Same problem faced me and I found it was just because that the license server was stopped for some reasons. So just a simple step to restart the license server (ArcGis license server administrator) can solve the problem for me. Hoping it can also works for you.

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