I'm sure there must be a simple reason for this but I can't seem to be able to import a shp file or a feature class from another file or sde geodatabase into a Feature Dataset without getting an error. The feature classes come in fine if I don't don't try to import them into a Feature Dataset. The feature dataset definitely has the same projection as the feature classes I'm trying to import so I don't think that's the problem. The Error I get is ERROR 000210 and just says Failed to convert and cannot create output and Failed to execute (CopyFeatures).

Any ideas what I may be doing wrong here. Seems like something so simple. I'm trying to use the Feature Datasets to better organize my data which I think is there purpose.

As suggested by Matt below, I added a new Idea to the ArcGIS Ideas site. Here is the link to that, so please promote this up if you agree a better error message is needed here:


6 Answers 6


I have had problems importing feature classes into a feature dataset if there is another feature class anywhere else in the geodatabase with the same name, even if it is not in the same feature dataset. I do not remember the error I got and whether it was apparent to me at the time, but if nothing else is working so far that is one more thing you could check.


I was having the same issue and it turned out that my feature dataset was located in a personal geodatabase that had reached its size limit and that was causing the problem.


Try using Feature Class To Feature Class instead of Copy Features. The same coordinate system is not the same thing as identical; also see ArcCatalog says spatial references don't match between feature dataset and feature class with same coordinate system?

Feature Class To Feature Class is more thorough than copy and will automatically take care of coordinate transformation, if needed, as well as transfer attribute domains and some other goodies.


I had this error many times, and the only way around it, I found, was to use code to create the feature datasets and feature classes in arcpy

It's usage is like this:

arcpy.CreateFeatureDataset_management(workspacePath, fcName, sr)  

Where workspace path is obviously the path to your local fgdb, fcName is the feature dataset and sr the projection info. It's so easy, and cured ERROR 000210 straight away.

sr = "GEOGCS[\"GCS_WGS_1984\",DATUM[\"D_WGS_1984\",SPHEROID[\"WGS_1984

Open ArcCatalog or windows explorer and navigate to the folder that contains your geodatabase that you want feature classes/anything else to import to, and go to the properties, click on security table and select the current user and grant it full permissions,

Now retry importing the feature class and it shall work, remember all feature classes in a feature data-sets should be in the same coordinate system


This solved the exact same issue for me:

Right click on geodatabase > Administration > Compact Database

After this was able to copy and paste and import into the Geodatabase/Feature Dataset that was giving me the 000210 error.

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