I get the error "There was an error exporting the layer. Invalid function arguments. FDO error: -2147024894 [GDB_SystemCatalog]" when trying to export data from one of my feature classes in my geodatabase in ArcMap:

enter image description here

Additionally, I can no longer see my feature datasets in ArcCatalog as the gdb icon has become a folder icon. The gdb folder appears to be empty although I can still see files in it through windows explorer and I can see the data in the attribute tables through my mxd.

This also means I can't import any more data to the database.

Has anyone seen this type of problem before?

  • 1
    Please always include error messages as text in the body of your question. Your file geodatabase has probably been corrupted by a filsystem error. Since the internal catalog has been compromised, I'm afraid you'll probably need to recover the contents from backup. If you don't have a recent backup, Tech Support may be able to help you recover something.
    – Vince
    Apr 6, 2016 at 16:07
  • 1
    In recent versions of ArcGIS there is a Recover File Geodatabase tool in the File Geodatabase toolbox. You might also try geonet.esri.com/thread/26108
    – John
    Apr 6, 2016 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


As commented by @johns you could try using the Recover File Geodatabase tool which:

Recovers data from a file geodatabase that has become corrupt.

but be aware that it:

can only recover simple feature classes and tables. Complex data and relationships will not be recovered.


I had a similar error message, "Failed to connect to database" to all the file geodatabases on one drive. Turns out the drive was completely full so none of the geodatabases could be opened. After clearing out space, the problem was resolved.

I had similar errors when I was trying to synchronize the contents of a file geodatabase using Dropbox. The file geodatabase ended up getting corrupted.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.