Freshly installed ArcGIS desktop v10.4 over v10.3 ArcMap crashes (sometimes) when opening a 10.3 MXD. I updated 2 machines from 10.3 to 10.4. One machine is crashing when trying to open the MXD's we have been using without problems up to now. The thing is, it only crashes when opening some of the MXD's, not all.

On the 2nd machine...no problems at all. These machines are identical.


  • Full uninstall and reinstall of Arc 10.4 would be the obvious answer...
    – Matt
    Jun 30 '16 at 12:40
  • That was the first thing we tried. Initial install was on top of v10.3 2nd install was after REMOVAL of 10.4 and then a fresh install. No help.
    – GIS Puke
    Jun 30 '16 at 13:48
  • If you run categories.exe (in same folder as arcmap.exe), does it show any 3rd party extensions installed? If so, try removing those. Jun 30 '16 at 17:57

Figured it out everyone. As it turns out ESRI does already know about this problem. Have a look at this article: http://support.esri.com/technical-article/000013243

At version 10.4 - no more support for SQL Server 2008. ESRI tells me Microsoft is not willing to do anything to make it better. They are done with 2008.

Thanks everyone!


A standard ESRI tech support response would be to rename the templates et al folder (C:\Users\your user name here\AppData\Roaming\ESRI to see if that fixes it. If it does but you have customizations you don't want to redo, you could get rid of the new folder and rename your old back to the original, and then try renaming individual templates starting with the ArcCatalog.gx file. One upgrade out of the many I have done over the years on many machines failed but replacing the gx worked.

They might also suggest renaming the ESRI folder in the registry but if you haven't done such before I'd wait to so that with an ESRI tech person. They can share your screen with you and guide you in the process.

  • GX file...good idea. I will give that a shot. Registry...Yea, I'll wait until I have ESRI on the line for that one. thanks
    – GIS Puke
    Jun 30 '16 at 13:50
  • ArcCatalog GX file and ArcMap Template - no help.
    – GIS Puke
    Jun 30 '16 at 14:01

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