I have a personal geodatabase - based on an MS Access .mdb file - from which I cannot delete an old feature class.

The tables relating to the feature class have been deleted from the .mdb, but the feature class remains visible as part of the geodatabase in ArcCatalog 9.3.

I cannot delete it through ArcToolbox, nor through ArcCatalog, either by right-clicking, or selecting the feature class and choosing the 'delete' button.

I receive this error message:

'Failed to delete selected object(s) The application is not licensed to perform this operation The table was not found. The Microsoft Jet database engine cannot find the input table or query 'postcodes_Project'. Make sure it exists and that its name is spelled correctly.'

I understand that the program is struggling as a result of the tables being missing from the database, but is there anything I can do to delete it permanently?

  • 3
    Try opening the database using Access and deleting the geometry there. Feb 29, 2012 at 15:00
  • Thanks Jason - I thought I'd been through the .mdb tables and deleted everything, but there were a few entries I'd missed. Thanks for your help :)
    – the_bonze
    Feb 29, 2012 at 15:21
  • Glad to help out! Feb 29, 2012 at 15:23
  • Answer has been posted below... Feb 29, 2012 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


Try opening the database using Access and deleting the geometry there. It's easy to miss a table here and there if you are deleting things by hand; that particular error message has gotten me on a number of occasions.


You could try sending it to "Export XML Workspace Document", exclude that feature you wanted to delete and then return to it and import it to a new Personal Geodatabase.

  • Hi Probert - no I haven't tried that, as Jason's suggestion did the trick. I'll bear it in mind in future though - thank you!
    – the_bonze
    Feb 29, 2012 at 15:42

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