I have a corrupt Shapefile. But, All other files are still good. How can I create or generate a Shapefile from only the ".shx .prj .mnd .drw .dbf"?

  • What GIS software are you using?
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 5, 2016 at 20:05
  • 6
    If the .shp is lost, you have no geometry to repair.
    – Vince
    Nov 5, 2016 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


Esri provides a general step by step guide to "repair a corrupt shapefile" here

Use the Check Geometry tool. Problems with the data are reported while the tool is executing or in the output table. View the output table after execution.

An empty table indicates that the tool found no bad geometry.

If bad geometry is reported, use the Repair Geometry tool.

Try using the Repair Geometry tool.

Attempt to copy the data to a geodatabase. Afterward, also try copying it back to a new shapefile.

Try selecting all or a subset of the features and export the selected features to a new shapefile or feature class.

If the data is on a network drive, copy it to a local drive. If the data is on a local drive, try copying it to the root of the primary drive, for example, C:.

Check for illegal field names in the attribute table.

Field names can only have 10 characters. Field names must start with a letter.

Field names must not contain any spaces or special characters, except for the underscore character.

File names must not contain any special characters, except for the underscore character. Generally speaking, spaces in shapefile names work in ArcGIS for Desktop; however, for testing purposes, rename the shapefile so it has no spaces.

Remove all index (spatial, attribute, and geocoding) and metadata files in Windows Explorer. That is, remove all files except .shp, .dbf, and .shx. Verify that a copy of each of these files has been made before removing them.

Try opening the shapefile on another computer.

Try opening the shapefile in another software application—preferably ArcView GIS 3.x.

Try bringing the data into another feature class either by using the simple data loader or by copying and pasting in an edit session.

If the data is still not repaired, and the first two suggestions above reported the feature IDs of the bad records, try manually removing them in an editing session.

Try bringing the .dbf part of the shapefile into Microsoft Excel and resaving it as a dBASE 4 file. Do not make any other changes to the file.

Try making a field calculation in ArcGIS for Desktop or ArcView GIS 3.x using the field calculator. The field calculator may stop on the corrupt record.


The .dbf file contains the attribute table for the shapefile. If the attribute table contains X/Y coordinates, you can recreate a point shapefile from the .dbf file alone.

If not, you can use this method to import the table without any geometry.

Make a copy of the .dbf file, and open the copy in Excel. Check to see if any of the attributes contains coordinates.

Save as... > Save as type: CSV (comma delimited)

Back in QGIS, Add delimited text layer enter image description here

In the dropdown menus next to X field and Y field, choose the relevant columns. Remember that Y = latitude and X = longitude.

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