My layers are constantly breaking their links during my work session.

  • I am working on a map and run a tool
  • With the map still open, the layer suddenly changes to the red exclamation mark, indicating the link has been broken
  • With the map still open, I repair the data source (right click -> repair)
  • This works and the layer IS functional again. Continue working
  • With the map still open, the layer suddenly changes again to the red exclamation mark


  1. I open map and repair the data sources
  2. I run the raster calculator. It adds the result to the table of contents, but does not display on the map.
  3. Now all of the other feature classes have lost connectivity (after tool ran)
  4. I repair data sources again. Now the results from the raster calculator show on the map
  5. I run kernel density.
  6. A few seconds BEFORE the tool completes, all other layers lose their connection

Some notes:

  • During all of this, I have NOT closed and reopened the map
  • During all of this, I have NOT added any new layers or changed data sources
  • Closing and reopening the map does not help, the issue above persists
  • The data source for the layers are in a file geodatabase stored on a department drive (not local).
  • The broken link seems to happen during/after running tools. I left the map open for a while (~20 min) without doing anything the data links seem don't have the red exclamation mark yet.
  • Relative paths are enabled


  • ArcMap 10.5.1

I suspect it has something to do with the drive where the data stored. Perhaps the network connection to the drive is not strong and when it drops for a moment, the connection breaks.

How can I check if this the issue though?

Is it possible to have ArcMap automatically fix the connection since the data source has not changed?

  • 1
    As a rule, it is unwise to perform write operations on a file geodatabase on a network drive -- Under ideal conditions, the performance is half of using a local device. A network connection so poor that it occasionally cuts out is absolutely the worst possible condition. There's little way to make ArcGIS trust a device that has cut out, so I think your best solution would be to avoid the editing on a remote device entirely. – Vince Dec 5 '19 at 19:37

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