Under the What's new for geodatabases in ArcGIS 10 Esri talks about an optional parameter that allows you to create a 9.3 geodatabase in version 10.

I cannot find any other info.

Any help on how to get to this "optional parameter" working?

  • You can't create a geodatabase in ArcMap, unless you are referring to the ArcCatalog window inside of ArcMap. Did you mean a 9.3 version of an .MXD file? – Britt Wescott Nov 29 '10 at 21:22
  • 2
    @seth- there's a GP tool that can be used to create a GDB. – Derek Swingley Nov 29 '10 at 21:42

It's an optional parameter when using the Create File GDB geoprocessing tool.


The ArcGIS version for the geodatabase to be created.

 CURRENT —Creates a geodatabase compatible with the currently installed version of ArcGIS
 10.0 —Creates a geodatabase compatible with ArcGIS version 10
 9.3 —Creates a geodatabase compatible with ArcGIS version 9.3
 9.2 —Creates a geodatabase compatible with ArcGIS version 9.2
  • yeah it's on the gp tool, NOT on the "create file gdb" context menu in catalog – gotchula Nov 30 '10 at 4:34

Swingley's answer should be the accepted answer, but I'll offer this up as an alternative since I know this to be common: Make a copy of an existing empty 9.3 geodatabase.

At each ArcGIS release, I create an empty file geodatabase and empty personal geodatabase and store them on a network drive and on the USB. Whenever I need new one, I just copy a geodatabase from my stash.

As I was writing this answer, I remembered James Fee's blog post about the same topic back in 2006. It looks like he's actually added links for 9.3 and 10.0 geodatabases to the blog post:


  • Good call. If you've got old GDBs on hand, this is probably the easier solution. I remember James' old blog post but didn't realize he's still updating it. – Derek Swingley Nov 30 '10 at 18:11

There's a geoprocessing tool with a version option:


  • Cheers for that. – om_henners Apr 1 '11 at 2:17

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