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I often work with ModelBuilder and Models that have previously worked seem to become unstable or develop issues after lots of editing. They return error messages for parts of the model that did not previously return errors.

A solution often recommended is to simply copy and paste the contents of the model into a new empty model.

Does anyone have expertise or advice to share that can explain why this fixes models and if this is likely to be a permanent fix?

I am developing a set of models that I will be sharing and I need them to be robust enough that they work for the model users.

One of the reasons I am asking this is that often when contacting ESRI support they will focus entirely on the reported error messages within ModelBuilder even when you tell them the Model has previously worked OK, or that it runs OK on a different computer or from the Edit vs open window. It seems to me that very often the error messages returned by models are of no use at all, especially when the problem for example is fixed by copying and pasting into a new empty model. It could just be that these error messages are a symptom of a model that is becoming unstable?

Any thoughts or advice would be very gratefully received.

  • Does the "bad" model run if you run it in a new session of ArcGIS? – Aaron Feb 17 '14 at 15:34
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    no, the model problems / error are consistent between different ArcGIS sessions, and after rebooting the PC – user21053 Feb 17 '14 at 15:42
  • Also, are you running the models via a dialogue box (i.e. with defined parameters) or directly from ModelBuilder? – Aaron Feb 17 '14 at 15:53
  • The models are always run from the Catalog Tree in ArcCatalog, so the model is selected and then either right click and "edit" or "open". So yes with "open" they are opened with the dialogue box and parameters set. – user21053 Feb 17 '14 at 16:01
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    I have mentioned this issue before in previous comments/answers, but anecdotally I can say that there doesn't seem to be an answer to this. After repeated use/changing parameters over a period of time, the model simply becomes what I like to call "tired". It was the final straw which pushed me into Python scripting completely. – Cindy Jayakumar Feb 18 '14 at 9:41

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