Ask A Cartographer

dragging layers from one mxd to another works sometime and not others

April 01 2010 | 1 comment
Categories: ArcGIS Methods


I drag layers from one mxd to another on a daily basis and I'd say 60% of the time it works, but the other 40% for some reason I get the little, red exclamation point and ArcMap can't find the source of the data. Do you know why this happens and if there is anything I can do to avoid this from happening in the future.


Mapping Center Answer:

If you are dragging over layers that connect to data on a network drive, then it might be the case that the network connection is lost when you add the layer to a different ArcMap document. If you are dragging over layers that are on a local dribe, it is likely that this problem does not occur. If you could determine whether the red exclamation point appears only in the instances that you are connected to data over the network, this would confirm our suspicion.  If not, then we suggest you contract ESRI Technical Support for further help.  Here is the direct link for submitting a support request to ESRI Support Services:

Another idea posted by Aileen Buckley on Apr 5 2010 3:26PM
Here is another solution you can use to try and isolate the problem - close all ArcGIS Desktop applications such as ArcMap or ArcCatalog > Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\(User Profile folder)\Application Data (you may have to turn on hidden files) > Rename the ESRI folder to 'ESRI_old' > Open ArcMap and try to reproduce the issue.

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