Correct the ArcGIS "Failed to execute" error message

In ArcGIS, you may see this error message in red text in the tool dialog box while you're using a geoprocessing tool in ArcToolbox or running a script in ModelBuilder. The most common reason for a tool process to fail is that you have spaces in the path to the folder where the output file will be written, particularly when working with raster datasets or using the Spatial Analyst Extension.

For example, if you are using the "Mosaic to New Raster" tool, the path c:\temp is acceptable, but c:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents is not. If you are using a tool that temporarily writes files to a location during processing, you may also need to make sure the temporary folder location does not have spaces in the path.

To change the scratch workspace for ArcGIS geoprocessing:

  1. Open ArcMap.
  2. From the Tools menu, select Geoprocessing/Environments.
  3. Expand the Workspace menu. Next to "Scratch Workspace", click the Open Folder icon.
  4. Navigate to a directory location without spaces in the pathway, and then click Add.
  5. In the "Environment Settings" window, click OK.

You might also encounter problems with the filename length. When using some ArcGIS scripts, the output raster will have the same name as the associated dbf file but without the .dbf extension. This means you will need to limit your dbf name to 13 characters.

This is document axan in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-02-14 12:25:28.

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