After installing ArcGIS 9.3.1 SP2, there are issues opening map documents when clicking on them

Blog Post created by geonetadmin on Jul 21, 2010
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After installing Service Pack 2 for ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1, opening a map document from Windows Explorer, ArcCatalog, Windows Desktop, Windows Recent Documents, or the Web does not open it in a new ArcMap session. That is, if you open an existing map document, ArcMap opens as expected. However, if you now open another map document, it will not start a new instance of ArcMap. Instead, the map document is sent to the existing instance.

This is a known issue. For updates on the status, you can use bug number NIM059009. Esri is working on a permanent solution to this issue. In the meantime, please use the following workaround:

  1. Run C:Program FilesCommon FilesArcGISbinArcGISFileHandler.exe.
  2. Click OK to close the ArcGIS File Handler application.

    Map documents should now open correctly.

Esri apologizes for any inconveniece this may have caused you.

- Jeff M., Desktop Development Lead - User Advocacy Group, Esri Support Services