Desperate Student with Broken data connection in a local installation

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12-05-2019 04:16 PM
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New Contributor

Hi. I'm a BSc Geography student. I'm just starting to use the software on my course and I've bought a student licence and downloaded and installed 10.7.1 on my laptop and I have a .mxd file from my course and the data files etc in the same folder. When I drag the .mxd from ArcCatalog to ArcMap, I can see folders in a tree from the .mxd but no map in the viewing pane. Dragging .shp files from the folder onto the tree is activating the selection checkbox on the folder in the tree and displaying a layer in the view window. Other folders in the tree open a 'Connect data source' dialog when clicked on. I can't see what I need to do to connect ArcMap to the data. I think I may be missing a step in setting up a local installation. Any and all advice gratefully received. Thanks

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

First, avoid doing the drag thing.  

Start arcmap and "open" a project.  If your data and the mxd are located in the same folder path, then the data files should load automatically in the table of contents.

If they don't, then right-click on one of the layers and select 'data', 'repair data' (can't remember exactly).  With any luck, this will repair all the other files.

When saving a project, make sure you have "relative paths" as your default option, so that your data links are saved with paths "relative" to the location of the mxd.

On that last note... I always used to store my data in a folder inside the folder where the mxd was located and not in some other location... makes making projects "transportable" much easier.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

First, avoid doing the drag thing.  

Start arcmap and "open" a project.  If your data and the mxd are located in the same folder path, then the data files should load automatically in the table of contents.

If they don't, then right-click on one of the layers and select 'data', 'repair data' (can't remember exactly).  With any luck, this will repair all the other files.

When saving a project, make sure you have "relative paths" as your default option, so that your data links are saved with paths "relative" to the location of the mxd.

On that last note... I always used to store my data in a folder inside the folder where the mxd was located and not in some other location... makes making projects "transportable" much easier.

View solution in original post

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New Contributor

Thank you so much...it's hard when you don't know what you don't know. I think I may have not saved relative paths when I copied the data. I've been able to map the data now so I'm good. Thanks again.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

Glad it worked Ann-Marie

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