I have been trying to create a buffer of 12 nautical miles for the Indoensia shapefile which I have, and this is the fourth time it failed. The error that I am getting is 'internal processing failure'. It is taking 7 to 8 hours to run and then it fails! There are no topological errors in the shapefile (I checked on that specifically). I don't know what is causing the failure. I have also tried creating the buffer without dissolving it. It ran successfully but actually the output could not be drawn, which means that it was actually not done successfully! Now, I have split the shapefile and trying to create the buffers separately, then will merge them, and then try dissolve. Don't know if this will work too. Anyone has faced this? Any ideas or solutions?
run check geometry tool even if you think the file is fine.
check the size of the file... I suspect it is way to big to be done in one pass, your idea of splitting it into manageable bits and merging the result will more likely work...unless the merged file is too big.
try everything in a geodatabase to overcome the size limitation
I do know that Indonesia has a v large number of islands...
Are you doing this in geographic coordinates and using a geodesic distance? Or in projected coordinates and using a planar distance.
If you are going to cut your dataset up into multiple pieces, you could create a fishnet grid :
Data Management / Feature Class / Create Fishnet, then use the Split tool in Analysis Tools / Extract.
You don't say what version you are using.