I have MXDs that open in 9.3, but not in 10.2. The rasters were initially stored in SDE, but have been moved to another location. The MXDs should still open with broken data links for the rasters. What is causing the MXDs to open in 9.3, but not in 10.2? When attempting to use 10.2, the MXD either crashes or attempts to open the MXD until Task Manager forces ArcMap to close. Even more perplexing is the rasters within the 9.3 MXDs point to the initial SDE connection and the rasters display. How can the 9.3 rasters display after the have been moved from the SDE connection?
I know this is an old thread, but I am having exactly the same problem. I have MXDs (with broken links) that previously opened in 9.3, but open very slowly in 10.2. MXD Doctor does not help (it takes a long time to examine the file as well). I have one mxd that will not open at all now and I need it.
Did you ever find a solution to this problem?
This is common and I cannot for sure cite the reason but I think it is because new versions of ArcGIS are not 100% compatible with old MXD's
There are three things you can do that typically solve the issue. Even if you save an MXD with a new version it still can be an issue.
Try running MXD doctor on the MXD's. when you run it have it create new MXD's
This typically works.
Create brand new MXD's from the ground up. Least desirable as it consumes a lot of time.
On the other hand you can also create a new mxd by grouping all your features and then saving the group as a Layer file. Then from a blank new session paste the layer files.
However, this is what I do and it works.
From your MXD go to the layout view. Select all the elements and then COPY.
Start a new session of ArcGIS. Go to the layout view. Grab the data frame and move it off to the side. Resize the paper as to what you want and paste the copied elements. Save the MXD.
To me this is best as it will not only transfer your features, but it will transfer your labels and you layout.
Unfortunately, MXD Doctor has not worked on the slow opening files and does not work on the file I cannot open. It just spins and spins. The issue is with the broken links. I can't get into the file to update them. I can't even get properties from the mxd using Catalog.
I had such issues with MXD created with 10.1 and it does not open in 10.3. What I have done:
1. disable access to data, referenced in MXD (make inaccessible SDE, GDB, etc)
2. then MXD opend with newer ArcGIS version
3. set data source to all layers and save with "Save As..." to new MXD version
Then everything works ok in new MXD.