geoprocessing - error message - file already exists?

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05-19-2017 08:21 PM
lesnagy
New Contributor

Hello, I am just beginning to use arcMap.  While using the field calculator for a simple deforestation calculation - after first creating a road buffer and deforested area "clip", I get an error message that file already exists from previous successful calculations. I read that navigating to geoprocessing "options" and enabling "overwrite the outputs of geoprocessing operations" should do the trick.  Unfortunatley, that doesn't work.  Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can possibly rename files, or organize them to avoid having duplicate files with the same name? Thanks - lsanagy

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6 Replies
JayantaPoddar
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Once you check  "overwrite the outputs of geoprocessing operations" in Geoprocessing Options, "the file already exists" will just be a warning (not an error). Now, if you run the tool, it will be executed successfully and the output will be overwritten. Ensure the output file of the previous execution of the tool is not opened in ArcMap or any other application.

DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

make sure any resultant files from previous operations are not present in the table of contents.  This often happens when 'add results of geoprocessing operations to display' is toggled on... which is great, but people often forget to 'remove' any added layer prior to redoing a geoprocessing operation

curtvprice
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Dan, if you rerun the tool, it should just replace the dataset and the layer will disable while the tool is running. There is no need to remove the layer before re-running. 

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DanPatterson_Retired
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I know that is the theory, but I have seen too many cases where this isn't the practice, particularly when a layer's table is open as well.  Hard to nail down which tools and when, but it is a safe go to, to begin with if the flag isn't orange but red.

curtvprice
MVP Esteemed Contributor

I am confused by this question, as field calculator does not create any output datasets, it operates on a dataset in-place.  I don't understand why you would get this error message.

MattGoodman
New Contributor III

Check to make sure there isn't a path discrepancy within the output geodatabase (i.e., consider the feature dataset within the geodatabase). ArcGIS will return this error if your output location is different (but still within the same geodatabase) from another feature class of the same name.