I have been using ArcMap 10.2 for Desktop Advanced, Student Edition since October. Everything had been working well up until a month ago. I had been using the buffer tool with no issues, but suddenly, I began receiving invalid pointer errors. I get the same error with the dissolve tool, but not with anything else, it seems. I use Firefox and have deactivated Internet Explorer. I have also tried deleting the toolbox, as has been suggested to others experiencing the same issue. Nothing has worked. I am not computer savvy, so any clear suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
This is the key:
> I use Firefox and have deactivated Internet Explorer.
Don't do that. ArcGIS Desktop uses IE components to render tool dialogs, display metadata, and many other places int he software. Bring back IE, make it your default browser, and everything should work fine.
It's a real problem for Esri because Desktop is entirely dependent on these components. I'm sure they are working on a way to deal with this as Microsoft seems to be deprecating IE.
I had the same error a few weeks ago when I tried to use a buffer tool. Out of curiosity, I checked some other geoprocessing tools and then I realized that tools like merge and union have the same error. I have tried every single remedy and solution (except uninstall/change option) I could find here and on the gis.stackexchange website, but nothing did not help. In the end, I was left with only one solution.
Control Panel > uninstall / change programs > right click ArcMap > Uninstall/Change >
I choose to repair software and everything is working well now. In my case, this was the only way to fix this issue.