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Why could .mxd with no layers store SDE database connections?

Question asked by fimpe001 on Sep 30, 2015
Latest reply on Oct 8, 2019 by VMania

I have an .mxd with one dataframe that used to contained layers with data source being Oracle 11g, 10.3 Geodatabase. Database credentials were not stored in those layers/.sde connections. As expected the user was prompted to enter credentials upon opening the mxd.


Now I remove all the layers, and the user is still prompted for credentials upon opening the .mxd file. This is unexpected behavior and I need to understand why this is happening (have many such .mxd files and it's a huge problem when the .mxd's actually do store passwords.)


I stripped everything I can find from the .mxd (toolbars, layout elements, etc.). Also have run .mxd Doctor and Defrangementer. The only way to avoid the prompt for credentials is to remove the dataframe. The .mxd was created in ArcMap 10.1, using ArcMap 10.3 instead seems to make no difference.


Any clues are greatly appreciated. Thanks, Tobias