When I have broken data source on in the TOC, when I click on it ArcMAP crashes. I find it very frustrating and have several other users that experience the same thing
what is the broken data source? something like a basemap? a file on a server? Have you tried creating a new dataframe, moving all the good files into it, then deleting/removing the data frame with the broken link in it? that way you don't have to touch the file, if that is what is causing the problem.
If the above solution doesn't work out, try Resetting your ArcGIS application profile
In addition to what Dan asks, what version and patches are you running?
I have an addin Python addin for data inventory and “broken-link” repair. that may help you find and repair the broken link. If nothing else, the tool to list the broken links is handy.
Also, in ArcCatalog, you should be able to right-click on the mxd and choose fix datasets. This creates a new mxd, so it doesn't change the mxd. You have to know what it is you are wanting to change for the tool, but maybe even saving it without changing will help.
Does ArcMap crash instantly when you click on the Broken Datasource? Or does ArcMap "think" for awhile before crashing?
I have had both happen, usually automatically crashes when I click on the link
Is your broken datasource originating from an enterprise SDE database?
Usually not. Usually it is shapefile or feature classes, maybe from people who retired
hah love it... don't blame the retired... isolate the file, you may have files with bad geometry or totally corrupt. As I said, remove the good stuff leaving the bad stuff... then when that is done, you can run a Repair Geometry on the remainder to see if there are any problems. You can run a check geometry, but there is no point if it just tells you that you have problems and need to repair it anyways.
If you know where the file is located just remove the broken layer and add it again new.
can you right click properties and set it from there? Don't click that checkbox that seems to cause issues with users.
Although I've only had mixed results in the past, you can try the mxd utilities
Using the MXD Doctor utility—Help | ArcGIS Desktop
And Using the Document Defragmenter utility—Help | ArcGIS Desktop
Mixed results? That would be a kind way of describing my experience with trying to repair broken MXDs. The Document Defragmenter works when the MXD is intact, but it hasn't solved many problems for me. By the time I resort to using these tools, I feel like I have better odds playing Scratch & Win.
I agree, but if all else fails, it never hurts to try it (on a copy). Once in a while it helps....but I still never win scratch-offs.
Btw, I mentioned them mainly because most don't even know they exist anymore....for the reason you mentioned.
Retrieving data ...