2.8 GB Tif-Raster Analysis Errors all the time in

Discussion created by ephyrlove on Jul 12, 2012
I am trying to do a few Spatial Analyst tasks using annual composites of night lights around the globe.  These are ~2.8GB tif files.  One such task that seems imposible thus far is Extracting a Sample.  My Python Script is a  follows:
>>> import arcpy
>>> from arcpy.sa import *
>>> arcpy.env.workspace = r'C:\Users\Admin.LoveLeePC\Documents\ArcGIS\Default.gdb'
>>> Sample('ChngTmsLSPop1.tif','sampleLocation',r'C:\Users\Admin.LoveLeePC\Documents\ArcGIS\FinalNoLightStats\sample',"NEAREST")
This particular run gave the error:
Runtime error <class 'arcgisscripting.ExecuteError'>: ERROR 010070: Raster read error. MSEEK: No error ERROR 010067: Error in executing grid expression. Failed to execute (Sample).

This error came after the program maxed out one of the cores on my core 2 quad CPU for about 5 hours...  The second I clicked the GUI of the program, it through this error.  It seems adding any threads just shuts down the app in a second...

I know Arc is single threaded, but is there some way (maybe multiprocessing controls in Python) to take advantage of the rest of my CPU?

Am I crazy to think that the size of this raster is the issue?  Is this how the Sample tool is meant to work?

Even when I sample much smaller areas, my computer crashes pretty quick.  I have similar experiences with map algebra, and especially ZonalStatisticsAsTable.

Finally, I am hesitant to believe what I am saying since I do have a quad core with 8 GB of DR3 RAM, a very nice media-PC graphics card, etc.

Can someone please explain this to me???