Near (Error: 999999) Failed to execute (near)

Discussion created by ghwest11 on Apr 26, 2013
Latest reply on Apr 26, 2013 by ghwest11
I have a shapefile of roughly 1.3 million points, and I am trying to calculate the distance to the closest of 860 polygons (also shapefile) for each, using the Near tool. I ran a Near calculation and continue to get this error message that it failed to execute the function. I tried doing it again using the "Repair Geometry" tool before the "Near" tool. It repaired my geometry in about 15 minutes. After repairing, it took much longer for the operation to kick back an error message, but eventually it gave me the same one. What are the probable causes of this issue and how can I work around it? Do I need to split up my data? I'm running a 2.8 GHz processor and 8 GB RAM.

A secondary question:
My point data set are geocoded addresses of students given in decimal degrees format. The data came to me from Dun & Bradstreet, though I had nothing to do with the data acquisition. How can I know what geographic reference system these decimal degree coordinates come in for when I create a my shapefile from XY data? At this point, I have them as simply NAD83. Does anybody know how I can "know" the reference system or what kind of assumptions I should make?