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The picture below shows a folder being created while browsing for the location to put output data from the Buffer tool.
ArcGIS will allow the new folder to be specified as the location of the output data. However, the geoprocessing tool will fail.
ArcMap does not refresh before attempting to put data in folders created while browsing. Therefore ArcMap does not recognize the existence of folders create this way.
The best practice is to create the folder using the Create Folder tool (Data Management Tools > Workspace) instead of making folders as you browse for input or output data.