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Error: A Workstation ArcInfo or GRID command returns the fatal error: Directory full (INFDEF)

Error Message

Processing coverages or grids returns the following error message:

"Fatal Error: (INFDEF) directory full"

The two most common situations in which ArcInfo Workstation, GRID or INFO commands generate this error are:

- The command outputs a new grid, coverages or INFO file.

- An ArcInfo Workstation or GRID command modifies an existing coverage feature, grid's structure or INFO file. In this situation, the software usually creates a copy of the input coverage, grid or INFO file. It modifies the copy. Then it deletes the original and renames the copy to replace the original. The INFO file limit may be exceeded when both the original and the copy exist.

Cause

The INFDEF fatal error occurs when the software exceeds the allowed number of files in a single INFO directory. This limit includes INFO programs, reports, and special forms. It also includes the multiple INFO files associated with each coverage and grid stored in the ArcInfo workspace containing the INFO directory.

A version 7 INFO directory (created using ArcInfo Workstation version 7.0 or later) can hold up to 10,000 INFO files. This limitation is due to the INFO internal file naming convention. In a version 7 workspace, the numbers used to name internal INFO files range from 0000 to 9999. So, there can be at most 10,000 INFO files in a single INFO directory. This limits the total number of coverage and grids that can be stored in a single version 7 ArcInfo workspace.

A pre-7 version workspace allows only 3 digits to be included in the INFO internal file names. This limits the number of INFO files in a pre-7 version INFO directory to 1,000.

When you don't know if the ArcInfo workspace is a pre-7 or a 7 version workspace, use the TABLES or the INFO DIRECTORY command to see the internal INFO file names in the current workspace. Both commands lists the internal INFO file names. A pre-7 version workspace will have only 3 digits included in the file names listed in the INTERNAL NAME column. A version 7 workspace will have 4 digits in the file names listed in the INTERNAL NAME column.

Arc: w
Current location: d:\dixie\axplay\04dec\0calls
Arc: tables
Tables: DIRECTORY
TYPE NAME INTERNAL NAME NO. RECS LENGTH EXTERNL
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arc: tables
Copyright (C) 1982-2004 Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.
All rights reserved.
TABLES 9.0 (Fri Mar 5 16:09:26 PST 2004)

Tables: DIRECTORY
TYPE NAME INTERNAL NAME NO. RECS LENGTH EXTERNL
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DF CIRCLES.TIC ARC0000DAT 8 20 XX
DF CIRCLES.BND ARC0001DAT 1 32 XX
DF CIRCLES.PAT ARC0002DAT 10 30 XX
DF CIRCLES.LUT2 ARC0003DAT 6 10
DF STATESDP.TIC ARC0004DAT 10 20 XX
DF STATESDP.TATNAME ARC0005DAT 49 8 XX
DF STATESDP.PAT ARC0006DAT 52 156 XX
DF STATESDP.BND ARC0007DAT 1 32 XX
DF STATESDP.APT ARC0008DAT 52 74
DF STATESDP.TATLENGTH ARC0009DAT 146 376 XX
DF STATESDP.AAT ARC0010DAT 151 36 XX
DF TEST.DAT ARC0011DAT 0 152
Tables: d

Solution or Workaround

Consider the following:

  • If processing coverages in a pre-7 version ArcInfo workspace, consider using the ARC CONVERTWORKSPACE command to change the workspace to a version 7 style workspace. This will increase the allowed number of INFO file in the workspace from 1,000 to 10,000.
  • Before running a Workstation ArcInfo process that creates new INFO files, make sure the process will not exceed the 1,000 or 10,000 INFO file limitation per workspace.
  • If the limit has been reached or is likely to be reached, use the ARC CREATEWORKSPACE command to create a new ArcInfo workspace. Use the ARC COPY command to copy the coverages and/or grid to be processed to the new workspace. Then in the new workspace, run the command that initially caused the (INFDEF) error against the copied coverage.
  • To avoid encountering this error again, consider dividing the coverages in the original workspace among two or more Arc Info workspaces. Otherwise, this error will likely happen again since the INFO file is at or near the limit per workspace.