ArcMap.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows

Last Published: April 26, 2020

Error Message

ArcMap randomly crashes and Windows returns one of the error messages shown below. Information provided in this article are some general solutions that may provide ways to avoid the errors.

The error messages are:

"The instruction 0x0000000 referenced memory at 0x0000000 which could not be read"

"ArcMap.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows"

"ArcMap has encountered a problem and needs to be closed"


This error can be caused by one or more system conflicts.

Solution or Workaround

The following is a list of most common solutions.
This is a general Windows error that has many causes and many solutions. Contrary to the error message, there is no log file created.
  • Open ArcCatalog first; reopen ArcMap.
  • Verify the current service pack is present for the Windows operating system:
    • Windows NT - SP 6a
    • Windows 2000 - SP4
    • Windows XP - SP1a
  • Verify that a minimum 500 MB of virtual memory is present. The maximum size can be set as high as desired, up to 4GB, or approximately 4072 MB.
     On Windows XP, this can be set to 'System Managed' to let Windows manage the size of the virtual memory.
    For help with changing virtual memory settings, see: How To: Change the operating system's virtual memory settings.
  • Verify the following user variables are set:
    Variable: TMP		Value: <drive>:\TEMP
    Variable: TEMP		Value: <drive>:\TEMP

    How the environment variables are set depends on the operating system.

    For help with setting a system environment variable, see: How To: Edit an environment variable.
  • Download and install the latest Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) available. Refer to the link in Related Information, below.
  • Delete the ArcMap template file, Normal.mxt. It will be recreated the next time ArcMap is started.
    On Windows NT:
    C:\WINNT\Profiles\<user_account>\Application Data\Esri\ArcMap\Templates
    On Windows 2000 & XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user_account>\Application Data\Esri\ArcMap\Templates

  • Verify a default printer is installed. If the default printer is on a network, be sure there is access to that printer.
  • Remove any customizations, add-on scripts, third-party extensions for ArcGIS, and unregister any custom DLL's that may be present. If removing the customizations fixes the problem, then the customizations can be added in one at a time to determine where the problem lies.
     Methods to remove customizations varies depending on the customization type. Contact the vendor or author of the customization to determine the best method. 
  • Make sure the MXD or the referenced data has not been moved or deleted.
  • Double-click an .mxd file in Windows Explorer.
  • Do a clean reinstall of the software.
    The installation requires that you are logged in as an administrator.
  • If the problem still is not resolved, there may be an issue with the operating system. Update Internet Explorer and reapply the latest Windows Service Pack.

Article ID:000004175

  • ArcMap

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