Out of environment space

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Solution or Workaround

Error Message

Executing ARC or various other commands returns the message:

"Out of environment space"


The present DOS memory space allocated by DOS to maintain system environment variables has been exceeded.


WARNING: The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary.

ESRI cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions. Therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.

· DOS environment:

Make sure at least 512 bytes of environment space is specified in the SHELL statement in the CONFIG.SYS file.

If this statement is missing, then add it the following line:

· Windows environment:

Make sure that the WKSP variable is set in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to about 70 characters. This reserves space in the DOS environment for the WINDOWS extensions.

Another alternative is to specify the environment space size for non-WINDOWS applications in the SYSTEM.INI file, found in the WINDOWS directory. Edit this file and find the section called "[NonWindowsApp]". Add or modify the environment size by specifying the line:

· Possible system conflicts

If the above steps do not solve the problem, it is possible that a device driver loaded in CONFIG.SYS for another application is conflicting with a low-level DOS routine used by PC ARC/INFO. It may also be that a program which is being loaded into memory in AUTOEXEC.BAT is causing the conflict.

You may wish to exclude these drivers and TSRs from your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT file and reboot. Replace them one by one until the conflicting driver or TSR has been identified.
See the PATH, SHELL, and SET commands in your DOS Reference Manual for additional information on environment space.

Article ID:000001762

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