Error: Unknown System Format

Error Message

When attempting to add a theme, the progress bar reaches 18% reading out of the $HOME directory, and then the following error message occurs:

Unknown System Format


The $HOME directory that ArcView is trying to read from contains "empty" shapefiles. An empty shapefile will have .shp and .shx file sizes of around 100 bytes.

Solution or Workaround

Look for any "empty" shapefiles (around 100 bytes in size) and move them into another directory or delete them entirely.