Error: Unable to create FAT file ***" or "Data Set empty"

Error Message

When saving data from Windows 95/98 to an NT server, one of the following errors is returned:

"Unable to create FAT file ***"
"Data Set empty"


Known limit when storing and accessing files between different operating systems.

Solution or Workaround

There are 3 known options to avoid these errors.

  • Option 1. KILL local themes and DEFTHM based on network names.

    a. Access files off the server and do data management locally. After you have made changes, clean or build the coverage on the local machine.
    b. Use Windows Explorer or another file management tool to move the data from the local drive to the network.

    You may want to give it a name so you know that it is on the network, for example if the network drive is "l" then name it ltrees, lparcel, lroads, etc.

    c. DEFTHM based on the network coverage location.
    d. KILL the theme that is associated with the local machine.
    This will eliminate numerous failures at theme recovery if users have multiple site licenses.
  • Option 2. Create a standard naming convention and store each coverage in its own folder.

    a. If you have all of the information for a coverage in a single folder, copy the entire folder to the user's hard drive.
    b. Use a naming convention that can be duplicated by all users of the data. For example, if you have a folder on the network named Jamestown, which has all of the coverages associated with that part of the drawing, then you can place this folder at C:\jamestown.
    c. As a Windows 95 or 98 user, perform all editing and changes to the coverage(s) on the local drive.
    d. Place the entire folder back on to the network.
    e. Users will not have to do a theme recovery. As long as you have the themes defined for instance c:\jamestown, the next user can put the folder on c:\Jamestown, and the definition will not be changed.
  • Option 3. Save between similar platforms.