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Problem: ArcMap crashes during Loading Document launch stage

Description

ArcMap unexpectedly exits during the "Loading Document..." stage on startup without returning an error message.

Cause

This can result from an upgrade to Python 2.7.11, which was released on December 12, 2015.

In the newly released version, there is a line in the code that makes the following statement, where 'PyWin_DLLVersionString' now is '2.7-32'.

This statement searches for the registry key, which does not exist:

 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\2.7-32\PythonPath'

Solution or Workaround

With the release of Python 2.7.12, the following procedures are not needed if this version of Python is installed. If however, it is not possible to upgrade to version 2.7.12, and version 2.7.11 is installed, the three workarounds listed below are still valid options.

Warning:     
The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of the operating system. Esri recommends users backup their 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, exercise extreme caution before proceeding.

Workaround 1

  1. Click Start > Run, and type regedit. Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\2.7
  1. Right-click the 2.7 folder and select Rename. Rename the '2.7' folder to '2.7-32'.
  2. When this is complete, the path must look like this:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\2.7-32
  1. Close the Registry Editor and open ArcMap.

Workaround 2

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Uninstall Python 2.7.11 from the system.
  3. Select ArcGIS for Desktop and click Uninstall/Change.
  4. Select Modify.
  5. Click the drop-down arrow next to Python and select the option, X This feature will not be available.
  6. Allow the installer to remove Python from the ArcGIS Desktop installation.
  7. Once the steps above are complete, again select ArcGIS for Desktop, and click Uninstall/Change.
  8. Select Modify.
  9. Click the drop-down arrow next to Python and select the option, This feature will be installed on the local hard drive.
  10. Allow the installer to reinstall Python from the ArcGIS Desktop installation.

Workaround 3

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Uninstall Python 2.7.11.
  3. Uninstall ArcGIS for Desktop.
  4. Reinstall ArcGIS for Desktop.

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