Troubleshooting ArcGIS Pro like an Esri Canada Support Analyst: Part 1

November 27, 2019 Céline Doré

In Support, we’re noticing that more users are making the move from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. This is great because Pro is a multiple-threaded 64-bit application, designed to help you work faster as you visualize your data using 2D/3D, run geoprocessing tools and share your work. Although, as every GIS professional knows, at some point, you may run into some issues when working with the application. The following article will be a 2-part series on steps that we in Technical Support use to troubleshoot problems with Pro. This blog will focus on troubleshooting performance, crashes and data issues.

Performance

A performance problem can be slow rendering of features in your display, or an untimely responsiveness of the user interface where the commands on the ribbon, context menus or your panes are greyed out.

A good place to start troubleshooting is to make sure that your machine meets the minimum system requirement.  This can be easily checked through the CanYouRunIt utility.  This utility provides a one-click solution that evaluates your computer's hardware and system software to determine how well it meets the minimum and recommended requirements for ArcGIS Pro.

If your computer meets the system requirements, your next step should be making sure that your drivers are up to date.  Drivers are software packages that allow hardware within a machine to communicate with other pieces of hardware and the operating system. Drivers are crucial for compatibility and security reasons and should be kept up to date.  We recommend that drivers are downloaded from the manufacture’s website to ensure that you are downloading the latest one. 

You can find out the driver you need by opening Device Manager > Display adaptors.  This will list which graphics card you are working with.  For running GIS processes, it is best to have a dedicated GPU.

Within the ArcGIS Pro application, you can improve display lag while navigating through the map through Project > Options > Display tab.  You can change the rendering engine from DirectX to OpenGL.   NVIDIA and AMD both do a good job of supporting OpenGL and DirectX rendering frameworks. Sometimes a GPU and its drivers might do a better job of rendering OpenGL than DirectX and vice-versa.   There is no right answer, you will have to test both to determine which rendering engine works best with your graphics card. You can also explore the other display options to help control how your maps are rendered and affect the quality and performance of drawing by reading here.

To help track your performance in ArcGIS Pro, we have a powerful extension called PerfMon or Performance Monitor.

PerfMon allows you to log how long a process takes to complete in a Project.  It installs as a simple add-in and can be run from within the client or from the command line.

The add-in may point you to the dataset(s) that is causing your map to render slowly.  You can then consider using Change the visibility range for “out beyond” through the Layer Properties and/or reducing or simplify the geometries being rendered (using geoprocessing tools such as Generalize).

I think we have exhausted discussing performance Issues, let’s switch gears and discuss data problems.

Data

When bad data happens to good users. I am sure everyone in their career has experienced some form of issue specific to their data. You may discover the data corruption when attempting to add data to a project, panning/zooming, editing and/or running geoprocessing tools.

To start troubleshooting a data issue, in Support, we tend to follow the subsequent steps (of course, different analysts may go about it a different way):

  • Add the data to a new project. If you no longer experience the issue, great! But that may mean that your other project is corrupt. 
  • Move the data to a different location. Maybe your network is experiencing issues causing the data to crash. 
  • Test another dataset. If you are running a geoprocessing tool, make sure that the tool is not failing for another reason. 

So, you’ve gone through all the isolation testing and you know that your data is corrupt – how do you fix it?

  • For geometry errors, check geometry and repair geometry to fix these geometry issues.

  • Export your data to a new feature class and/or shapefile. Corrupt elements should not be exported.
  • Copy and paste features from the corrupt dataset to a new feature class. Copy few elements at a time to isolate problematic features. This can be a tedious process.

If all the above fails, your data may not be recoverable – sorry! Let’s now focus on the last section of our troubleshooting document: crashes.

Crash

At some point in your GIS career, you will receive this error message:

It allows you to send the report to Esri, but unfortunately, in Esri Canada Technical Support, we do not receive it.  If you do not send it, it will create a .dmp file found here:

  • C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\ESRI\ErrorReports

You can run the dump file through DebugDiag Analysis to view what dll your software is crashing on.  If you do not understand the file, that is fine, send it to us and we will analyze it for you. 

For software crashes, you can also create a new user.config file. This file stores personalized preferences such as geoprocessing, search, and mapping properties. It can become corrupt. To recreate, please:

  1. Navigate to:
    C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Local\ESRI\ArcGISPro.exe_StrongName_<STRONGNAME>\<VERSION>
  2. Delete the user.config file and start ArcGIS Pro

If that does not solve the crash, you can reset your ArcGIS pro application profile (much like renaming the Esri folder for ArcMap) by renaming the ArcGIS Pro folder:

  1. Navigate to the following path: C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\
  2. Rename the ArcGIS Pro folder (for example, to ArcGIS Pro_Old)
  3. Start ArcGIS Pro.

Still encountering a crash?  Consider repairing your application from Add or Remove Programs:

And if the repair does not work, uninstall the application completely and start with a fresh new install. 

If All Fails

Please contact us in Technical Support!

  • We’re happy to help!
  • Open from 8am-8pm EST
  • Phone us 1-877-441-0337 or email support@esri.ca

 

Credited for helping with the content: Bradley Thompson & Josphat Mutunga

About the Author

Céline Doré

Céline Doré is a Senior Support Consultant for Esri Canada’s Desktop Support team. She has over 15 years of experience working with ArcGIS for Desktop and extensions, ArcGIS Online and apps. She enjoys working with clients to help them answer their questions. Céline has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Lakehead University and a GIS Application Specialist diploma from Fleming College. When not in the office, you can find her reading, working on a garden or baking.

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