August 2012
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Copying your ArcGIS Desktop database and server connections

A major hassle with upgrading to a new computer or a new version of ESRI desktop software is that you need to recreate your connections to your databases (generally manually).  For LA County, we recently migrated to a new database with a large increase in connections, which meant that a lot of folks needed to do a lot of manual entry.

However, that isn’t the case!  You can back them up or copy them to the new computer or version with two simple steps!!!

For larger organizations, this also means that you can create a single set of connection strings and email them to your staff so they can implement them.  They wouldn’t even know the password!!

Connection files in Windows

Instructions

These instructions are for Windows 7 – they may vary slightly for older versions of Windows.

Step 1: Find your current string locations

  1. Navigate to your existing AppData Folder – for ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 you would find it here:
    1. C:\Users\<your login ID>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcCatalog
    2. You should see a lot of files there – copy them to a location that you know or back them up.

Step 2: Copy to the new location

  1. Navigate to your new AppData Folder – for ArcGIS Desktop 10.1 you would find it here:
    1. C:\Users\<your login ID>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.1\ArcCatalog
    2. Paste all of the connection string files into this folder.

Step 3: Open ArcCatalog

You will see all of your connections

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