Subject: How do I correct a fatal error resulting in automatic shutdown in ArcMap?
If you cannot open ArcMap, InfoSewer or InfoSWMM at all and get a fatal Esri error the problem may be the file normal.mxt
“If the startup file in ArcGIS Desktop or component applications (e.g., ArcMap, ArcGlobe, ArcScene) is corrupt, a fatal error can occur. Renaming or deleting the existing startup file will often resolve the error. Once the corrupted startup file is removed, ArcGIS will create a new startup file after the application is launched (http://kb.iu.edu/data/asuv.html).”
To remove the startup file in Windows XP for Arc GIS 10 go to the directory C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Application Data\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcMap\Templates and delete the file Normal.mxt. You then reopen Arc Map and the normal.mxt file will be recreated and smaller. You will have to reset the ArcMap toolbars to better control InfoSewer and InfoSWMM.