All our hard work appears to have vanished

I am using Windows XP with this version of Audacity and was digitally editing the following file voice tracks for pgm 59.aup and inserting audio via Mp3 files. I was about 35 minutes into editing, saving all editions as I went. When I opened this .aup file to start work on it there was a notice that there were file fragments that might belong elsewhere but that they were small and they wouldn’t cause any problems. I checked just ignore them rather delete them given what the msg said and didn’t think much about it.

I continued to work for about 20 minutes but suddenly on the screen there was a notice that Audacity had encountered an error and had to close. I didn’t think much about that either because I had saved all changes as I went along. I opened Audacity back up and there is no record of the voice tracks for pgm 59.aup file anywhere. What does remain are the voice tracks for pgm59_data file and the voice tracks for pgm 59.aup.bak Well I’ll tell you that was a shock. I did a search of the computer through Windows looking for the file and even checked recycle. Nothing.

So I thought, well just go into the back-up file and work from there. But when I click on the voice tracks for pgm 59.aup.bak file and try to open it I get this message “You are trying to open an automatically created backup file. Doing this may result in severe data loss. Please open the actual Audacity project file instead.”

Well of course I’d love to open the actual Audacity project file but there is none to be found. Also how can I have more severe data loss than I already have? The file I need to do my work on is gone. Moreover, when I search in the sub-folders of there pgm59_data file, there is no .aup file to be found.

Can you please give me some guidance. Do I really have to start all over again, laying down the voice tracks and cutting in the music?

Appreciate your help. :smiley:

saving all editions as I went.

Actually, I think you were saving one edition as you went. If you crank this project up again, save each significant version as its own project 2014-08-22-1800.aup That’s the project as of 6PM today. The next time you save, increment the time and/or date and create a whole new project. If a project stops responding permanently, you can open the last one and keep going.

It’s also good to set Audacity to make personal copies of all sound files you’re using in your work. If you don’t do that, Audacity just points to them at the right time wherever they are. If you forget and move one of those files, that portion of the show will drop dead.


What exact version of Audacity does it say at Help > About Audacity… (all three numbers)? Have you recently upgraded from an old 1.2 or 1.3 version of Audacity and you opened a project originally created in an old version of Audacity?

Current Audacity (2.0.5) does not (or most definitely should not) save AUP.BAK files. Obsolete 1.2 or 1.3 versions of Audacity did save AUP.BAK files. Current or recent Audacity would show the message you mention about refusing to open AUP.BAK files.

What exactly happened when you reopened Audacity after the crash? Did you see something like this?

If an Automatic Crash Recovery is incorrect, the only safe thing to do to preserve all the data is to force quit Audacity and figure out what is wrong. Help > Show Log… may give you a clue as to why the project does not reopen correctly.

If you close the recovered project without saving changes then you will lose all the changes that were unsaved. However if you reopened the AUP file (“pgm59.aup” in your case) you should have the project as you last successfully saved it.

If you closed the recovered project and saved it with tracks missing, those missing tracks are gone for good I’m afraid. So which of the three above actions did you take after you recovered the project?

There is no pgm59_data file, but there should be a pgm59_data folder.

The “pgm59.aup” file is not meant to be in the “pgm59_data” folder.

To reopen the project, the “pgm59.aup” file must be in the same folder that the “pgm59_data” folder is in.

If you have any more old projects where you have an AUP.BAK file as well as an AUP, I suggest deleting the AUP.BAK unless you want to go back to an old version of Audacity and try to open the AUP.BAK file in that old version. Opening AUP.BAK there will likely give you errors.

Current Audacity will not open AUP.BAK files. AUP.BAK files could even trigger rare project saving bugs. It could not be ruled out. So delete the AUP.BAK files if you are using current Audacity.


Please be careful with Windows XP. Microsoft are no longer officially supporting it, so it will be unpatched against any new security vulnerabilities that appear.

Make sure you have XP Service Pack 3. You can still download Service Pack 3 from Microsoft if necessary: .

Ensure you have a good third-party anti-virus application. Be aware though that this will not give you complete protection against a previously unknown attack.

For some extra protection you can install .

If it is not practicable for you to update to the much more secure Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can consider installing a Linux operating system instead. Most versions are free and all are very secure.