Audacity closing because of errors when trying to play .aup

Hi, I am having problems with audacity recently. I am using windows 8.1 and have installed and reinstalled audacity 2.1.1

It was working fine a few days ago, but then I had to clean my computer as it was due to be returned to the manufacturer - that has been delayed so am reinstalling everything. However, since the laptop clean/reset, audacity no longer will work.

I can load up a file, but then when I come to play it, the sound breaks up, comes on and off, the wavelengths are visible for part of the time and then they vanish, and then the program crashes.

Error message is: A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program…
Another message I had was telling me I had orphan block files in the data folder of the .aup

I recorded the piece before I reset the computer, but trying to play it back is impossible due to the technical problems I’m having.

I have installed Flash just in case that was the issue, but it makes no difference.

Any suggestions would be truly appreciated. Many thanks.

What is the computer problem? Why is it going back to the maker? How did you Clean it?


Are you importing that file into a new project window that was never saved as a project?

If so, look at Edit > Preferences… then “Directories” for where your Audacity temporary directory is. Make sure you have permission to write to that directory and that the drive has sufficient space. For heavy editing of pop song length files, plan on 10 GB to 20 GB of space. For longer audio, you want more space.

If the apps you reinstalled included Norton or file cleanup applications, be aware that they may be deleting the contents of the Audacity temp folder, which would lead to vanishing waveforms. You can change the location of the Audacity temp folder in Directories Preferences. Type in a folder location that does not have “temp” in its name.

That means the _data folder contains AU files that are not listed in the AUP file.

Exactly where are you saving your projects? You should not save them to any temporary folder, or to Program Files or to system folders. Save them somewhere in your Users<your user name> folder.

Have you run a deep overnight anti-virus check?


Hi and thanks for all your suggestions.

In order of your comments: laptop is going back because of several defects, including mousepad that doesn’t work and drivers that need constantly updating - it MAY BE this computer that is causing the problems…

I have done a virus check and malware check - nothing has appeared.

I save all my audacity files initially as a .aup file (not in a temporary folder), then when it is finalised I export to mp3.

I did have McAfee running which I don’t normally use. I have removed this and still having the same problems. I use Windows Defender as my anti-virus at the moment, as I did before I swept clean the laptop, and Audacity worked fine with Defender.

RE a question about what I used to clean the laptop, I tried to get a DBAN to run from BIOS, but that didn’t work, so just did a factory reset.

I’m still having the same issues with audacity. Not sure why and really frustrated that I can’t use it. I don’t think it’s audacity which is causing the problems, but I could really do with finding out where the gremlins are as I’m relying on this to create digital products that I can sell - to help pay the bills!

Any further suggestions? And thank you so much for your involvement thus far.


If you have a Solid State Drive (SSD), DBAN does not work with those.

For the purpose of reinstalling the operating system, either the Windows quick or standard format is sufficient, in my opinion.

So does the problem only occur when you import an MP3 into an already saved AUP project file, or simply if you open an already saved project and try to play it?

Please state the full path of an example AUP file that you open (Drive\folders\file name).

Can you attach the log file from Help > Show Log… immediately after opening a project? If you can save another log file after you interact with the project (before it crashes) please attach that log too. Please see here for how to attach files:

If you see the Debug Report “Audacity” window when Audacity crashes, please attach the zipped report.

You might also want to do a S.M.A.R.T. drive check.


Thank you for your reply. And thanks for your advice re cleaning the harddrive.

Re Audacity, I think the problem may have been caused by my having saved everything to OneDrive for when I cleaned the laptop. It seems to have buggered up some of the files in audacity. The files I had exported as mp3s have survived, but the .aup files were messed up. Thankfully most of them were in mp3 format already! I have rerecorded what I needed since reinstalling audacity, and it appears to have worked fine, so I think it is more of a OneDrive issue rather than an audacity problem.

I really appreciate your help and advice.


When you save a project, all has to remain as it was when you saved it. The name of AUP file and _data folder must not change, the AUP file and _data folder must remain alongside each other, and the subfolder structure within the _data folder must remain unchanged.

If you knew you were going to have to backup to OneDrive, Dropbox or similar I would have exported WAV files (they are lossless, unlike MP3).


MP3 gets their small files by creating some sound damage. If you edit an MP3 in Audacity and make a new one, the damage will almost certainly go up, sometimes significantly.