Bug 137 are my files recoverable?

Hi, I, using Audacity version 2.2.0 on a Windows 10 HP laptop. I finished mix and rendering a 2 hour recording - left it to go make supper - then forgot for a few hours that I needed to go finish saving and exporting it. I couldn’t open the project and my laptop look like it had crashed and restarted.
The dialog box that comes up says I have an Orphan block file error with three options. The project title is up at the top left but no content.
I’ve gone through the posts in the forum, some of which are around 7 years old, so I’m hoping there has been some development in the understanding of the Bug 137, if that’s what it is, and how to recover my recording.
I’m guessing I shouldn’t leave a project for a long while and that I should save as WAV files before I finish editing. Is that your advice?
Tony P

I don’t think your issue is “bug 137”, though it seems that later in the thread, 137 became conflated with multiple rare issues with different causes (and sometimes different symptoms). Since 137 was logged, a number of more specific relating to project saving / reopening have been logged, most of which have now been resolved.

Yes there have been considerable advances in the understanding and improved handling of block files. The most recent improvements were in Audacity 2.3.0 (available via the Audacity website: Audacity ® | Download for Windows). The improvements have focused on prevention rather than the (usually futile) attempts to recover broken projects. Unfortunately there are some situations that we can’t guard against, such as the computer shutting down while the project contains unsaved data.

That’s bad. The latest version of Audacity does as much as possible to guard against this, but if the computer crashes, then Audacity is unable to complete whatever it is doing.

Yes I would recommend both of those.
I would also recommend that when working with audio or video projects,

  • Keep laptops plugged in if possible, so they don’t shut down due to low battery
  • Disable sleep / hibernation. Media projects often contain huge amounts of data (including required temporary data and “undo” data), and sleep / hibernation are not very reliable at storing / recovering large amounts of temp data.
  • Save backups (yes I know that you already said that, but this is such a good thing to do, it is worth repeating :wink:)
  • For large / complex projects, periodically save backup copies of the entire project, each should be uniquely named to indicate where you were when the project was saved. “Save Lossless Copy of Project” is a very good way to do this as it saves each track as a 32-bit WAV file rather than data fragments.

It is “sometimes” possible to recover meaningful data from broken projects, but only for newly recorded (not yet edited or processed) projects. Once you start modifying a recording, the blockfiles (audio data fragments) become jumbled, and it’s virtually impossible to unscramble them without a correct AUP file.

I should save as WAV files before I finish editing

Export a WAV file before you start. The raw, unedited performance. There should be no condition where you have to record the performance again including Audacity or the computer crashing during editing.

All these backups seem like overkill for a simple, home podcast, but if you become popular, sooner or later you’re going to produce a “golden” show that you can’t record again later.

No protection backups anywhere, ever is a terrible idea.