Can you troubleshoot Missing Audio Data Block?

My wife’s Windows 10 PC just crashed and now she’s getting “Missing Audio Data Block” warning messages when opening her projects.

I’m such a newbie that I don’t know how to explain her problem, so I made this screencast video showing the problem:

Thank you so much!!

Thanks for the video. Which Audacity version do you have?

Were the damaged ones open at the time?

Does the machine crash often?


Thanks for the quick response Koz.

Audacity version 2.4.2.

Yes, the damaged ones (the four that appear when you hover over the Audacity icon) were open when Windows 10 crashed.

The Windows 10 PC does not crash often.

Is any of this stuff backed up? Do you have all original work or recordings saved as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit sound files? You may need to get them out of storage and start the production(s) again. If a crash happens in the middle of editing, that’s usually the end of the world, even if it seems relatively minor.

I can make this worse. A crash or missing block files can invite more crashes or instability. So even if you have a localized single or two or three missing block files, you should not try to edit around them. Make backup Projects and WAV files of the work immediately—if you can. It’s possible for a large production to run out of machine or hard drive. Audacity creates EDIT > UNDO by carefully making copies of The Whole Show. So if you have a production with a lot of edits, the “data show” is going to be a lot larger than you think.

It’s highly recommended that you Export WAV files of all original performances or recordings, errors and all, before you do anything to them. It’s a New User Error to announce some work (for example) and then dive right into editing without making clean copies first. In extreme cases, Audacity may damage the final edit master after days of work and it sends the editor all the way back to performing at the microphone.


Sorry. Missed one. Even if Windows seemed to come back up OK, it’s a good idea to carefully shut down Windows and then bring it back up again so it can sweep up the last of the trash and debris left behind.



I have not had good luck in the past with this kind of error. It is likely that your entire show has been trashed. Also, I do not have any tools to work with Audacity 2.4.2 and prior, nor do I have any tools to deal with this kind of error. I could try to see if I can import this project into 3.0.x, but if I did that I would be creating a project that could NOT be read by prior versions of Audacity. I know that I am going to regret this decision, but since you asked nicely (and since your voice reminds me of my long lost cousin :wink: ), I’ll take a look/see. As I have no applicable tools, this could take a while. Go ahead and upload two files: (1) the Ken Mack intv.aup project file and (2) a zipped up file containing the entire contents of your Ken Mack intv_data directory including all subdirectories. If I come up with anything, it will be in the form of an .aup3 file which will require Audacity 3.0.3 or later to load.

I appreciate how devastating these kinds of situations can be.

Thank you so much for being willing to help me!

Here are the two things you asked for:

The Ken Mack intv.aup project file:

The Zip file containing the entire contents of your Ken Mack intv_data directory including all subdirectories:

The Ken Mack project might be unrecoverable (although I’d love to be proven wrong!).

So let me ask about another project that was open when the computer crashed: You can see it here:

There are three radio buttons, and the current selection is on the top button (“Continue without deleting”). Do you recommend that I click “OK” to select that button?

Thank you!

Got it. I’ll be looking into this. :nerd:

You can ask all you want…

another project that was open when the computer crashed:

Same crash? Two crashes? How many projects did you have open at once? Are you trying to run two or more separate Audacity programs?


Hi Koz,


I can’t remember the exact conditions or rules, but it is possible to have two Audacity programs launched at the same time, but it’s not stable or recommended.



I have looked into your project and have found that your .aup file seems to be referencing a mostly totally different project than that of your _data directory. None of the .au files referenced are present. It appears that your kingdom may be there but it is highly scrambled, it may not be complete, and the keys to it are lost and gone forever. Here we need to call in the royal locksmith. I can tell this because the zipped file is not negligible, and I can hear tiny tiny segments of both an interviewer and an interviewee.

I have a busy day today and tomorrow, so I’ll call in the “locksmith” early next week. BTW, I’ve heard rumors, but I don’t know anyone who has admitted they were entirely successful at cracking the combination; and if anyone has actually done this, please let me know, I’ll be happy to get you involved!. In the meantime, although it is highly doubtful, I’m wondering if perchance the keys were buried in one of the other .aup files that you had open at the same time. Although this is highly doubtful, it may be worth the time to explore. So if you wish, go ahead and zip up those other files up and send them along.

Note: this will not be a simple job, and complete success is not probable, but for the moment at least, we can remain optimistic.

we can remain optimistic.

I’m not. There is a history of being able to force a clean, original recording back to life, but nobody has ever rescued an edit, much less one with multiple parts.

The person wearing The Producer’s Hat should start planning a replacement show. It might be possible to restore the original show concept if you have all the original interviews, announcements, and voice-overs as backup WAV files.


jademan, thanks so much for offering to help. I’ve tried to attach the files you asked for – let me know if you were asking for different files.

Let me know if you (or the “locksmith”)(whoever that is!) needs anything else.

With much appreciation,
Ethan Herschenfeld intv.aup (103 KB)
Amanda Docter intv.aup (169 KB)
Glenn Slater intv.aup (302 KB)

Will do…

Most of jademan’s ju-ju is in the Audacity Version 3 family and I’m only going to tell you to start planning a replacement show.

The legacy Audacity versions saved a project in a pretty simple way. The _DATA folder contained the actual sound in little 6-second snippets called .au’s. The AUP project manager text file told Audacity where to put the snippets to reconstruct the show.

There were digital deities who, if asked nice, could pull together a simple, clean sound recording from the _DATA folder only—without the AUP file. We kneel at their feet. Once you start editing, file relationships scramble. There is no known way to pull an edit back together, either without the AUP file or after a crash.

So if I wasn’t annoying enough before, all your work should be exported as WAV or other high quality sound files (not MP3) before you start editing. Do Not depend on Audacity to always behave itself, even in the updated version 3.


koz, Thanks for your comments. As far as I know, they are all true.

koz, I appreciate your anecdotes. I knew from the start that this was a difficult to impossible job. But I told Jack/Dave that I would take a look to see what could be done and I am doing so.


While I am continuing to make progress on your project on different fronts, so far I do not have anything illustrative to present; please know that what koz has been saying is based on experience, and he has far more than I. One of the clues used by the above digital deities was time-stamps - unfortunately, the ones in your project are mostly useless, perhaps due to some global edit, so we have extra difficulties. And, as substantial later edits did take place in your project, this situation is something that we are going to have to deal with. Perhaps in a painful way.

And while I have never rescued an .aup project before, and the outlook is far from positive for this one, I have been successful at rescuing many .aup3 projects, so I am keeping a positive outlook. So the more koz is telling us things that cannot be done and why, he is actually giving me inspiration and clues to novel approaches on how it could be done. :wink:

What’s the deadline for this show?

Was there a show before this? What is its address? Where is it published? It might be handy to know your editing rhythm and technique since we may be trying to reproduce it.

Is there going to be a show after this?


I did do an April First Design Concept. Actually two, to rescue a clean recording.

We know that in a stereo show, the little .au files alternate Left - Right. Design a software package that tries each au file next to all the others and pick the pair that’s least discontinuous. Go on to the next one. Keep rippling through all of them until 1) you find all the Left - Right pairs, and 2) you find .au files most musically comfortable with their neighbors.

Like most April First designs, it could actually work since the switchover between two adjacent files is by definition perfect. No clicks, pops or holes. So there should only be one match for each file in the whole pile. You may need to leave the machine cranking away on this for a day or two. Make sure of good ventilation.

You might well say, “what happens in silence.” Then the match may not make any difference. Which would you rather have? A show that needs some silence and room tone patching, or needing to call the client because there is no show.

A variation on that is use the file Time and Date stamps. Nice call, but that doesn’t get you close enough. Make baskets of Time and Date compatible files and then go for the musical match. We note you could do this last one manually if you have nothing better to do for the next six months or so.

None of this works on an edited show. There is no fixed, predictable relationship between any snippet and any other.