Corrupt WAV file

Hi everyone!

I have recorded an interview with Audacity and exported it in a WAV file Wednesday. Unfortunatly this file was completely deleted from my work computer since it was a Windows “temporary profile” for some reason.

Long story short, I have been able to recover the interview file using Recuva. It’s a 187 Mo file that can’t be open with VLC nor WMP. When I try the “Import/Raw” tip and enter the correct encoding and frequency infos, it gives me either white noise or parts of another interview I made today!

Do you have any idea what’s happening? Thank you!

(Btw sorry for the quality of my English or any typos since it’s not my first language…)

The fact you can hear an interview is good evidence you’ve done everything right in Audacity raw-import,
but it sounds like the other interview has overwritten the old one.

or parts of another interview I made today!

That’s not just file corruption. That’s disc corruption. I had a bad hard drive that gave me a similar problem once. Or maybe it’s just a problem with Recuva. And, maybe the data is simply not recoverable. :frowning:

and enter the correct encoding and frequency infos,

The wrong offset can give you "noise" because the bytes get re-assembled in the wrong order. A byte is 8-bits so for example, if it was 16-bits that’s 2-bytes per sample, so try an offset of 0 or 1. If it’s 24-bits, try an offset of 0,1, or 2. If the noise is audio you should be able to recover it (whatever is there) but since you’re also getting the wrong audio file that noise may not be audio at all…

…For future reference, if you are doing “important” interviews or anything where there’s no chance of “take two”, a solid state recorder is usually more reliable,* or you might want to record with both a solid-state recorder and the computer (or with a solid state recorder and a phone, etc.). And, then it’s a good idea to make an immediate backup and follow backup procedures that correspond to the importance and/or irreplaceability of the recording.


  • I always say, “Computers are the least reliable things we own.” It’s usually not the “computer’s fault”. It’s usually something in the Windows set-up, or something configured wrong in your recording application, or some other program or background operation that interferes with the recording. But, the result is the same.

On top of that, Audacity doesn’t directly record to a WAV file. It makes a temporary project with many-many small files and that’s easier to mess-up than “one good WAV file”.

Are you starting to run out of space on your drive? When Windows deletes something, it doesn’t actually delete the whole work. It just deletes the address of where the work is on the drive. The space becomes available for new recording, but Windows doesn’t use it immediately. It uses fresh drive space first and only when it runs out does it go back and write over.

Recovery programs try to piece together segments of the drive with no address. If you have a clean drive with lots of free room, that can be remarkably successful. However, if you 're running out of space or have a highly fragmented drive (or both), the recovery can sound like what you have. Trashed recovery with pieces of the wrong show.

If recovery didn’t work, I don’t know of any other way to get the show back.

I think it’s time for inspection and servicing before you use the recorder for anything else.


I guess you might be right…

I tried this with no success unfortunately.

Yeah it’s the only time that I have forgotten to backup on my Google Drive :confused:

Well thanks anyway I guess it’s just bad luck and a good lesson learned!