Data folder disappeared [CLOSED]

Hi friends,

I use Audacity 2.1.0 on Windows 7 a lot; I’m careful with guidelines about moving and renaming file names and data folder names–which is why I’m so confused right now.

Last Friday, I worked for a couple of hours on a project involving multiple voice and music and sound effects tracks. I habitually hit ctrl-s while working, and when I finished for the night, I closed the project. There was no error, no indication that I hadn’t saved or anything; I assume I saved it, because I always save things, and there was no error. I shut the laptop, without shutting down the computer. Then on Monday morning (today), I opened the laptop, opened the project in Audacity, and it gives me the error “Couldn’t find the project data folder.”

I checked the folder, and the program was right: the data folder wasn’t there where I expected it to be. I searched the entire hard drive for the folder, in case it was moved somehow, but it doesn’t seem to exist. It’s not in the recycle bin, either. Seems to have disappeared.

Any ideas of what might have happened, or where it might be?

In case it helps, here’s the top of the aup file when I open it in Notepad; after this is lots and lots and lots of data, which seems to prove that a data folder did once exist, I think?

<?xml version="1.0" standalone="no" ?>
<!DOCTYPE project PUBLIC "-//audacityproject-1.3.0//DTD//EN" "" >
<project xmlns="" projname="introwithscript-6-14-16-edited-firstgoataddingstuff_data" version="1.3.0" audacityversion="2.1.0" sel0="559.3371749815" sel1="579.3371749815" vpos="32" h="542.8300619855" zoom="37.8018857779" rate="44100.0" snapto="off" selectionformat="hh:mm:ss + milliseconds">

Fixed it. After all my “I know what I’m doing,” I suddenly realized I made a cardinal mistake earlier in the process, which I had totally forgotten:

In Windows Explorer, I copied a file, renamed it, and started working in the new file. Stupid. So all the data was in the folder for the original file, not the new one. I just had to change the name of my new file back to the old file name, and it found everything.

WHEW. Sorry to bug everyone!

I shut the laptop, without shutting down the computer.

So you put your machine to “sleep,” but did you close Audacity? If not, then you put your machine to sleep with an active project “alive” in Audacity. I assume Audacity didn’t offer to recover the project when it woke up?

Disaster Recovery got very much better in later Audacity versions. I don’t remember the changes between 2.1.0 and 2.1.2.

Just because it’s my favorite hobbyhorse, do you have lots and lots of free space on your machine? If you have an enormously complex project, Audacity creates UNDO by making many multiple copies of the entire show as you edit. So just being able to support the show itself by simple arithmetic on sample rates, bit depth and clip lengths isn’t going to do it. Your show takes up stunning resources as you edit, and they stay taken up as long as you don’t close Audacity. Audacity Projects do not save UNDO, so the resources are returned when Audacity closes.

I used to know how to make the Windows system check its own hard drive. DriveCheck? It doesn’t take a lot of orphan bits on a spinning platter for the system to lose a file or folder.

And then there’s the more exotic possibilities.

There are instances of Virus Protection programs eating files and folders “to protect you.”

And down at the bottom of the list is the guy in Slovokia who is serving adult entertainment on your machine when you’re not using it and he stepped on the wrong folder by accident. The Slovokians are usually pretty careful about that.


Koz, I feel bad that you had all these incredible answers to a problem that was just me being stupid. Here’s to hoping that future people will find this thread when they have the same problem!!