Deleted? Trying to recover lost sound files

Audacity: 1.3.14-beta
OS: Windows 7

Hello. I may have deleted some files by accident but I’d like to do everything I can to get them back. I have been making a daily health diary by recording myself with the logitech headset and putting all the recordings in one project. Today I thought I had a good idea to copy and paste the original project, rename the original project, rename the copy, then delete the recordings in the copy in order to make room for new entries in May. (Just to keep everything organized) When I went back to the original project I got this awful message: Project check of “health diary_data” folder detected 570 missing autdio data (.au) blockfile(s), probably due to a bug, system crash, or accidental deletion. There is no way for Audacity to recover these missing files automatically. If you choose the first or second option below, you can try to find and restore the missing files to their previous location. Note that for the second option, the waveform may not show silence. Plases select an action… O Close project immediately with no further changes O Treat missing audio as silence (this session only) O Replace missing audio with silence (permanent immmediately)

As soon as I saw the message I changed the name of the original project back to the first name I chose, hoping this might fix the problem, but got nothing. Can anyone tell me if this is fixable? I’d like to retrieve the recordings even if they weren’t that important. If this ever happens again in the future I’ll at least know what to do. Thanks. Guess I can’t alter anything with audacity files if I don’t want to lose them.

Everything we have on crash recovery is on these pages:

Audacity Projects are not a good way of storing audio long-term. Rather the Audacity project structure is designed for speed. So normally you would use Audacity projects in the production process and then export a WAV file for archival and use (they you may make a compressed MP3 or AAC version for use.

And as you’ve found Audacity projects don’t like being moved, renamed or diddled with unless you really know what you are doing.

If I was doing this project I woul be exporting each day’s entry to a WAV file. You can still work with an Audacity Project, just select the bit you need and use Export Selection. I would name the file with today’s date “yyymmdd…” e.g. for today: “20120501 my health diary”. This naming convention makes it possible to readily sort into date order. I would probably Export Weekly and monthly WAV files too for consolidation purposes. And I would back all these WAVs up onto at least one external USB disk (I use two - I had one crash on mea couple of years back).


We are now at Audacity 2.0.0. Please upgrade since you are posting in the 2.x forum.

All renamings are dangerous because of the .aup file and _data folder must be named the same, and the .aup file must contain the name of the same _data folder.

The only safe way to duplicate a project is File > Save Project As, or copy the .aup file and data folder then paste to a new folder. You should have done FIle > Save Project As. See: .

If you deleted the .au files in the _data folder you have destroyed the copy of the project, unless the files are in the Windows Recycle Bin.

I suggest you work with the original project you made a copy of. Use the rules in the link above to get the name of the .aup file, _data folder and projname in the .aup file matching.