Empty Project Files When Recovered

Hey! I’m brand new here, but have been using Audacity for years. I’ve been working on an album all year in Audacity, I put countless hours of work into it. I’m poor so my only method of backing up the project files has been Mediafire or Dropbox. My hard drive randomly started to fail last month, and I tried to back up all the files, but if I would’ve kept going, my drive would’ve crashed completely before I’d even saved one. I opted to leave it in a state I could recover, buy a new hard drive, try to retrieve the files from it. I’ve retrieved all the project files no trouble, except when the .Aup files are saved on my new hard drive, they’re empty and won’t load the projects. I have all the audio files from the projects, and did my best to replicate the exact file paths of all the original project files, but still I recover the .Aup files from my old hard drive and they only turn up empty! Why is this??? Am I doing something wrong with the recovery program? Is it just a glitch of Audacity, are my project files lost forever?

If you did the correct thing and exported WAV files as project backups, I recommend importing those. WAV files are a single item and completely portable between different drives and modern operating systems

Is the problem to do with WAV files that you imported into the projects in the first place before you started editing? Or is the problem something else?

Please tell us the exact error message word for word when you reopen these projects. Start with one of the problem projects. Attach the log from Help > Show Log… and attach the AUP file. Please see here for how to attach files: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1


Ok, here’s the log from me trying to import the one file that I recovered that didn’t turn up as 0 kilobytes.
error log.txt (670 Bytes)

The problem is, I’m trying to recover the project files from a hard drive that started to fail, but I stopped using as a boot disk for an OS before it could completely crash. I salvage all the audio stems for the project files just fine, and when I look at all the .Aup files listed in the recover software, they all are the right file size. But when I import them, 99% of them are empty (0 kilobytes) or they just won’t work. The error message I get when trying to open the .Aup files is “(selected .Aup file I just tried to open) is an Audacity project file. Use the ‘File > Open’ command to open Audacity projects.”, but I AM using the ‘File > Open’ command when opening them!

If you File > Import > Audio… an AUP file you will receive an error. If you are already using File > Open… as you say, then that message means that the AUP file is corrupted. If you already know the AUP files are empty then your project is not recoverable unless it’s an unedited recording.

If any AUP files are not empty, you can post those and we’ll take a look.

Are these “stems” WAV files that you imported into the project in the first place?

It is good to make immediate WAV backups of your work to another drive if you know you have a suspect drive.