error while opening sound device check settings and sample r

I’m working with Audacity 2.1.2, a Dell Inspiron 7000 series with a terabyte of storage (hardly used and 16 gigs of RAM. Drivers and BIOS are all uptodate, and I’m using an ATR 2100 for a mic with a pop screen.

I’m going a little crazy trying to figure out why I’m getting this message all the time.( see attachment) I get the same thing trying to open both playback and recording. Once I took off the overdub in preferences and got mic back online, but then the same message opened up for the playback device. As a work around I opened a new file and recorded the repair I needed for another project and copied it. I closed that new file and went back to the old and tried to paste it into the old file-no dice. It pasted bupkis. The clipboard doesn’t carry between projects?
Screenshot (29).png

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Opening a new project should not make any difference. Your USB cable could be loose, or Edit > Preferences… > Recording > Audio to buffer is too close to 0, or you may need to reboot. Hold the Windows key, press X then click “Shut down”.

It would be better not to use Windows WASAPI host. Use MME. WASAPI is more prone to “Error Opening Sound Device” especially when Transport > Overdub is on. It is usually solvable but you have to be prepared to adjust settings in Windows Sound.

Audacity supplied by us can paste between projects even if you removed the track in the other project.