External drives keep disconnecting when exporting


Running 2.1.3 on Windows 10 (64-bit). I have a project saved on an external hard drive. When I try to export audio from Audacity to any destination – the same external drive, another external drive, or the internal hard disk, exporting goes smoothly for a few seconds and then I hear the “device disconnected” tone. For whatever reason, the export process is causing my external drives to disconnect. Has anyone else had issues with this? No other program seems to cause this problem with my external drives. I can’t even save a copy of my project elsewhere without the drives disconnecting at random. It’s maddening!

Thank you!

Update: I got lucky, and made it through an entire export (it was a nearly hour-long file) without a disconnect, so I’m in the clear for this project. Still, it’s a buggy behavior, and will make me think twice about using Audacity for big projects in the future.

No, I have never seen it reported. Did previous versions of Audacity do it?

What format are you exporting to? If you are exporting to something like 64-bit float WAV at high sample rate, perhaps your drives can’t cope with the data throughput?


Hi, Gale,

I tried both .wav (just a run-of-the-will 16-bit .wav, not souped up in any way) and .mp3 at roughly medium quality. Somehow, finally, it just worked after many failed attempts. :confused:

Thanks for asking.

I would advise against running any audio production application with data from an external drive. Whether you’re using Audacity, ProTools, Cubase, or whatever, external drives are prone to dropping data when under time critical demand. Much better to transfer the data to a local drive first, do your editing, save to the local disk, then copy the saved project / exported files back to the drive when you’ve finished. Straight copying is not time critical, and external drives can handle that much better than “real-time” access.