Files always going corrupt

Every time I’ve made a new audacity file, I save it multiple times and when I try to reopen it, I get the following message:
“The file you selected is an Audacity project file. Only audio files, not project files, can be imported into an existing project. To open a project file, select Open from the file menu.”

I follow those instructions, and the same message appears. When I go to the data folder for that song, all the au files are gone but the data folder is still there. I never deleted or tampered with them, but I did click yes on the “delete temporary files” message. Sometimes this error still happens when the au files are there, but they start with “@” instead of “b.” When I try to correct the names, the same thing still occurs. I keep having to re-record the song, this has happened 3 or 4 times within the last couple of days. I have to make an mp3 file for the song now if I want to save it because the files always corrupt when I try saving them, then import that into a new file and the same thing will happen if I try saving it.

Which version of Windows do you have?

Which virus protection do you have and is it up to date and working?

How much room do you have on your hard drive and when was the last time you manually error checked and defragmented it?

Are you trying to save the work to an external hard drive?

Are you using safe filenames? Most computers hate punctuation marks inside filenames. No dates. 20120604. That’s today’s date, not 6/4/12.

Close Audacity. Double click on one of the AUP files. Does Audacity open and play the music? Are you keeping the AUP file and the associated _DATA folder in the same place or folder?

Do you have version 2.0 of Audacity? Help > About.


That message appears in Audacity 1.2.x. It only appears if you do Project > Import Audio instead of File > Open.

Audacity 2.0.0 gives a different message if you do File > Import > Audio then select an Audacity project AUP file.

We strongly suggest that you upgrade to the latest version. 1.2.x is obsolete and no longer supported.

Get it here:

– Bill

I apologize for my lack of information. I am not using Audacity 2.0, I am using 1.2.6. I fear that if I upgrade, I might corrupt the files created in 1.2.6 because others seem to have had that problem. My operating system is Windows 7. My virus protection is up to date as of two days ago, I am saving these files onto a 32 gigabyte flashdrive and there are 29 gigabytes of free room. I am error checking the USB drive right now, I am not using punctuation marks in my audacity titles. The file I am using and DATA folders are in the same folder.

When I error scanned my external hard drive, the DATA folders were deleted and it created one single file for them. I believe this is because I am recording over imported files (I had too many tracks and Audacity could not record anymore, so I had to export the files as mp3’s and record over them in new files.) Is this the reason why the files are corrupting, or is there another reason? It’s when I try to open the files the error message appears, I’m not pressing import.

You certainly should not be saving Audacity projects if your hard drives are suspect, that will only encourage Audacity errors because its error checking when writing and reading projects is not as robust as it might be. If error-checking a drive deletes or moves data on it, that drive has too many problems to use safely.

Is there a reason you cannot use your built-in hard drive?

I think you should use 2.0.0 because there are better diagnostic messages in 2.0.0 to see what is going on. Leave 1.2.6 installed and install 2.0.0 to a different directory (if you install 2.0.0 to the same directory as 1.2.6, then 1.2.6 will be overwritten). Use 2.0.0 for new recordings, export as WAV as soon as the recording is finished (assuming you have the disk space) then save a project if you want to.

If you want to open the projects created in 1.2.6 in 2.0.0, make a backup copy first of the .aup file and _data folder for each project to a new folder. For example, call the new folders “project 12 backup”, “project 14 backup” and so on. Try looking in other _data folders for the .au files that appear to be missing.

In my experience if you see “The file you selected is an Audacity project file” when you are using File > Open in 1.2.6, it probably indicates the .aup file itself is corrupted. You could attach the .aup file, but it is pointless unless you have the .au files in the _data folder.

If there are problems when saving or re-opening projects in 2.0.0, post the content from Help > Show Log… .

Do not save projects to your Audacity (or any other) temporary directory where file cleanup tools may be tempted to delete them. Look in Edit > Preferences: Directories for where your Audacity temporary folder is.