First 17 minutes of recording disappears

Twice now I have recorded about one hour of just speaking audio and the first 17-20 minutes spontaneously disappears. Currently I have 1:03.00 recording; the first 17 minutes is gone. I witnessed the wave as it was recording.
To complicate this matter, I now cannot save this file… although I am hoping somehow it means I can recover that first section of recording. The audacity_temp folder is in the Local > Temp folder.
I exported the file as a .wav just in case so I’d have something…

Audacity 2.0.5
Windows 7
I believe .exe

Thank you in advance. I am grateful for any assistance.

We strongly recommend Exporting a WAV file of any critical recordings in addition to any other technique.

Technically, eighteen minutes didn’t vanish. There is still 18 minutes there, but it’s not the same show you performed. That can be significant. There are overload error conditions where Audacity will start over-writing an existing show.

A reading from the error message. Is your hard drive filling up? A Project can be quite a bit larger than a simple exported file.

Audio and Video production can create some stressful data traffic jams.


Please open Edit > Preferences…, choose “Directories” and give us the exact path. By default it should be C:UsersAppDataLocalTempaudacity_temp.

Regarding “Error saving project”, have you removed your user name from that message in the screenshot? If not, that save path is very strange. Also note that you can’t write to the root of C:Users unless you are logged in as administrator.

Do you have Norton? That is known to erase Audacity recordings as you make them. If so, try turning off Norton’s temporary file cleaner and write a strong e-mail to Norton. Create an Audacity temp folder that does not have “temp” in its name (just type the path in the Directories Preferences).

The exported file should be just silence if you exported when the waveform was silent.


Thank you for this distinction-- I didn’t know the term of art: Yes, there is 18 minutes of silence where speaking should be. “Disappeared” seemed more akin to what I was experiencing, as in “Aah! Where did the first 18 minutes go!!!”

C:UsersAppDataLocalTempaudacity_temp is the path currently selected in “Directories.” I did erase my name from the screenshot.

Why yes, I do have Norton. I will turn off the temporary file cleaner. I specialize in strongly written emails. I will make a special temp but not named temp folder.
Thank you both for the info.

Should I accept the “missing” audio as gone/irretrievable?

If you were out of disk space - yes. How much space is listed in Audacity’s Directories Preferences when you start it in a new session?

If Norton is responsible - ask them where the deleted files go, but obviously check the Windows Recycle Bin and any Norton Recycle Bin there may be.