Help I Lost My Files!

So I have been using this program for about a week now; no issues, just have been tweaking my settings and saving after each change. I have made and edited several recordings now. Today I turn everything on and I get a prompt that my files cannot be found! “cannot find the project data folder”…well I’m looking right at it! Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

You’re looking right at it, but is it in the same place or folder as the associated AUP file, and did you change any of the file or folder names? The Project name is burned into the AUP file internally when you make the Project and once you make one it’s not optional any more.


Embedding the AUP file inside the _DATA folder doesn’t count. They’re designed to be separate.

This problem regularly burns people who decide to “clean up” and “organize” all those files and folders.


Golden rule #1 when working with audio editors or DAW’s: make a project, save it. Don’t ever move it. And read the docs about projects. This is the reason for failure #1 with any audio tool.

The way I use Audacity, I never save projects. I import or record source files, treat them according to the case at hand. When finished, I export the audio and archive it, creating a backup copy on another disk, a NAS, CD or whatever is available outside of the computer’s own harddisk.

It’s also possible your Anti-virus software decided it doesn’t like audio files. For unknown reasons, a lot of AV solutions don’t like audio files and they might decide to delete or quarantaine them. Even if you’ve done this for a very long time without any problem, one day it might hit you. I believe the reason is that some data within audio files might look like a virus signature to the AV software.

Disk optimizers running in the background have also been known to do this, especially if the disk is NTFS formatted. Nobody seems to really understand NTFS formatting, as there is no documentation.

The one thing I don’t understand is why video never seems affected. It should show the same problem, but I’ve never seen it happen…

Nobody seems to really understand NTFS formatting, as there is no documentation.

No modern documentation.

Inside the NT File System” Helen Custer
Microsoft Press 1994
I bought it at Barnes and Noble in 1996.

Microsoft Windows NT Workstation Resource Kit” (list of contributors)
Microsoft Press 1996
This paperback weighs in at a svelte 8.5 pounds (Registered as a Non-Lethal Weapon by the State of California.)

I also have the tomes by O’Reilly and New Riders.

NT had a shaky start, but Win2K was my standard OS for years. I still have two (off-line) machines running that.


Yes, Koz, there are books. :smiley:

And some of these even touch subjects such as “Alternate data streams”. But I’ve never encountered anyone who understands what they really are. Most books don’t even touch the subject. I don’t know any software that uses ADS, except for one very old, very nasty virus. ADS is invisible to the OS. Makes it kind of hard to eradicate that virus. :laughing:

And when it comes to defragmenting NTFS, not even MS’ tools do a really good job. The same goes for data recovery. More questions than solutions. :unamused:

Win2K SP1a was one of the few really stable Windows versions. But NTFS has changed a lot since then. And most of these changes are undocumented.

I stil have a customer whose HVAC control system runs on a 1986 Win2K Siemens PC-AT. Has been running for ages and nobody dares to touch it today. Luckily, it’s not internet connected. The company who sold it, made an offer to replace it. Was about 15.000 €, so it’s still in place. Don’t know what I’ll do when the hardware fails, as it includes a couple of pre-PCI cards. And without these cards, we can’t control the PLC’s who run the system.

In France, Orly airport seems to run some traffic control system on Win98. Sounds scary.

Last time I tried to update a newly installed Win2K over the internet, it got infected before I could finish the update. But that’s years ago. And it wasn’t a mission critical system.

Anyho… enough OT. Back to reality… :laughing:

Damn!.. Thanks everyone. Yes I was re-organizing files into a new folder and by the sounds of it I created my own problems. Is there anyway to “reverse” whatever I did to restore the files? Thanks again.

See for the structure that Audacity expects. The _data folder should have the same name as the project AUP file, and the AUP and _data folder should be alongside each other in the same folder.

Before opening the project again, you may want to open the AUP file in Notepad or similar and ensure that “projname” in line 3 points to the name of the correct _data folder.