Incomplete recovery of files after crash [CLOSED]

Good day friends. please, I am still a novice at the use of audacity. I use the 2.1.1 version. So, here’s my problem: I was editing a recording and then cut a very useful part of it so as to open a new project for it. But, in my bid to paste this cut part in the new project, there was a crash that required me shutting down my pc. After I restarted my pc, I launched audacity and the automatic recovery process was carried out. However, after this, the cut session was nowhere to be found. What do I do? Please, help me. Thank you.

If you were in the middle of editing and had already performed several edits, then Auto Crash Recovery is all there is. Manual recovery only works from a simple recording.

If you didn’t do anything that cause the system to write sound files to the show, then your last edit is probably history.

Do you still have the raw, pre-edit work around? Can you re-do the edit? Much more importantly, do you know why the system crashed? Did Windows crash, too, or just Audacity? Which Windows?


A crash that shuts down your PC is a system problem and not an Audacity problem, because Audacity doesn’t have permission to terminate Windows. I suggest you run WhoCrashed to investigate the problem. It is probably a bad driver somewhere. See


I use Windows 8. The crash was because I mistakenly selected a recording length longer than the recording itself. And,yes, I still have the pre-edit work. Windows didn’t crash; I force shut it down because it wasn’t responding for a long time. My problem now is that I cannot undo the ‘cut’; I don’t even know where the file is. pls, I’ll appreciate any help. Thanks.

And what did you do after making that overlong selection? Audacity should not crash if you select too much audio.

There is no file. When you cut a selection, you copy references to that data to computer memory used by Audacity. When Audacity closes or quits, those references are gone because the memory is released.

Do I assume when you launched Audacity after the crash that it only recovered one project window, not the new window that you were going to paste into? If so, your only hope is that the audio you cut is still there in the original project window.


After the crash, I didn’t do anything except to save the recovered projects. Audacity recovered both the original as well as the new project; the cut file was in neither of them. Pls, can anything be done? Should I try a system restore or something?

Were there any errors recovering these projects? I suppose that if you received “orphan block file” messages for the first project (the one you cut from), the audio data for that cut “might” be in those orphan files.

Help > Show Log… would show you the names of the orphan block files.

If you never saved this as an Audacity project, the data is in the folder given at Edit > Preferences…, Directories section.

If you had saved a project before the crash, look in the _data folder for the project.

Even if there were orphan block files, as soon as you save the project, Audacity will try to clean up the orphans. So if you still have the project open, but never saved if after the attempted recovery, look in the log to see which files are the orphans. If you get that far, let us know whether you had edited this recording before you cut the piece out.


Actually, I left the project open for a long time while seeking solution; I just saved it recently. However, there are still orphan files in the log and there are options of “save”, “clear” and “close”. What should I do? Also, I saw a folder in the data folder of the project titled “e00”. This folder contains 3 subfolders tilted “d0a”, “d02” and “d08”. Each contains some “.au” files. Do these mean anything? Thanks for your help so far.

If a recovery is not correct and you need to exit Audacity, the only way to preserve the data is to force quit Audacity in Task Manager.

Did you save both recovered projects, or only the project you cut audio from?

Say as an experiment you had two projects with audio, and were to cut some audio from the first project then force quit Audacity before pasting. When you recovered the first project you would not see the cut audio in the waves, but the cut audio would be in the orphan files.

The problem is that Audacity froze when trying to paste audio. No-one knows why, but that suggests to me that the audio data from that cut was not accessible for some reason, or that the chances of the cut data still being there as orphans after recovery are much reduced. Other orphan files relating to edits before the cut would not be affected by the freeze and may still exist until you save the project.

The log window buttons do not do anything to the data itself.

If the save deleted the orphans as it should have done, that would not remove the original entries from the log about orphan files. When the save deletes the orphans, you will probably see the same orphan files listed again at the bottom of the log. If you look in the _data folder for the project, you should see that the files listed in the log as orphans no longer exist in the _data folder.

If the orphans do still exist and you can work out which ones are the cut, then you can recover the files manually. They are probably the only files that still have the timestamps of the original recording.

If you want you can save and attach the log, but I think this was always a lost cause even before you saved the project. Please see here for how to attach files:

You said you still have the audio before you edited it. If so, that is the solution. Is it a WAV file?


Thanks for your help so far Gale; I appreciate. It’s a recording not an already existing audio file. I was recording from a sound system. I finished the recording and was editing it when this problem came up. I haven’t exported the recording as an audio file yet. What I have now is the audacity project data. So, the problem is that in the project, the cut section is missing and this missing part is almost from half way the project till the end. Is it possible to get this part back? Should I still attach the log?

Have you exited Audacity since saving the project you cut from in incorrect state? If yes, the log will show no errors. The orphan files should have been deleted as soon as you saved the project.

If you never exited Audacity since saving the project you cut from, the log will still list the orphan files that may or may not contain the audio you cut. If you still have that log and need help deciphering it, feel free to attach it.

I asked if you saved both recovered projects, or only the project you cut audio from. When you tried to paste, Audacity would have tried to make a copy of the AU files for the cut audio into the project you were trying to paste into. So any orphans in that project you were pasting into “might” be the audio you want. If that project is still unsaved, its orphans will still exist.

If you saved both projects then the only chance, and only if you were using a spinning Hard Disk Drive that was almost empty, would be third-party file recovery software. On a Hard Disk Drive, data remains after deletion until overwritten. Connect an external hard drive to install the recovery software and for recovering the files to, so you don’t risk overwriting what you want to recover.


Hello Gale. I have exited Audacity since saving the project; however, the log still shows errors. I’ll attach the log because I need help to recover the missing cut file if it’s possible; otherwise, I’ll go for the third party file recovery (of which I need help as well). Thank you.
log.txt (1.6 KB)

I sense a note of hope in your voice when you say “File Recovery Tool.” That’s probably a bad idea. Did you also note Gale said “if you were using a spinning Hard Disk Drive that was almost empty”? Do you have an almost empty hard drive? That would make you one of the few people on earth with one of those.

When you delete a file in Windows, it’s true, the file doesn’t really vanish. All that happens is the road map how to get to the file gets deleted and the space is marked open for use. If Windows needs that empty space for any reason (your drive is busy) then the file is paved over. Full Stop.

Are you posting to the forum on that production computer? Then the work may already be lost. Any time Windows needs space for any reason, your work could be destroyed.

If you have a fragmented hard drive (again, very busy with scattered file portions) then the Recovery Tool will only point to the first of many fragments of the file. All others will be lost. Fragments do not point to each other.

So File Recovery seems to be a glowing castle on the hill, it fails for most people. Or worse, it recovers the first 2/3 of the work and the rest is lost.

Unix, Linux and Mac OS-X (based on Linux) all step on old work immediately. There is no recovery at all.


The log shows no file errors, as expected, only a note that you have not installed FFmpeg. So unless you made a copy of the log when it listed orphan files you don’t know which AU files you might be looking for. You can only go on looking for AU files that were deleted at the time you saved the projects.

You can choose your own recovery application, like Pandora or Recuva. Sometimes, one application won’t find missing files and another one will.

I really would not hold out great hopes if you are still using the drive from which the files were deleted.

I don’t actually think that is correct with HFS (Mac) or ext3 or ext 4 (Linux).


Gale, I appreciate your help; thanks alot. I guess I may have to accept it’s lost. Though the lost part is from about half way the project to the end, the other part has no issues. I’ll just make do. Thanks again Gale. Koz, thanks too for the clarifications.

I don’t know whether there is some moral to this story. If you had copied the audio rather than cut, then the audio should have still been present in the recovery of the first project.

Perhaps if you had waited longer after the paste froze, Audacity would eventually have responded.

Sorry for the problem.


Hello Gale. There’s a huge moral to the story; ever since then, I only use ‘copy’ never ‘cut’. Also, I always wait for any processing. Thanks again. Audacity has been working fine.

Thanks. I’ll close this topic now then, even though it was not really “solved” for you.