Losing first ~90% of data

I’ve been recording a podcast with a couple friends, and I have had the same issue twice now on Windows 10, Audacity 2.1.0. I record about 120 minutes of audio, I am watching the levels, and when we wrap and I go to save, I get the “Could not save project. Perhaps [file path] is not writeable or the disk is full” error, and all but the last 10 or so minutes of audio is just gone (note that I have about 900 GB free). All the levels are wiped out for the rest of the recording. It’s still there, timestamped, but it’s just silence. I can’t have it happen again. Unless there’s a way to recover it, there’s zero chance I can risk using Audacity again. Anyone ever experienced a similar issue?

I’ve been recording a podcast with a couple friends

Where are the friends? Across the table or several time zones away? It’s not the best idea to time share Audacity with other communications or conferencing programs, even games. Skype in particular “does not play well with others.”

Could not save project.

The most common cause of that is trying to put punctuation marks or dates into a filename. Today is 2019-06-12, not 6/12/19. If you need punctuation marks, stick to -dash- and underscore.

However that problem is usually global. It doesn’t allow portions of the show to survive.

there’s zero chance I can risk using Audacity again.

It may take several days—or longer—to resolve this, so it’s probably a good idea to start using your backup audio program.


It’s a good idea on important shows to double record.

This is a broadcast radio interview. I’m on the left with Audacity and the setup on the right is the performer’s backup recorder. Both sound files survived very well. We sent my files to the client.


Thanks for the replies.

To clarify, I recently switched to a new computer for recording and installed 2.3.2, and it looks like that’s where the problem began. We are coordinating via Skype and recording locally, as you predicted. We had previously recorded six sessions this way with no issues (and I was on a legacy version of Audacity).

Having switched computers and versions, there are just too many variables for me to pin down the issue at this time, and recovery doesn’t appear to be an option. I think my solution for now is going to be to go back to my old setup and use a backup until I can figure it out.

Do you Save the empty project before you start the recording ?

This is very good practice (especially for long recordings - like your two hours). If you don’t do this Audacity uses its temporary file location and then at the end of your two hours the Save done then will need to copy the temporary files to your new save location - and clean up the temporary storage space.

If you save the empty project first Audacity will use files in your specified location throughout the recording.

Another tip: immediately after you finish the recording, export a WAV file copy of the recording as a backup - this could go to a suitably sized USB stick.


These are good suggestions. Thank you. Further investigation revealed that it is very likely Norton purging temp files. I usually uninstall bloatware before doing anything serious, but I didn’t, and it looks like Norton is periodically deleting temp files.