Manually recover corrupted AUP3 file

Hey everyone,

First-timer here! Running Audacity 3.0.4 on Windows 10. I’ve been using Audacity for about a month now.

Long story short: I believe my AUP3 file is corrupted as I can’t open it. I’ve spent a couple hours searching through the forums for a solution and it seems complete recovery of this problem is rare. I saw in a few places where they opened the file and recovered some of the audio blocks. I’m hoping that there is just a few blocks of audio that are bad, and that I can recover the bulk of the file. Is this a process I can try on my own, via some software or something, or is it exclusively a developer capability?

Long story long: Today I recorded an interview for a podcast through Audacity, and immediately saved it as an Audacity project (I’ve since learned that the proper way is to save a WAV file immediately, and then to back up that WAV file on thirteen separate external drives to make sure it doesn’t go bad haha). After running it through a compressor, I tried noise reduction and it failed. I then tried restarting Audacity, but it wouldn’t let me open the file. Here’s the error log if it interests anyone:

“timestamp”: 1635627673,
“event_id”: “e058481f458850469a41b999761232bf”,
“platform”: “native”,
“release”: “audacity@3.0.4”,
“contexts”: {
“os”: {
“type”: “os”,
“name”: “Windows”,
“version”: “10.0.19042”
“exception”: {
“values”: [
“type”: “File_Error”,
“value”: “Audacity failed to read from a file in .”,
“mechanism”: {
“type”: “runtime_error”,
“handled”: false,
“data”: {
“sqlite3.rc”: “11”,
“sqlite3.context”: “SqliteSampleBlock::Load::step”

Tried saving an instance of the file on my desktop, and it still wouldn’t open. I’m hoping that there is at least a little bit of audio I can recover from this. Other pieces of information: I do not see other files, such as an AUP3-WAL file. I saved it initially on an external drive, and then tried again on my desktop. I have full permissions on both drives.
Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks again,



And as we come into Halloween, the goblins are coming out of the woodwork!

So, as I told austin:

Possibly not. Sqlite3 Result Code = 11 indicates a corrupt file. You project may be unrecoverably damaged.

If you care to zip up your file and upload it to a file sharing service, then post (or PM me) a link, I’ll take a look at it.

Sometimes we get lucky. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help!

The file is one track, about an hour long, about 2 GB.

My apologies, I didn’t zip the first one. Here is the zipped file


save a WAV file immediately

You have the wave copies, right? So you killed your current edit, not the opportunity to repair it later. The high voice, wide eyes, waving arms forum postings are from the people with no back up and the only copy of their work is in that crashed project with the error messages and no sound.

on thirteen separate external drives

There’s recommendations for that, too. Be able to point to two different places that have your WAV copies. Internal hard drive and external USB thumb drive counts as two. External hard drive is one. Cloud drive is one. Home network drive counts as one. Two folders on one drive does not count. Audacity doesn’t always get along with exotic or remote drives, so make your local export first and then copy it to other drives.

What’s wrong with more than two? You have to make the habit of doing it every time you shoot something. If you shoot two interviews, that’s 26 file exports.

I’ll make fresh coffee. Call me when you’re done.


So my Q&D resources are not being effective at overcoming the database error.

I am currently running my audio extractor to extract the raw audio. Since you only have the one track, things won’t get so jumbled. After it finishes, I’ll upload it. This will be overnight.

UPDATE: Upload is running, it should be completed in an hour or two…

I’m hoping that there is just a few blocks of audio that are bad, and that I can recover the bulk of the file.

That doesn’t have a really good track record. Picking up where you left off generally invites another crash and even more damage. You should produce protection backups as quickly as you can assuming something of value comes of the rescue.

I then tried restarting Audacity, but it wouldn’t let me open the file.

If you have a crash or other super evil event, there’s some rules about that, too. Misbehaving software can leave trash laying around on the machine. Shift+Shutdown Windows > Wait > Start. Don’t let anything automatically start.

Shift+Shutdown resets more Windows processes and helps clean up after a crash.

I don’t know we ever found out what’s causing Audacity to damage shows like this. There was one tiny event a while ago where someone was having constant troubles and made them all vanish by freeing up a bunch of hard drive space. If you have a Solid State Drive, that’s all you do. They shuffle things around internally and it’s best not to interfere with that. If you have a spinning metal drive, you’ll need to free up room and then optimize or defragment it.

Let us know.


Missed one.

I was going to urge you to install Audacity 3.0.5 as the last known stable release, but that’s not the current Audacity any more. 3.1 was released recently.

Whichever direction you go, there is a setting in the Audacity Windows Installer that tries to clean up a bit instead of blindly assuming all the old version’s preferences, adjustments, and settings.



Do you know if Release 3.1 is supposed to address this spontaneous Project Hindenburg problem?


I am not aware of any such fixes. Nor do I see any relevant notes in the official Release Notes 3.1

Not as far as I’m aware, though there has been some dev talk considering options for dealing with corrupt projects.

Fundamentally the issue is that working with media is a lot more demanding on the system than most other kinds of computer work. Some media apps (such as Pro Tools) even go so far as producing hardware specifically for running the app. On the other hand, Audacity typically runs on general purpose consumer PCs, and sometimes unsuitable systems (eg cloud storage, low RAM, small / slow hard drives, lots of background services). As Audacity gains shiny new features there is a tendency for the system requirements to increase, and while the shiny new features work fine on the developers machines…

OK, the upload is done - I have sent you a PM with the link. :smiley:

Thank you all for your help! I appreciate you taking the time to educate me as well.

It looks good! I think it’s all there! It’s fairly garbled, so i’m going to have a fun time sorting through it and piecing it together. Thank you again for your help!

You are welcome. :smiley:

Today I recorded an interview for a podcast


How long was the interview (roughly)?

Stereo (two blue waves) or mono?


Hi Koz,

It was about an hour long stereo recording. I don’t know much about how this stuff works, but it looks like the left and right tracks were merged together, so I get overlapping blocks about 11 seconds long. Is there an easy way to remove every other audio block?

I guess a little bit deeper question is what exactly constitutes a block? If it is an exact length of time, or a specific file size, then perhaps I can write a simple python script or something to remove every other block.

It was about an hour long stereo recording.

I’m tracking down what you were doing just before the crash.

Traditional blocks are six seconds long and in an unedited stereo show, they alternate Left-Right-Left-Right.

Blocks get scrambled during editing and an edited stereo show is almost impossible to re-assemble.

It’s very slightly easier if you have a stereo show with a mono voice. That means you will have twice as many blocks as you need with the same thing on the Left and Right blocks.

I think Jademan used to do rescues manually until that turned into a career move.

You might be able to do this with a Macro (scripting language) about which I know little or nothing.


It is indeed a mono voice, I only need half of the blocks.

The only editing I did was run it through Chris’s dynamic compressor. My next step was to do some ambient noise reduction, but half way through the process the error popped up “Can’t read from file”.

I will look into the macros for sure. Is it worth learning SQLite?

Thanks again!

Is it worth learning SQLite?

Maybe you can do it in Macro-ese.

A Macro (in the outside world, “Batch” file) is a text collection of all the things you were doing by hand anyway. One significant shortcoming of Macro/Batch is a complete inability to make decisions. There is no: “if this happened, then do that.” You start it, it goes to the end, and then stops. No decisions, no branches.

This is a fragment illustration for the Audiobook Mastering Macro.

Screen Shot 2021-10-31 at 11.34.58 AM.png
Those text lines keep going off the page on the right. They’re basically instructions how to perform an effect.

But just to illustrate, that’s an automatic method to apply Filter Curve, Loudness Normalization, and Limiter. Three Audacity effects.

The first line is from good programming practices to label and identify your program. It’s a comment. Ideally, it would have a release number, date, and author name.

It was notable that the by-hand job of mastering before the Macro was well established and stable. So this is the Macro version of a good, existing process.

Do you have a good working process to rescue the first minute or so of your show? If you can’t write down what you’re doing now on a legal pad, then programming it in anything will be a nightmare.


Wearing my Producer hat for a minute, how many new shows are you not making while you’re struggling with this one?

The Recording Engineer and the Artist/Performer get all the press, but it’s the Producer that writes the checks. Those are the three hats you’re wearing.