May have lost my entire project

Hi, I’m new to these forums and I’m very desperate.

I’ve been working on a two month project and while I was working on it today, Audacity crashed on me. At first, I was worried I might have lost the past hour of work I had done, as I had not saved yet today, and was hoping it could auto-recover. Not only was it not able to recover, but the entire project suddenly became silence upon opening it again. Months of work down the drain, just gone. I have many files in the “data” folder for this project, so I know there must be SOMETHING, and yet when I open the project, I see the tracks of correct length, only it’s entirely silence now. I’m going to be devastated if there’s no way to fix this so I truly appreciate any and all help.

Currently when I open the project, it says there are 247 missing audio data block files and gives me log #1 (attached). Naturally if I say to ignore and close, it closes. If I choose to treat it as silence for this session only, it brings another error saying there are 753 orphan block files and gives me log #2 (attached).

Again, I’m super desperate and would appreciate any way anybody could help with this. Please let me know if there’s any more information you need as well and I will be more than happy to provide.
Sonic Medley with edits.aup (1.09 MB)
log #2.txt (308 KB)
log #1.txt (54.9 KB)

Which Audacity?

Did you do a Windows Backup anywhere during the production?

I had not saved yet today,

Through the course of the production, were you always saving to one single show or Project? Do you do that to all your shows?

Describe the show. How long? Multiple tracks?

Jademan has gotten good at rescuing crashed shows. Let’s see how he does with this one.

The latest Audacity 3.0.5 has a “Save Backup” feature.

Screen Shot 2021-10-19 at 12.06.49.png
That saves a Frozen Moment in Time completely divorced from the edit. Use a unique name and Audacity will not “step on” that show in the course of editing.

Also there is this.

Hi, thank you for helping out!

I actually wasn’t sure which version I was using, but I just looked at the readme inside the install folder and it says it’s version 2.4.2. I hadn’t looked at the Audacity website in a while so I honestly didn’t realize I was this far behind. Needless to say I’ll be updating as soon as I’m done with this project.

I’ve been using Audacity since I was in middle school and am completely self-taught, so my methods are unfortunately probably not the most efficient nor, apparently, safe. I was always saving to the same project, yes. But I see now it would make a lot more sense to save as a new project each time (or I guess as a backup as of the latest Audacity). I just genuinely had no idea this was even a possible thing to happen. In my 12 or so years using Audacity I’ve never encountered something as drastic as this so my usual methods seemed alright. I’ve learned my lesson.

The show (I’m assuming that’s just Audacity’s terminology for a project?) is 7 minutes long and there was honestly around 90 different tracks so far, but each track only had snippets of audio here and there, not for the entire 7 minutes. Only about six of the tracks actually lasted the full 7 minutes. I create contemporary a cappella and all these tracks are different pieces of the vocal percussion overlaying the main vocal tracks.

In regards to that last link, the issue about saving as a WAV is that since there are so many tracks, if I have to rely on the WAV I believe it would be impossible to edit specific tracks out of that, right? But yes, I’m aware of file names and I don’t believe I’ve made any errors there.

Should I somehow attach the data folder here or send it somewhere? Or what do you believe would be the best way to analyze the issues with my project?

Thank you again.

Earlier I was working on a program that I hoped to be helpful in some 2.x cases. Unfortunately that project is on indefinite hold and is unlikely to be revived anytime during the next several quarters, as I currently have other projects keeping me busy.

I will not be doing any work on any 2.x projects.

Sorry. :frowning:

I left a note for Jademan.

Should I somehow attach the data folder here

He will tell you what he wants you to do. The forum will only accept really tiny files and sound samples. Do you have an account with a file hosting service such as DropBox?

I actually wasn’t sure which version I was using

Audacity > About or maybe Edit > About Audacity. I’m not a Windows Elf. Its up there somewhere.

I’ll be updating as soon as I’m done with this project.

Never update in the middle of a project. Get accustomed to the new one before you start a new show. Audacity 3.0.5 has a one-file Project structure. MyMusic.aup3. No more .aup files and _data folders with a million files in it.

Audacity 3.0.5 will open up older Projects.

I see now it would make a lot more sense to save as a new project each time

The older Audacity versions made this more difficult than it had to be. Save As: would produce a new Project file system, but then stick you with editing the new one from now on instead of continuing to edit the Project you just left. The new one produces a divorced Project and then leaves it there and continues to edit the main Project—if you want to. Save As: is still available.

I don’t know that I would habitually save a backup, either, although you could. I don’t know what The Word on this is. As long as Nothing Goes Wrong and you don’t close Audacity, the Audacity Edit > UNDO will take you back and forth between versions of the show. Projects of any version do not save UNDO.

As we go.


I understand. Is the recovery of a project like this too complicated to be rescued at this point or is there any way you may be able to point me in the right direction of getting it fixed? As I explained in my first post, I see a bunch of files in the Data folder but nothing is showing up so I feel as though the issue lies somewhere in Audacity not reading the files correctly. I’m just not sure what to do about that.

Dueling Postings.

I will not be doing any work on any 2.x projects.

So that’s the end of that. When a Legacy (2.0) Project crashes, it scrambles the sound samples and segments. It becomes an explosion in a confetti factory with no straightforward recovery. Again, traditionally, a crashed project edit was final.

That WAV file posting had to do with the desirability of creating perfect quality WAV files of all your original performance work. It should be possible to have a Project crash and re-create the show from all the original backup sound files. Yes, that would take a while depending on the complexity of the show, but it is possible.

What we’re trying to avoid is the interviewer who opens up a conversation with the governor, cleans it up, cuts it for style, time, and rhythm and then exports it as MP3 for posting to his podcast server. Juuuuust as they press Export, Audacity goes into the dirt taking the edits and all the sound with it—all the way back to the actual interview.

See what the governor is doing after dinner. We need to reshoot that.

What I would be doing is exporting a copy of the WAV file I made immediately after the live interview


…and cut it again.


But wait. There’s more.

Being professionally obsessive, I would double record anything as important as the Sacramento interview. After I made sure the main sound files were OK, I’d check the backup voice recording on my iPhone.

This was a broadcast interview. The stuff on the left is me and Audacity. The stuff on the right is the backup recorder.


As you noted, the _DATA folder has a bunch of tiny 6-second .AU sound files and they do open in Audacity. If you wanted to listen to them, you can see if you can sort any order or identity. Since you have an intimate relationship with the sounds, it may be possible to get pieces of the Project back by manually populating a blank Audacity work window.

If any of these music pieces were stereo, two channels, then the little mono AU files would have originally alternated Left, Right, Left, Right.