mixed up sectors after crash recovery

Hi guys, new to the forum, but long time user of audacity.

version 2.0.2, using Windows 7

problem: crashed after recording a 60-minute audio (spoken word only).

I have tried to reconstruct my file from the data, but audacity recovery utility won’t returns an error.

Tried to reconstruct the file manually TWICE, using a very long session of cut and paste, but the sectors are mixed up.

The first time I did this manually, I sorted the data sectors by ‘filename’ from within Windows file manager, hoping that the filenames would be in proper order. They are mixed up.

The second time, I sorted the files by ‘date modified’, but the are still mixed up.

I just tried to sort them by ‘date created’, but there are a number of the sectors that are created within each ‘minute’, so they are not being sorted by the ‘second’, ie each minute’s sectors are going to be mixed up.

Any suggestions for solving this would REALLY help, as the audio content was very valuable, and I would not want to have to re-record the audio.

It makes me NOT want to use Audacity for the initial recording, because of its love of crashing on Windows 7.

Thanks very much for all your help, Jerry K

Audacity 2.0.2 is very old. The current version is 2.1.1 http://audacityteam.org/download/windows.

If the computer crashed and not just Audacity it is probably a problem with your audio drivers but could also be a hardware problem. See http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/faq_errors.html#reboot.

Did you try just restarting Audacity? It should have shown you an Automatic Crash Recovery dialogue and almost all times you can then recover the recording by choosing the option to recover. If there was no Recovery dialogue, open Explorer, type


into the address bar and hit ENTER. Open the “Audacity” folder then the “AutoSave” folder.

Is there an AUTOSAVE file in that “AutoSave” folder? If yes, Audacity will attempt to recover when you restart it. If there no AUTOSAVE file but there is a TMP file, rename that TMP file so it has


at the end instead of .tmp. Then restart Audacity and choose to recover.

Otherwise see http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/recovering_crashes_manually.html. As you can see there, you have to sort the files in time order and then rename them into a consistent sequence while they are sorted by time. Then you can use the Audacity 1.2 Recovery Utility from that link to recover up to about 1000 AU files at a time.


Hi Gale,

Thanks very much for your detailed reply.

No, I didn’t retrieve the data immediately after the audacity crash (the PC didn’t crash…just audacity).

I copied all the data onto a separate folder, in order to preserve it…so at least my data files are safe.

This was a 60-minute recorded speech, for biz purposes, so there are 632 individual .au files. Lots to reassemble, especially using a manual method!

The recovery utility comes back with an error every time. No reasonable explanation.

The problem that I have is this: when I sort the data files by ‘date created’, I am still left with approx 9 files for each minute of recorded time. It looks as though I will have to copy and paste each minute’s worth of files in audacity, listen and sort each one into proper order, and then move on to the next minute. With 60 minutes of recording, that could take HOURS!

The speech is to valuable…I do not want to lose the content.

As stated, I will NOT use audacity on Windows 7 to record a large project anymore…very frustrating, because it is a great piece of software, but it crashes too often on my OS. I will use Reomer’s Hi-Q recorder…records easily, never crashes, sound quality on the free version is good enough for speeches and podcasts.

So, isn’t there an easier way to piece these back together chronologically?

Thanks again, Jerry

Most odd, as it runs flawlessly on my Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Toshiba Satellite laptop. Every week I record one and two hour shows off the interweb or radio - and occasional 3-hour shows - and a lot of the time I’m working the bleeding edge using that latest alpha releases as I am a QA tester.


Gale, thanks for the info about xplorer2lite file manager. It allowed me to time-sort more exactly, as it displayed ‘time created’ in seconds, not just in minutes. This allowed me to sort the files by the EXACT time that they were created.

At least now they are in exact time order.

I will still have to cut and paste 632 sectors together, but it is better than what I had before.

Jerry K

Hi WC,

I have just installed ver 2.1.1 for windows, so maybe that will make a difference. I was using 2.0.2 up till today.

The problem with recording larger projects [60-minutes long] is that you cannot save on the fly, like when you are editing a project. I will try it out for a few smaller recordings, to test the waters, but this meltdown has cost me 6 hrs of work trying to solve the problem and it has set this project back by 2 days.

By the way, I have just used xplorer2lite file manager, on a page as suggested by Gale, and it rename the data files in exact time sequence. Then, the recovery utility was able to work properly, so it spit out a reconstructed wav file for me. I just have to go through it now and check for errors.

Thanks for you input. Any suggestions for recording 60-min or larger audios would be appreciated (version that you use, settings, etc).


Now you are using 2.1.1, if it crashes it “should” generate a debug report you can attach for us. We can then see if we can identify the problem http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Help_Menu#Generate_Support_Data

When does it crash - while recording, when saving or exporting, or any time?

Make sure you have enough disk space. An hour of stereo audio takes by default 1.2 GB before you even start editing it and exporting it to an audio file.


It’s perfectly reasonable to make that backup - but in 99% of cases all you need to do is restart Audacity and it should recover the project automatically.

The manual recovery technique only works with unedited recordings. Once you edit your work the timestamps of the AU files no longer reflect the order they have in the Audacity window, so you would just recover a complete jumble.


Yes I know what you mean - I’ve often thought the same myself as I’ve been making longer un-repeatable recordings.

The automatic recovery seems to work well in these later versions of Audacity - it used to be a bit flakey and unreliable in earlier Audacities. It’s one of the things that I test with app cancellation and power-off when we have release candidates prior to the actual release. Plus I’ve needed it “in anger” a couple of times.

I used Audacity’s default 32-bit float 44.1kHz - my Pc is pretty powerful with lots of empty disk space.

For really critical recordings I would abstain from doing other processing on the PC.

A good tip after a critical recording is to export a WAV file of the raw recording, preferably a 32-bit float WAV but even 16-bit would be better than nothing - and then back it up on a couple of external USB drives for safety. You can always then return to the raw recording if editing goes wrong …


Have you considered using some macro tool to do that job?

Either of you could “vote” for that if you wanted to. But writing while recording could potentially endanger the recording.


No need - perissos didn’t understand when he wrote that the 1.2 Recovery Utility pieces the AU files together into a WAV.


And if the chunks are headerless, you could even use a “split and concat” tool for Windows, like this one:


Yes, and that’s why I dream rather than vote … :sunglasses:

and rely on automatic recovery :nerd:

Thanks for all of your replies. Gale suggested using the file manager utility above for managing the data files, which allowed me to sort by ‘date_hr:min:sec’. It was the ‘seconds’ sorting that I needed, so that all the files were arranged chronologically.

The file is now reassembled, fixed and ready to roll.

Hopefully, as pointed out above, this version of Audacity will be more stable than the past ones.

Thanks ‘waxcylinder’ for your tips…brilliant.

all the best, Jerry