Nightmare! Audacity failed to read from a file in <path>

I spent around 12 hours the past weekend working on an Audacity project (Audacity 3.1.2, Windows 11 Home). The program froze when I was attempting to export the final combined audio. After it crashed, I received a “failed to read” message that included:

“type”: “File_Error”,
“value”: “Audacity failed to read from a file in .”,

I was working with a project that included around 4 total tracks, with multiple clips on each. Nothing I seem to do can fix the problem. Is my project simply trash now? The project file is over 6gigs and the final track would’ve been a little over an hour long.

Can anybody help, before I have to start over from scratch?

So if you care to zip up your .aup3 project file and upload it to a public file sharing service, then post (or PM me) a link, I’ll take a look at it. :slight_smile:

The program froze when I was attempting to export the final combined audio.

We should be crystal clear, here. You weren’t trying to Save an Audacity Project? You were File > Exporting a WAV or MP3 sound file when it crashed?

I think the best Jademan is going to do is unscramble the last time you Saved a Project. Do you remember when that was?

Do you have all your original recordings, sound files, and work so you could start editing over again if the finished show doesn’t come back?

It’s a New User error to (for example) announce straight into Audacity, edit the show, add music, and export directly into MP3 for posting. If Audacity does something naughty anywhere in the middle, it can send you all the way back to announcing into the microphone.

It’s good to export WAV sound files of all your original, raw recordings before editing. If it’s a critical interview, double record it.


I saved the project immediately prior to attempting the export to mp3. If the project can be restored in any state, I would consider that a win.

Luckily, I do have all of the original clips saved independently. None of the audio was created within Audacity itself. The only thing “lost” at this point is the day’s worth of time I put in.

It seems, as a new user, I am unable to send PMs. Please send one to me and I can send you the link immediately. I’d rather not post the link here on an open forum if I can avoid it.

I PM’d you, but I’m not sure that will work. You can always ask the moderator to remove the link in you post and PM it to me. :wink:

(Typically, people are not interested in downloading a 6GB file that won’t work).

You’re absolutely right, I cannot reply to PMs. Seems like a bad system. Please let me know when/if you are able to access the file, I’ll then reach out to ask for it to be removed after that.

Anyway, here is the link:

[link removed]

Not a bad system - it’s just that we get a lot of attempted spam, some of it unpleasant and some even dangerous (with risky links).

You are a new user, once the AI decides that you can be trusted you will be able to post PMs :sunglasses:


So, anyway, I’ll need access…

Damn Google! Sorry about that, you should be good to go now.

Seems like a bad system.

You don’t see all the trash we deal with. No, I really don’t need to buy any kitchen cabinets in Manchester, thanks.

When you post work for someone else on a file service, you have to make sure they have access to it. Some services allow you to target access and some make you open it up to everyone.


Apologies for my glib comment. Here I am, a newcomer, making value judgements on systems I couldn’t possibly appreciate the need for. My frustrations with this damn file (I also had a computer crash prior to Christmas which resulted in my starting from scratch once already) have allowed my manners to fall by the wayside, something I regret. I appreciate this forum’s existence and am thankful there are people out there to provide some help and guidance.

Apologies for my glib comment.

We understand the stress of watching days of work go into the bin.

I also had a computer crash prior to Christmas which resulted in my starting from scratch once already

And there’s the “Doorknob Moment.” The patient, having completed a perfect medical examination is leaving the office. They turn with their hand on the doorknob and say, “I caught up blood every night before I go to bed. That’s not important, is it?”

Do you know exactly why your machine crashed? Did you do a health exam after you got it back on its feet? Did you do a Clean Shutdown? Shift+Shutdown > OK > watch for unusual behavior during this shutdown?

Depending on the crash, that’s the equivalent of a small thermo-chemical explosion in your machine. That leaves debris everywhere and Windows needs to be given opportunity to neaten up.

Is this the same machine and do you know why it failed?


Yes, it is the same machine that failed. It required a full replacement of the motherboard, which was apparently the root cause. The machine was sent directly to Dell and returned a few weeks later. The hard drive was in-tact and undamaged based on testing. I didn’t start work on recreating my original Audacity project until it was confirmed that computer was in full working order.

All of my sounds clips were backed up independently on an external hard drive so I didn’t lose any of the elements in their original form.

All of my sounds clips were backed up independently on an external hard drive so I didn’t lose any of the elements in their original form.


MoBo failure is code for, “We can’t find the exact problem, but it’s on the Motherboard somewhere, so it’s cheaper to bin it and start over.” Apple does something similar. They don’t actually fix your old machine, they just send you a “fresh” old one.

Back up all your work…

In my case, I had tons of time and two Windows machines, so I was able to burrow down and locate the bad memory strip. The machine’s been up and running ever since.

We’ll see how Jademan does.


Jademan is still looking… It is a big project and I have a small machine - it will be a while yet. :smiley:

No rush from my end; again, I’m just appreciative of the attention so far! Before I do anything with Audacity going forward, I’ve got a number of other tasks to do and, clearly, lessons to learn.

Well, that’s a good thing. I’ve got good new and not so good news… :smiley:

It looks as though much or all of your project has been recovered: :smiley:
And it is currently uploading; however, the upload will take quite a while - and I don’t expect to be here when it is done, so we are looking at around 8 hours if everything goes well… :astonished: :open_mouth:

YOU ARE A WIZARD! 8 hours to recover is a laugh compared to the amount of time it would take to re-edit from scratch. Fantastic news!

And the upload is complete and I have PM’d the link to you. :smiley:

12 hours!? You’re terrific! I am downloading it now and will get a chance to look at it this evening. Thanks again!