Norton causes project audio to disappear[SOLVED]

It appears that Norton Anti Virus is causing sections of audio to disapear before, during or after attempting to save. (I was never sure exactly when the audio would come up missing)
This “Lost” audio was unrecoverable no matter what i tried.
The lost audio segments were random in length and where in the recordings they would appear.
My best guess is that Norton is randomly scanning through files in the background behind the scenes.
The moment it happens to scan across the temp folder that Audacity is recording into, that is where the problems would begin for the audio in that file
This is just my guess as to what and how it is happening.

I have solved this by setting Norton Anti Virus to silent Mode for the duration of my recording process.
This appears to have fixed the issue.

Read the below posts and descriptions to see of it matches any of you problem symptoms.

Original Post
Win 7 64bit
MOBO: EVGA E760 A-1 (Classified)
RAM: 12GB Corsair DDR3 1800mhz
HDD: 1TB SeaGate Barricuda 7200rpm (9% full)
PSU: Corsair HX 850
Not Connected to the web.

Audacity 2.05
Running wireless mic, into a Saffire 6 DAC box, into pc via USB.

It usually saves the project.
Sometimes it doesnt.
I cant figure out what the trigger is for this.
The length of time that dissapears varys.
And where the section is that dissapers varys.
Sometimes it refuses to save the project at all because “…Perhaps your hard disc is full…”
Other times, it saves everything fine, im able to save, edit and export as MP3 without a problem.
When it refuses to save anything, ive tried exporting in other formats, then reopen it. that always looks like its working, but, when i reopen the project, there is nothing there.

Id say 80% of the time, it records with no probs.

I have tried to monitor any programs that are running or things that might cause this but,
That seems to be the mystery. Its always the same things running. in the same order.

Is there anything common about the errors? They always split off the end of the show?

Do you use “safe” filenames? No punctuation marks except underscore and dash? Dates are usually a problem. Today is 2014-01-07, not 1/7/14. Do you use punctuation marks in the metadata text?

Do you use “reference files?” Audacity has two different methods to manage sound files for inclusion into your show. It can make “personal copies” of each sound file. That’s safe, but takes longer. It can also run in “reference mode.” That’s where it leaves sound files right where they are, but points to them just exactly when they’re needed. This method is much faster – Audacity dosn’t have to horse large sound files around – but you run the risk of creating a Project ball-and-chain linked to all the original sound files that now can’t be moved or changed in any way.

Does that sound like what’s happening to you?


Audacity > Edit > Preferences > Projects: “Always Copy…” puts the music files inside Audacity. “Don’t Copy” is the reference method. Point to 'em when you need 'em.

You can catch up your show in post production.

Audacity > File > Check Dependencies…


Of course it does if it’s a Windows legal character, though there are some exceptions due to Audacity bugs.

It’s better to stick to A to Z or a to z characters, whole numbers (0 to 9) and underscores ( _ ) only (don’t even use hyphen or dash) if the files are for another user, another computer or for web distribution. See Audacity Manual .


Under what circumstances is a dash mark not accepted? We use all three major operating systems at work plus whatever the clients use and have never had obvious troubles. Koz

Steve also asked me, so I’ll repeat myself.

Strictly, I think hyphen (known as ASCII hyphen-minus or Unicode U+002D, close to Backspace on the QWERTY keyboard) is fine. But only that is fine.

The problem is the common confusion between hyphen and em-dash/en-dash (or the belief that “hyphen” and “dash” mean the same thing).

In particular, you can create an em-dash between two words in MS Word by typing two hyphens.

Also there are various “Unicode” characters that “look” loosely like dash or hyphen, such as horizontal bar ( Unicode Character 'HORIZONTAL BAR' (U+2015) ).

Then Unicode “hyphen” and “minus” are separate characters from ASCII hyphen-minus (U+002D).

So unless we make clear we mean a “single key press to make a hyphen-minus” or similar, I think it’s easier to say that only underscore is safe (for transmitting files to others).


Not necessarily. You can use a short form:
Numbers, Upper and Lower Case Letters and Underscore or Hyphen from the same key.


Please note I’m resisting calling the hyphen an “Upper Case Underscore.”

So, your thinking that the use of ( /) symbols when attempting to save a file will cause random sections of the project to dissapear and or make it saveable sometimes while unsaveable other times?

Have you seen this Happen any where else?

Im willing to try this, but it kinda sounds like all the PC people offering help with a PC problem by saying “Just reformatt, that should fix it”
This being the answer to this as the root of this problem sounds a little vague. But, maybe im wrong.

Anyone else have an answer or seen anything like this?

I’m trying to visualise this - You are making a 5 hour recording of bird song, and when you press the Stop button your computer explodes…

Have you seen this Happen any where else?

No, but you did come up with a squirrelly problem. Computer file management can get seriously Twilight Zone when you start using unacceptable characters in the filenames. 1/9/13. That’s not today’s date. That’s a file called 13 inside a folder called 9 inside a directory called 1. And your computer will try to create that structure for you.

I don’t remember the response to the soundfile reference technique suggestion. That can totally give you a show with large missing pieces or silent stretches. We look for Obsessives trying to do music mixes. They get to the end of a reference type show and then “clean out and neaten up” all those messy sound files and destroy their show in the process.

I don’t think there is any set of conditions on a healthy machine that can cause your symptoms, so either you are trying to convert Audacity to a surveillance recorder, a very popular but usually unsuccessful effort, or your computer is unhappy for any of a number of reasons. I’m fuzzy on this, but I think the Project limit using the default Audacity sound settings is 13 hours, but even if you exceed that, all it does is start over. You don’t get random gaps in the show.

Random gaps in an otherwise healthy show almost always means you moved the wrong music files at the wrong time.


I had to think a little about what that meant, reading it cold.

How about the short-form being “You can use numbers, upper and lower case letters and the key that produces underscore or hyphen-minus.”

I think we should say “hyphen-minus” anyway, to distinguish from Unicode hyphen.


How? Windows would not allow a file to be saved with forward slashes in the file name.


Of course not. You will just see an error that the file name is not valid.

Also note that what Koz said about “make a copy” only applies to importing uncompressed files like WAV or AIFF, not to recording. It’s irrelevant if you are only recording, in which case the full data is copied into the project.

There is an occasional random problem that Audacity won’t save to an xml project file (which could be the autosave unsaved changes file or an actual AUP file). I have only ever seen it happen myself with autosave files.

If it happens, I suggest you always export to WAV instead. If you have a label track, you can export that too.

Do you have multiple projects open at a time? There is a longstanding but almost-never-happens bug that Audacity can move data around between projects that are open. So you will have missing audio data block files in one project, and orphaned block files in the project that the data was moved to.

Do you actually see “missing audio data block files” error messages when you load the project and find it has audio missing? If you see that error, don’t choose to silence the audio.

Is the audio missing (shorter length that it should be) or correct length but a flat line where the audio should be?

Is there any chance the AU files in the temporary or project _data folder are getting moved or deleted by some other program? Edit > Preferences, choose Directories. Where is the Audacity temporary directory? Do you have permanent permission to write there?

How long are the recordings and what project rate? Note that you can’t have tracks longer than just over 13.5 hours at 44100 Hz track rate, or the whole project will reopen “orphaned”. The limit is shorter at higher rates. That issue will be fixed in the next 2.0.6 release.

Anyway, if the save error happens again, leave the project open, export your tracks, then open Help > Show Log… and save the log file. Attach the log to your post. Please see here for how to attach files: .


I’ve seen data disappear when the project being worked on or the temporary folder are on a network drive. Are you using a network drive? You have still told us very little about what you are actually doing and we can’t see over your shoulder so we can only guess.

I think we should say “hyphen-minus” anyway, to distinguish from Unicode hyphen.

OK, but…
Correct me, but unless you go to extraordinary effort, there’s only two characters on a keyboard that look anything like “-”. Lower case Underscore and Numeric Keyboard Minus. Most people would not naturally reach for the numeric keyboard to hyphenate “Simon Bar-Sinister” – few people are expecting to subtract “Sinister” from “Bar” – and certainly wouldn’t go through holding ALT and Shift and whatever else you need to press to achieve the extended Unicode/ASCII character set.

I suspect we could count the number of people that managed to slip an “en-dash” into a filename by accident on no hands.


The missing audio is the correct length, but, there appears a flat line in the sections of audio that “Disappears”. I can watch the audio being created, and never see anything that would indicate something has happened. But, when i go to save it, a large portion of audio is now a flat line.

Just to go over this again, when you create the show, the red sound meters bounce merrily and the blue waves pile up on the timeline absolutely as normal, right? You can Stop and then play several parts of the show as a quality control measure and everything plays just fine, yes?

Then File > Save Project, turn off the machine and go to bed. When you open the Project in the morning, that’s when you discover parts of the show have flat-lined? You suggest in several places Audacity records holes in the show and I don’t think that’s what’s happening. I think there some damage in the save process.

But I can’t think what.

The machine has no network connection…

And occasionally, the machine will fail to save anything at all? What are the messages when it does that? Can you see the Hard Drive light and is it flashing madly when the save fails?

Do you ever turn off the machine? Do you have the machine set to check memory when it wakes up? That may be a good idea until we figure out what’s happening.

Did you build the machine? Did you turn on the hard drive failure feature? Did you do a drive inspection at any time? Start > My Computer > C: > Properties > Error Test. I’m doing that from fuzzy memory.

Was the machine ever connected on line? Does it have virus protection?


Theophilus20, is this what happens:

You save a project and close Audacity.
Next day or some time later you try to open the project (how? Do you open Audacity and go to “File > Open…” and select the .aup file, or some other method?)
An error message pops up and you dismiss the message.
The project opens and there are portions of the project that show a flat line instead of the proper waveform.