Project data file vanished but project file remains

I saved a new project file and recorded a 30-minute podcast, then clicked save again afterwards. I left my computer open for a few minutes and when I came back, the project file was still there but the project data folder had vanished, as had all of the audio. I tried to “recover deleted files” but nothing turned up. The issue is that I had a 30-minute audio file that appears to have vanished with no warning. Has anyone else had this problem? How might I go about retrieving the original file?

I don’t know why that happened but in the future I recommend “backing-up” by exporting to WAV immediately after recording whether you create an Audacity project file or not. A WAV file is just more reliable since it’s a single file (and it can be moved-around without screwing it up).

…And of course, if it’s a critical irreplaceable recording you need an appropriate back-up procedure with multiple back-ups on multiple systems, etc.

And, if you’re recording something critical where there’s no possibility of “take two” you should have a 2nd system recording in parallel. (Nothing is 100% reliable and computers are the least reliable gadgets we own!)

This is a broadcast voice performance over several cities. I did the Los Angeles branch.

The left-hand roughly 2/3 is me in Audacity, the right-hand third is the backup recorder. The other engineer grabbed pieces of it before I could take the picture.

I exported the work immediately as WAV (Microsoft). I think I still have it here somewhere. The client loved it. We didn’t need the backup sound file.


when I came back, the project file was still there but the project data folder had vanished

It’s possible to get that kind of error with a super protective virus protection program or system.

Typically, they don’t ask. If they see something that could be damaging, they just go for it and you never see the work again.

There is one more less likely possibility. What were your filenames? I think it’s still possible to get into serious trouble by using punctuation marks inside filenames. For critical work, it’s upper, lower, numbers -dash- and underscore. That’s the whole list.

Today is not 3/4/18, it’s 2018-03-04.

Were you using on-line services or editing to iCloud/Google Cloud? That can create odd problems. That’s not recommended.