Project is Corrupt. Unable to work with blockfiles

Could anyone please help me recover a podcast edit I was working on? Audacity crashed and now I can’t open the file. States project is corrupt.

Which Audacity? 3.5.1?

How long is the show? Lots of detailed editing?

Do you leave a lot of apps resting in The Dock?

External drives? Home Network Drives? Internet Drives? Cloud Drives? Is Zoom or any other chat application running in the background?


There is a detailed presentation for crash recovery, but it’s only for Windows.

There are three different methods of saving a Project. Just Simple Save which overwrites the show each time you use it. This is the one that fools New Users into thinking they made 37 copies of the show, when in fact, they overwrote one Project 37 times

Save Project As which starts a Differently-Named separate new Project and leaves you there.

Save Backup Project which creates a separate, differently-named Project and keeps editing the first one.


The show is just over an hour. Not a ton of editing. Problem is If I can’t recover it I lose the conversation. I have it saved on an external hard drive. I used 3.5.1. Nothing resting in the dock or running at the same time.

“It” being an Audacity Project.

When I do valuable recordings, I File > Export them, errors, fluffs, mistakes and all, as WAV files when I get done recording (assuming a mono or stereo show). Perfect Quality WAV files can then be opened and used for editing if needed. If they’re not needed, I just go ahead and edit the Project. They have none of the compression distortion problems of MP3 and they’re a lot less brittle than Audacity Projects.

Separate sound recorders usually have their own local copies of meetings or conversations and that’s the backup.

I’ve never lost a paid job.

If nobody posts with comments on this message, then the show is probably history. One of the forum elves used to be a grand master at rescuing crashed shows, but we haven’t seem them in a while. Also, I think they were on Windows.


How external? Home network? Audacity doesn’t much like external drives of any kind for live editing. You can store files on any kind of drive you like, you just can’t let Audacity see you doing it.

Do all editing on the internal drive.


Correct “It” was an audacity project. I appreciate you reaching out. I will follow these guidelines from here on out. Would love to send it to anyone to see if they could work their magic in an attempt to recover it. Thanks again.

Sandisk 2TB external drive.

Magic conversions usually involve posting the work on your cloud storage and then forwarding the address to the magician. Forum files can’t be any larger than 4MB. My email poops out at 25MB, so outside of mailing a thumb drive, you’re kind of stuck with that.

While we wait for developments, the Producer (of the three people working on your show) should be thinking about what to put in that hole.

Do you have a generic show in the archives ready for such an emergency? You can also say, "Our Recycling Beehives show was so popular, we decided to run it again.

The other two people are Sound Engineer and Talent/Performer. If you only see one person in the mirror each morning, then you are all three.

Time to shift to Producer Mode.


I have a similar drive on one of my Macs for simple backups. Something that large can have two problems. Speed and Sluggishness. Every time the Mac wants to save or retrieve something, it has to look up addresses and locations.


Week goes by,

“I think there’s a hole on sector 5, ring 4.”

Then there’s Fragmenting. Drives don’t put your work down file at a time. They look at available space and then break up the work to fit. So your work could be in hundreds of tiny chunks sprayed over the medium.

Contrast that with Audacity needing to retrieve and record work in real time.


Many Producers are stuggling with 3.5.1 problems similar to yours. The Developers are weighing possible solutions.