Project Lost Audacity 2.2.1

I had spent many hours recording and working on a podcast, into which I had imported several tracks. I was just about done, so I saved it, and then I decided I wanted to delete one of those tracks. I clicked the X, and then Audacity froze, then crashed. I opened Audacity again, and it told me there was a recoverable version of my project.

I figured this was like the way Word autosaves every so often. I tried to open the recoverable version, but it couldn’t do it. It said there was an invalid token at line x (I don’t remember which one). I figured this was no big deal, I’d just open the copy I had already saved.

So I did that, and now when I open it it says it’s detected 549 missing audio data blockfiles, and gives me an option to quit immediately, temporarily replace all the audio with silence, or permanently replace all the audio with silence. Is there anything I can do, or is my hours of work just gone?

Select the option “temporarily replace all the audio with silence”.
Does that give you a working project?

If you select “permanently replace all the audio with silence”, then any missing audio will be permanently deleted.

You say you were using 2.2.1 - did you us File > Save As rather than File > Save?

There was a nasty bug in 2.2.1 (now fixed for 2.2.3) whereby using Save As could cause the project toi be overwritten wit silence (irrecoverably).

You really should upgrade: to the latest 2.3.2 as soon as possible (and keep an eye out for the soon to be upcoming 2.3.3):