Startup crash (temp storage initialization failure) now occurs with 3 of my flash drives

On my admittedly obsolete Windows 8.1 laptop, Audacity (64-bit) v3.3.3 has recently become unable to use 3 of my flash drives (two of my USB sticks, and one of my microSD cards) for Temporary storage.

All of my several flash drives are in good health, with error-free ExFAT filesystems. All have previously been usable for Audacity temporary storage, and indeed some of them still are usable for that.

Just 3 of them (2 USB sticks and one microSD card) have recently become unusable for Audacity temp storage. If Audacity is configured to use one of these for temp storage, Audacity crashes on startup with EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION_READ.

Before crashing, Audacity creates 3 temp files on the drive. It creates the “New Project…N-1.aup3unsaved” file containing 65536 bytes, and the “New Project…N-1.aup3unsaved-shm” file with 32768 bytes. It also creates an empty “New Project…N-1.aup3unsaved.wal” file with 0 bytes. After the crash, these files remain on the drive. (If I again try to start Audacity using the same drive, Audacity creates another such set of three temp files and again crashes.)

Deleting the Audacity.cfg file doesn’t help in this case. The crashes will still occur.

I don’t know why this problem occurs with just 2 of my USB sticks and one of my microSD cards (all of which were formerly usable with Audacity), while my other flash drives still currently remain usable for Audacity temp storage — (although I anticipate that the same crash condition might eventually develop with any of those other drives in the future, just as it has now happened with these 3).

I have not yet tested with the 32-bit version of Audacity to see if it might avoid the problem.

So, if this were my computer, I would toss those USB sticks and microSD card… just sayin’

I am strongly minded to agree with @jademan - to me too it looks like you have USB clip drives that are failing or starting to fail - they do not last forever. (You might make them last a bit longer by doing a full reformat - not the short/quick reformat.)

But this begs a question: just why are you resorting to using USB sticks and other external “drives” for Audacity’s temporary files?

Audacity will normally work better and more reliably if you use the onboard disk for project files (BTW the temp files in Audacity are the project files for a project that has not yet been Saved - once you save a project the temp file area is not used, instead the project is directly updated where you saved it).


Thanks guys. I’ve replaced the microSD card. If the problem recurs, I’ll replace it again.

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