Use of files from system recovery


I made a system recovery to find audacity files modified.

I got those files back, there are now in a new directory (which in not the default audacity folder).

Those files cannot be opened even using the open menu of the software.

Moreover the two files are on different partitions of the disk : C (system) for the initial ones, and D for the recovered ones.

(by the way if you can tell me why audacity files are in two parts).

Any idea to solve this ?


Legacy Audacity Projects were in two parts. The .AUP Project manager text file, and the _DATA folder with the actual sound files in tiny chunks.

Newer Audacity projects are carried in one .AUP3 file.

I made a system recovery

Do you know why your system crashed? Audacity doesn’t recover well if it was open when the system went down.



Thanks for your mail. the system didn’'t crash, not even when working with audacity.
I recovered them at the previous state. And I cannot open them.
They seem to be well recovered (aup file + data folder).
Is there a repair mode ?


I made a test on recovered but unmodified files.
They have exactly the same name, size (identical number of bytes) as the original files.

This probably means that the recovery is correct, at least on those ones.

The .aup recovered file is associated to audacity as default program. Both .aup and _data files are in the same directory.
But I cannot open them with audacity.

Any idea ?


Somebody would have an idea about this question ?


You don’t say what happens when you try, nor do you say what version of Audacity you are running.

Note that as koz alluded, it is important that the .aup file and the _data folder have exactly the same names (other than these stated differences). For example if the aup file is named abc.aup, then the data folder must be named abc_data.

Do you want to post a screen shot demonstrating your difficulty?

Thanks for your reply,

I use audacity 2.4.2

The .aup file d the data folder have exactly the same name and are in the same directory. There are some spaces in the names of the file and folder (but it doesn’t make any problem with the initial files : ie the non recovered)

I open the .aup file through the menu file / open and I have the following message

“the abc.aup file is an audacity project file. Please use the command file / open to open the audacity projects”

…Which is what I do.


  1. Please try copying/renaming both the .aup files and the data files, removing all special characters including spaces (but keep the "" in _data). You can use some filler such as “z” if you wish.

  2. If you still have the error, please post a screenshot displaying the error.


Thanks for your message.

I tried on 2 set of files (removing the spaces or filling them with “z”).
After these changes in the names, when I try to open them with File / Open I have exactly the same message as previously.

I do not know how to insert an image (should I copy it to a web link first ?)

The full message is

error importing
fileabc.aup is an audacity project file. Use the File > Open command to open audacity projects

==> It will also be useful if you can post the last several lines of the log file. Help > Diagnostics > Show Log. Save the log file then copy the text directly to your post. You can embed it with the “code display” button: “</>”


Here is the screenshot :
Find also hereafter the log file

Audacity 2.4.2
Log Cleared.
20:26:37: File name is D:\testrec\test2.aup
20:26:37: Mime type is *
20:26:37: Opening with libsndfile
20:26:37: Opening with liboggvorbis
20:26:37: Opening with libflac
20:26:37: Opening with libmad
20:26:37: Opening with lof
20:26:37: Opening with libav
20:26:37: Error: Importer::Import: Opening failed

Thanks for providing the additional detail. This concise information makes the issue easier to track,

So, when Audacity (2.4.2) first starts up it looks for the string "<?xml " to be at the beginning of the project file:

   if (temp.Mid(0, 6) != wxT("<?xml "))

If it does not find this string, it assumes the file is of some other type and proceeds to try to “import” it. Which leads to this particular circular error.

To verify that this is your issue, you can open your .aup project file in Notepad either via drag-and-drop, or with Right-click “Open with”.

Note that this logic is totally different in the 3.x.x series of Audacity; so it is far to late to report a “bug”.

Do not “save” the AUP file from Notepad. Notepad may mess up the file when saving.

Thank you for your time.

I do not see the string you mention in any file.

The first command of the .aup file is

simpleblockflile filename””
  • some other parameters

Below they are many lines with the following commands (+ parameters)

Waveblock start 

I compared to an audacity file that can be listened, I see 2 major differences :
1 - the header of the correct file is much more developed, it includes :

Xml version
Waveblock start
Waveblock ...

2 - The titles of the .au files included in the .aup file are consistent with the ones in the _Data directory.
Whereas for the recovered file (the one that cannot be opened), the titles of the .au files seem not to appear in the .aup file.

Yeppers. It appears you are missing the first part of your .aup file. If you are an enterprising individual you or a friend could possibly piece together enough of an .aup file to recover portions of your data. I will not do this. I am not working on .aup files at the moment as I have several other projects that need my attention. Good luck. :exclamation:

copying/renaming both the .aup files and the _data files

Legacy AUP text files have the original project name burned in to the text (red box).

The filenames and the AUP text must match.

I think it’s possible to edit the AUP file so it and the revised filenames match. It’s been a while since this operation was needed. Search the AUP file for instances of the original name.

While you have your AUP file open, does it look roughly like that example? The layout will be different, but words should match. The file should not have black blocks, NUL NUL NUL or graphic characters.


Racing posts.

If you are missing the whole top part of that illustration, then I think that’s the end of the world.

There are difficult and painful methods of recovering a show without a working AUP file, but if this is an edit rather than a raw recording, that is the end.

The _DATA folder has your show as little 6-second AU sound files. AU files will play in Audacity and it is possible to put a show back together by matching up the files one after the other. They are intentionally randomly named, and if you have a stereo show, the AU files alternate Left, Right, Left, Right.