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Old 06-04-2019, 07:39 PM
Mr. Kelly Mr. Kelly is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Newton, MA 02458
Posts: 246
Default Vanishing audio files

Hi all,

I had a very concerning and perplexing experience today that has never, ever, happened with PT in the 15 years I’ve been using it.

I had a project open and needed to leave for an hour, so I left the session open as it was, and I saved prior to leaving. When I returned, the software had crashed, and upon re-booting PT, I found that a handful of very pertinent audio files had completely disappeared. Nowhere to be found… Anywhere. I have never ever encountered such an event. EVER!

I have both PT 10 and 11 on my Windows 10 system, and I have a dual boot set up with W7, and I honestly can’t remember which system I was running when I had the project open, since I was testing both systems for something unrelated.

So, I traced the audio file pathways in PT, and the files were pointing to the appropriate folder for audio files. But they are nowhere to be found in that folder. I also did a computer wide search for the files, but they are completely vanished without a trace. Poof. Completely gone and very strange.

Has anyone ever had anything like this happen? If so, did you find any way of retrieving the files? I suspect it may be a hard drive error. I know those files are likely on the disk somewhere, but I’m not interested in spending any money retrieving them professionally. Maybe there something I am unaware of that might be relevant?

Thanks for any help or thoughts you might have!
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Old 06-04-2019, 07:49 PM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,141
Default Re: Vanishing audio files

Well that’s no fun. I’ve never seen that either. Just a thought, but try loading the session from your most recent backup file instead of the main session file. Perhaps the list audio will reappear. It’s all I can think of.

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Old 06-04-2019, 07:56 PM
Mr. Kelly Mr. Kelly is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Newton, MA 02458
Posts: 246
Default Re: Vanishing audio files

You are absolutely right, Donald. It is no fun. Zero.

Since the files were the main three takes of a vocal for a client, I now have to either try to deliver the song with an inferior warm up vocal take, or perhaps deliver a half baked render that I did yesterday. That render test mix is really not terribly bad, but it’s not the final product that I would have wanted for them.

The only other option is to tell the client that I’ve had yet more computer difficulties and lost their files. That’s rotten and it’s embarrassing. It reeks of lack of professionalism.

Yes, I did look back in older Session file back ups, but they turn up blank as well. Thanks for the idea.

It was just plain stupid that I didn’t back up the whole project, and I am not always prompt at doing that, but in all the years I’ve been using PT, I’ve never lost files in this manner.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:18 AM
ChuckS ChuckS is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,193
Default Re: Vanishing audio files

Do you have File History configured? Maybe something there. Or if you right click on the audio files folder and select Properties, is there anything available in the Previous Versions tab? That includes both file history and restore points.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:07 AM
Mr. Kelly Mr. Kelly is offline
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Location: Newton, MA 02458
Posts: 246
Default Re: Vanishing audio files

Problem solved!

It was apparently a hard drive error, with an onset of unknown origin.

Not sure why I hadn’t thought of this earlier, but I was relying on Windows start up file checker to do a file check scan upon boot up, which was taking hours each time, so when I would come back, the computer had booted up again. Upon additional restarts, it will default back into system file checker, so it seemed to be going around in circles. I figured that alone was a sign of something diabolical.

So, eventually, I wondered about defragmenting the dive to see if it would loosen something up, and when I opened the defrag window, I remembered that Windows has a hard drive checking app within that portal, and one of the boxes to check is to repair files automatically. So I gave it a whirl, what else did I have to lose?

Upon completion, about 20 minutes later, the message dialogue came back and said that there had been problems with the Drive that were automatically fixed, and any files or folders that were affected would be found in a dedicated folder on the drive.

No surprise, there was no folder of that name found on the drive, or anywhere else on the computer, so I expected a fail. However, when I opened PT audio files, it appeared that my lost files had magically returned… It appears so. So, I opened my project and, lo and behold, my lost files had returned in working order!

Needless to say, no brainer, the first thing I did after that was plugged in my external drive and am making a full backup of that drive!

Interestingly, I saw my client last night at an event and almost spilled the beans that the files were lost, but I refrained from yet saying anything, and I’m glad I did.

Sometimes Widows amazes me with its complexity, that is, when I don’t want to throw my computer out the window! . Do Macs have any kind of file check system like this?

By the way, what backup system or software do you guys use? I use a basic commercial one, but I suspect there are better options out there.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:21 AM
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The Weed The Weed is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Default Re: Vanishing audio files

My backup software preference is Macrium Reflect. I keep a rolling three full images of both my Audio drive and OS drive nightly. I can recover the whole image or copy off files from the image. I like this better than cloning since the images are just files and always up-to-date. YMMV.

You can also look at the free version of Recuva from Piriform. It can sometimes find what you have lost. However, never, ever do anything on the computer once you think something has been lost, because, when things are deleted, the entire file is still there as it's only the header that's deleted. If you continue to do things Windows will (eventually) write over the headless file. Then you won't be recovering it unless a professional recovery service can do it. Big bucks involved with that.

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Old 06-05-2019, 01:26 PM
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mjslakeridge mjslakeridge is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 1,059
Default Re: Vanishing audio files

I use Acronis True Image Home edition to make clones of my o/s drives on my various computers. For audio files, I copy/paste any sessions I have worked on that day to another computer on my lan, and also do the same to an external HDD.
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