recover corrupted WAV file

Posted on 2013-01-30
Last Modified: 2013-01-31
We had a big music poll/countdown over the weekend that I recorded from my amp using the Line in on my PC and Nero WAV editor.

All was working well until the HDD ran out of storage space.   We were at a wedding at the time so I couldn't have known that the pre-save buffer would blow out to 65GB.  I know that the 6hrs of audio would compress down to 2-3GB once I saved the file, but whilst Nero was recording, it stored the data in a file in the TEMP folder.

The program became unresponsive and the only option I had was to kill the process.  Because the C: was now full (0KB remaining) I had to move the temporary WAV file to one of the other hard drives and reboot the computer.

Now I have this WAV file that is 65GB and I cannot open it.  Not even with Nero WAV editor.
Is there any way I can perform a repair on the file or open it as a partial recording?

I don't care whether it contains the whole radio countdown or just a few hrs of it.
Question by:Reece Dodds
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38837528
You should be able to open in VLC.  Wav and AVI write indexes which help with seeking and timeline.  VLC should offer to rebuild or open the file prompting you to ignore the index warnings.

Also, look at this:

This program is for AVIs, but I think can repair .wav
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

marsilies earned 500 total points
ID: 38837597
Are you sure it's a WAV file? Did it have the .wav extension?

WAV files are limited to 4GB in size due to header limitations. So files larger than that aren't going to be able to be opened as a WAV file:

I found this thread where someone found a way to deal with a 5GB WAV file:
Audacity can import "raw" data. So I gave the 5GB file to it, set the offset to 44 bytes (length of wav header), set the frequency, bitrate, stereo...

Audacity is a free audio edit that can be downloaded here:
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38838475
From my own experience there is no fix for this.
The file was being written to when stopped.
There is also media player classic home cinema that will fix some aspects of a corrupted or bad header but this is different.
If the file is corrupted it's unfixable.
test first to determine if the .wav file Is damaged corrupted beyond repair
Locate the .wav file. Right-click it/
select Properties/Details tab
Check for information in the Details pane.
If information is missing, the file is corrupted.
wav details
Repair the .Wav File
Open your audio-editing software program.
Audacity go to file and Import " RAW"
Open the .wav file you want to repair as a "RAW" file.
Save the file in the .wav format.
Close the audio-editing software.
Play the .wav file to ensure that the repair and conversion was completed.
import raw audacity

You could try dropping it onto gspot or
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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

marsilies earned 500 total points
ID: 38839727
I found another thread that suggests that the temp file you found doesn't have a header, so you may not need to factor for the offset.

Also, the default settings for Nero Wave Editor is to record in stereo 48000 Hz, 16 bit, so those should be the settings you use to try and import RAW.

As an aside, 65GB sounds awfully big, even for uncompressed audio. At the default settings, the temp file should've been around 4GB in size. Even changing the recording settings higher shouldn't have made a file that big. So there may be more going on with that file than just running out of hard drive space.

As Merete mentioned at the end of his post, you can try using the freeware tool GSpot to see if it can recognize the audio:

Author Comment

by:Reece Dodds
ID: 38841967
yeah, it is definitely a WAV file.  The file name is audio876253.wav.  It is 65GB... possibly due to continual recording from 11.50am through to (hopefully about 11pm).
I noticed that when I was setting up for the recording and I did a few tests, that a 3min recording was about 22MB whilst writing the "temp" file, but once I stopped recording then saved it as an MP3, the file was brought down to about 3MB.

So, when I did my storage calculations, I said 1min=2MB (being generous), therefore I'd need about 1.35GB.  I neglected to think about the temporary WAV file...

I too found that Nero forum suggesting to try "SOX" so I'm running that now.
If that fails, I'll try VLC or Audacity.

Author Closing Comment

by:Reece Dodds
ID: 38842175
Thanks guys.  Using the sox.exe command line tool to add header information (set the sampling rate and bit depth) allowed me to then open the file with Nero Wave Editor.

The bad news is... the audio actually stops at about 23 mins, which if I assume is 4GB, then that's about 6.15% of the 65GB.  Do the math and I've only got 23mins of 6.23Hrs recording.
Which would be about right considering it took 2hrs or so to fill 20GB and I realised I might run out of space so I moved a whole heap of media to a different drive to make room.

I wish I knew about the 4GB limit for .wav files.  Bummer!
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 38842348
Thanks for the points!

If you haven't given up on the file yet, you could try splitting it into 4GB chunks and running sox on each split file. You can use a tool like HJSplit to divide up the file:

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