Project can not be saved - the project is corrupt

If you’re on a Windows machine, I would run CheckDisk to look for and correct/re-map bad sectors on your hard drive. That could be the cause of the corruption. It’s a good maintenance thing to do monthly anyway to keep this from happening in the future.

I’ve had this when upgrading Cubase.
As previouly said i start a new project and import the tracks

If you’re on a Windows machine, I would run CheckDisk to look for and correct/re-map bad sectors on your hard drive. That could be the cause of the corruption. It’s a good maintenance thing to do monthly anyway to keep this from happening in the future.

Is that applicable with SSD drives also ? The first google search took me to a comment that says no need for such thing with ssd.

I see the possible workarounds explained here, but it is so much quicker to remove all you want from a project and use that backup function to start a new project. I love that feature.
It does work every now and then, and sometimes makes me that corrupted project error… I don’t see the reason still.
Thanks for your answers :slight_smile:

I got the same error message just now. Here’s how it happened:

Before the error message appeared:
Wanting to remove unused files in the Pool, I opened the Pool (Ctrl P), clicked on a single file, and then selected all the files (Ctrl A). Then I right-clicked, and selected “Remove unused media”, and clicked the Trash button. Then I right-clicked again, selected Empty Trash, and again clicked the Trash button. [Edit: I meant the “Empty” button.] Then I closed the Pool.

Then the error message appeared:
When I tried to save, I got this error message: “The project could not be saved because the project is corrupt.” Cubase prevented me from saving the project by any other means.

What I tried:
So, holding my breath, I closed the project, re-opened it, and saved it under a new name. Fortunately, all the audio clips in the project that I’ve tested so far play back correctly.

But I have a new problem:
Now every time I re-open the project, I see a requester box listing about 130 files. It says “Resolve missing files”. Unfortunately, the missing files don’t seem to exist. To eliminate the unwanted requester box, I’ve tried repeating the above Pool procedure again, but it has not helped.

I don’t think this is a hardware issue, because my project is saved on a fairly recent Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive, which seems to be functioning well.

One suspicion I have:
I often re-draw wave forms in the Editor window, to remove audio glitches. After doing that, if I want to time-stretch the audio, Cubase requires that I make a new version of the file. I guess that creates multiple files of the same audio, and I wonder if Cubase is not handling those files correctly in its database. That’s just a guess.

My conclusion:
Apparently, Cubase’s file-name database was not properly updated when I emptied the trash in my original Pool procedure. So now it is referring to files that no longer exist. This has shaken my confidence in Cubase’s file management capability. I’m worried that Cubase might delete files that I actually need. This is a serious bug that Steinberg needs to fix asap.

I’m using Cubase 9.5.1 on Windows 8.1 with an Intel Skylake processor.

I’ve solved the “new problem” with the following procedure, which I found in the 9.5 manual on page 538:

Removing Missing Files from the Pool
If the Pool contains audio files that cannot be found or reconstructed, you may want to remove these.
● In the Pool window, select Media > Remove Missing Files. [You have to right-click first to see the context menu.]
All missing files from the Pool and the corresponding events from the Project window are removed.

However, this does not address the original problem, which is that the Cubase file list was not updated when I clicked the Trash button in the Media Pool window. Since the Trash button seems not entirely dependable, Steinberg should make it send files to the Windows Recycle Bin, so that they can be recovered if necessary, rather than deleting the files entirely.

Before you start, is your project already saved as… somewhere? Or is it - after these steps you describe - a very first save of the project?

Does this mean, you imported some files to the Pool before? So you didn’t get just a recorded files to the Pool? Or how does it happen, you have some files in the Audio folder, which are not present in the Project?

There is a message Cubase displays in this step. Did you select Remove from Pool or Erase, please?

The project was created months ago. It has been opened, saved, and closed many times since then. And I’ve removed unwanted audio files several times successfully, using the procedure I described. Recently, I’ve been time-stretching audio clips, and thereby creating new versions sometimes. This may be what was different this time, but I’m not sure.

All of the audio files were created within the project, and I have never imported any. I have been recording numerous takes, and rejecting many, which is why unused audio files accumulate in the Pool.

I clicked the Erase button.

Actually, just now I tried the same procedure again, and after clicking the Erase button, the following message was displayed:
“Some files are referenced by clips that are still in the Pool. These files may not have been deleted.”

Now, when I try to save, the following error message is displayed:
“The project could not be saved because the project is corrupt.”

So I’m back to the original problem.

Thanks for your interest.

Yes I had a very similar experience as the original poster last week when I more or less did the same thing. My first disappointment was that there did not appear to be any reference to what a corrupt project is, what causes it and how to deal with it in the manual.
I created a folder on the desktop called MIDI and another called Audio. I then revisited the project file that I had copy and pasted the 2 corrupting files from and exported them to the empty folders. I renamed the corrupted project after removing the material I had pasted in and saved it. Then I imported the files from the desktop into the project to 2 new tracks 1 audio and 1 MIDI that I had created. I was then able to save the project.

Not good. I have had to abandon using C9.5 because it tells me that all of my projects are corrupt, even after I have previously saved them successfully. I reverted to using C9.0 and the same thing has happened. I exported a wav mix file to prepare for mastering and then tried to export an mp3 version immediately afterwards to email to a collaborator and Cubase froze. I had to exit via Ctrl+Alt+Del and when I re-opened the project and tried to save any changes I get the ‘The project is corrupt’ message. What the hell is going on?

I had this happening once, it was totally my own fault.
I have modified my Mixdown script to create mp3, m4a and Flac versions of the resulting Wav file.
I had a pause in there to keep the Command Line interface stay open, when finished.
If I don’t close this window, and try to save I get this error.
Closing the CLI and I can save the project successfully.
This leaves me to believe that there could be a process that is not finished or returns the wrong message.
DOP would be a strong contender.
I know, not really helpful, but gives a little context.

OK, I don’t know if this will apply to everyone but here’s how I solved my problem.

I had a decent sized project - 2464 files - 141 GB - spread across 2 hours of time and 253 tracks. We saved it and backed it up in 8.1 with no problems. It then got opened in 8.2. Again, seemingly with no problems. Went to save it and that’s when we received the error that the project was corrupt and a new version could not be saved.

I deleted every track in the project and STILL got the error. But I didn’t empty out the pool. That meant the problem was a file that the pool was trying to reference.

I reloaded the project and started deleting tracks and removing the respective files from the pool and saving after each one. Finally found the offending track/files.

It was some files that I had done some Direct Offline Processing on. I checked to see what the process was in the DOP window and it said “not available.” I believe, if I remember correctly, that the process was time stretching. Somehow DOP had lost track of what had been used, but did know that something HAD been used.

The project would load just fine. The files would even play back correctly. They had a correct waveform in the project and they reported as fine in the pool. They had the icon that shows they were processed.

But when I went to save it would show as corrupt. I bounced the files so as to make new ones that no longer had DOP, cleared the pool of the now-unused offending files, and everything saved correctly.

So there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the files themselves in my case, but that the DOP had lost track of the process that was used in the previous save. That doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a “corrupted project” IMHO, but N8.2 just seems to have been flabbergasted.

I don’t know if the 8.2 update did something so that the process that had been used is now called something different and 8.2 couldn’t find what it was previously called, but boy wouldn’t it have been nice if Nuendo could have told me where the problem lay.


Darren “DOP” Ingram

Ok I just updated to 9.5.30 an got the same message!

I created a new instrumental from scratch using the hiphop template in the hub menu just to test out the new update!

I think the issue does have something to do with the pool /trash can an the amount of changes you make within the project! I do a lot of copy an paste with ctrl/k!

Also how many here have there cloud storage services connected to there song files folder an when I close the session then quit cubase I get a notification from Google drive about changes made to the song an if I want to do this or that but I exit out! Didn’t have any issues coming from 8.5 or cb 9 using the same cloud computing an also use reason an Abelton an no issues while working on music then automatically backing up to the cloud!

As far as saving the song ,the message just disappeared after making a patch change, saved with ctrl/S , ctrl/w to quit session an ctrl/Q to exit cubase ,shit crazy, lol


How is Google Drive involved in your setup?

I’ve had this happen sometimes and it pointed to high memory usage or too many plugins used perhaps. Once I reduced system resources I could save. Can’t remember the specifics as I was in a panic at those times !!!

Got the same problem here.
i can see that there is not clear solution.
the thing is that im working on a project and when i want to turn the program off i see this message.
there is no way to open an earlier version of cubase to fix that

the solution that i’ve found atm is opening a new project and simply drag all the files to the new window.
you can drag them all at once. the only thing is that you cant drag group and fx channels.

i hope that someone will find a solution soon this is very annoying, working on 8.5 because of that bug


Do you have the latest Cubase 9.5.30 installed?

You don’t have to open a new project, and drat the files. You can use Import from Project function.

pffff this happened to me right now… and randomly, this is horrible! just after finishing mix down this happened

Just happened the same story to me… guys, simply save or do back up to another disk))) :laughing:

Still having that in 10.5 Pro, and seems to be linked to direct offline processing. I have used that function many times before, but now I get that error, cannot save, project is corrupted

1 Like

Just for the record I’m leaving my own experience with this issue on Cubase Pro 10.5 in 2021. I just disabled some suspicious vst tracks and enabled, then I could save my current project with the new version! When this happened I was editing logical editor. It might had something to do with the issue perhaps…?