Once again, I proved the quirky mentality of computers. My external hard drive, with most of my backups, failed. Troubleshooting yielded the instruction to uninstall and re-install the drive. My comments are not printable. I just shut the system down for a little bit and turned it back on, and all was normal. It appears that somehow, the thing got instructions to shut down in preparation for removal of the drive. Power down and wait a bit solves many problems!
Next, my Zen Micro, which has a removable hard drive partition, locked somewhere between on and off. For my music files, this is a safety backup, containing all of my Sonar and Sibelius files. After a few minutes of sweating over it, I took my advice again, removed the battery for a while, put it back, and all was well, except the date and time were off.
Then I spent hours trying to make a short wav file. Little gaps of total silence, all over the place. Other files worked well. So I copied all tracks to a new file, and in a few minutes, had my wav file and mp3.
I mention all this trouble because I am sure that plenty of others have had similar problems, and these techniques have helped me many times. I don't know why they always work, but perhaps someone does.