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how do use itunes on external hard drive to a new computer

44199 Views 120 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2014 9:41 PM by mac21958 RSS
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mac21958 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Mar 10, 2013 11:19 PM

had an old computer with an external hard drive.  I NOW want to use that same external hard drive to run on my new computer.  i only use the external hard drive to store my music.  thanks for help..  please help me..  i am using windows 8

windows 8
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    These are two possible approaches that will normally work to move an existing library to a new computer.


    Method 1

    1. Backup the library with this User Tip.
    2. Deauthorize the old computer if you no longer want to access protected content on it.
    3. Restore the backup to your new computer using the same tool used to back it up.
    4. Keep your backup up-to-date in future.


    Method 2

    Connect the two computers to the same network. Share your <User's Music> folder from the old computer and copy the entire iTunes library folder into the <User's Music> folder on the new one. Again, deauthorize the old computer if no longer required.


    Both methods should give the new computer a working clone of the library that was on the old one. As far as iTunes is concerned this is still the "home" library for your devices so you shouldn't have any issues with iTunes wanting to erase and reload.


    I'd recommend method 1 since it establishes an ongoing backup for your library.


    Note if you have iOS devices and haven't moved your contacts and calendar items across then you should create one dummy entry of each in your new profile and iTunes should  merge the existing data from the device.


    If your media folder has been split out from the main iTunes folder you may need to do some preparatory work to make it easier to move. See make a split library portable.


    Should you be in the unfortunate position where you are no longer able to access your original library or a backup then then see Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device for advice on how to set up your devices with a new library with the maximum preservation of data.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Is the entire iTunes library folder on the external drive in a portable format? If so install iTunes. Then press and hold down the shift key as you start iTunes to get options to choose or create a library. Click choose and browse to the folder on the external drive.


    If you only have the media you can create a new library at X:\iTunes (where X is the letter of the external), put the media inside X:\iTunes\iTunes Media and then import everything into the new library. If you have devices that sync with your library you will need to look at the last link in my post above.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Take a look at the make a split library portable thread. An iTunes library is the media and a database, plus some supporting files. Ideally you would have migrated all the parts of your library from your previous system so that it all worked properly together. If that isn't possible then I recommend you set up your new library in a way that will make backing up easy and the next transition relatively painless.


    Press and hold down shift as you start iTunes. Keep holding shift until asked to choose or create a new library. Click create. Make the library at the root of your external drive in a folder called iTunes. Move all your existing media inside the folder \iTunes\iTunes Media if you're particular about how it is laid out, or you have files in .wav format turn off Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Keep iTunes Media folder organized. Then use File > Add Folder to Library to import the media folder. Press ALT or CTRL+B to get access to the menu bar.



    Various,iTunes,iOS 6.1.2, Windows XP Pro, iPad 2,iPhone 4,iPod classic,nano
  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Sure, just ask...



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Use Windows Explorer to search your drive F: for a file called iTunes Library.itl just to rule out the possibility that you have a library database that you can reconnect to. Assuming that you don't then you need to build a new library from scratch.


    1. If your media is currently in a folder called F:\iTunes rename this folder something like F:\Temp.
    2. Click the icon to start iTunes and immediately press and continue to hold down the left shift key. Keep holding until asked to choose or create a library.
    3. Click choose, browse to F:\ edit the folder name if neccessary to iTunes and click Save.
    4. Check under Edit > Preferences > Advanced that the media folder is set to F:\iTunes\iTunes Media - correct if not.
    5. Move the folder F:\Temp to F:\iTunes\iTunes Media\Temp
    6. Use File > Add Folder to Library (press ALT or CTRL-B to reveal the menu bar if it isn't shown) and add the folder F:\iTunes\iTunes Media\Temp.


    Assuming that the files all have sensible tags and you've left the option Keep iTunes Media folder organized option in place, all the media will be imported into the library and rearranged. You may need to correct the media kind of some items such as audiobooks, digital booklets, podcasts, TV shows, Music Videos and Movies as this information isn't stored in the tags. Anything left in the temp folder is stuff iTunes doesn't know what to do with.


    Once your library is organized like this on your external drive you can move it to any other computer running the same build of iTunes and connect using the shift-start-iTunes technique to choose it, whatever drive letter it appears on. You should really make a second backup copy on another drive and keep it updated.




    Message was edited by: turingtest2

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    Sorry. I was obviously asleep when I posted. You are going to create a new library so step 3 should have been:


    3. Click create, browse to F:\ edit the folder name if neccessary to iTunes and clickSave.




  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,940 points)

    mac21958 wrote:


    I am having big problems to get itunes to run off my external hard drive.    I get to step four and I get this error pAth does not exist......


    I can not put in e:\itunes\itunes media


    what do i do...




    I thought your external drive has the letter F: - the media path should be F:\iTunes\iTunes Media



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