Currently Being ModeratedApr 28, 2013 5:21 PM (in response to macandtann)
The best way to move an entire library is described in this Apple Support document:
Your problem is that your old computer died, and apparently you didn't have a backup of your iTunes database -- you just have the media files. (Right?) In that case, the above instructions will only half work.
My opinion: I believe if you set the preferrences as in indicated in the support document above (in the Advanced tab), and you've already changed the location preference to your new external drive, then all you need to do is to choose File > Add to Library (or command-o) and select the folder on your Desktop that contains all the media.
At that point, iTunes will begin importing all your old music tracks, simultaneously copying them to the external drive. I believe you will lose some metadata, such as play counts and ratings, and maybe some of the album artwork also. That info existed only on the dead computer, most likely (assuming the PC-formatted external drive had only the media on it). You could check that before proceeding.
Test this method by first choosing just one album or a few songs to add to your new iTunes Library. If it works with a few songs, then go ahead and choose the folder with all the music. Good luck.