5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 16, 2009 10:38 AM by jkkspeer
jkkspeer Level 1 (0 points)
The hard drive on my PC crashed. I have installed a new drive and reinstalled Windows XP, which, obviously, starts with no installed programs. I will need to install iTunes on the new drive and need to know how to repopulate the playlists. My music/iTunes library is on an external hard drive. How do I "teach" iTunes to find my library and repopulate the playlists?

Dell, Windows XP
  • Zevoneer Level 9 (52,700 points)
    If you have the original iTunes library file located on the external drive you can choose that file when you open iTunes. Connect your external drive and hold down the Shift key in Windows when opening iTunes. In the resulting dialogue you will get the option to create a new library or navigate to an existing one. Navigate to where you placed the copy of the library file and open it up: How to open an alternate iTunes Library file
  • polydorus Level 6 (11,960 points)
    Did you have the iTunes folder containing your library files on the external drive?

    Is so you install iTunes, then hold down the shift key and lauch iTunes. Keep holding the shift key until you are prompted to choose a library. Navigate to the iTunes folder on the external drive and choose iTunes Library.itl.

    If you library databases were on the c: drive and lost, then you will have to start a new library database.

    Open iTunes and go to Edit>>Preferences>>Advanced and set the location of your iTunes Music folder to the music folder on the external drive.
    If you do not want iTunes to reorganise you music folder, uncheck "keep itunes music folder organised".
    Then use File>>Add folder to Library to add the music folder to iTunes.

    This leaves the music on the external drive. You do something different if you want the music copied to the internal drive.
  • jkkspeer Level 1 (0 points)
    I know the music files are located on the ext. drive. The original iTunes program was located on the "burned out" C: drive. I had moved the music files - per appropriate instructions from this site - to the ext. drive to save space on the C: drive. I don't know if the "databases" were attached to the music files or if they remained on the C: drive with the iTunes program. I know that when I moved the music files to the ext. drive I set that location as the "library" in iTunes. Does this help?
  • Zevoneer Level 9 (52,700 points)
    Look on your external drive and see if you saved your library file there when you made the original move. The iTunes Library.itl in Windows is the database file which holds all the information about your songs (Playlists, Ratings, Play Counts, Last Played, Date Added, etc): What are the iTunes library files?

    If you find more than one .itl library file try opening them in turn, you may find your original library is still intact.
  • jkkspeer Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for helping!