I had a Dell laptop with Windows XP on it recently crash, but I have everything saved to a Seamagine external 1 terabyte hard drive. I have about 250 gigabytes of media on it, mostly CD's and audiobooks. The setup I had on the XP computer was my Itunes folder saved on the C drive, but I kept all the actual music and audiobooks on the external hard drive, which was labeled the F drive.
After the crash, a relative sold me their three year old Compaq laptop, with Windows 7 instead of XP as the OS. My relative already had Itunes downloaded on it, but when I opened the Itunes on the new (new to me) laptop, Itunes only recognized their (my relative's) account. So, I uninstalled their Itunes and then I re-downloaded Itunes for 64-bit Windows 7. I then opened the Windows Explorer folder so to drag and drop my backed up Itunes folder and library information from the old C drive to the new Itunes folder in the new C drive. But, it wouldn't do anything. It still wanted the password info from my relative's account. It wouldn't recognize my account, even though I had uninstalled and then reinstalled a newer version of Itunes. Dragging and dropping my backed-up Itunes folder from my external hard drive to the new C drive didn't work because it said it didn't have certain permissions or something like that. I think I might have downloaded a newer version of Itunes, different from what I had saved a couple of days ago, which might be one of the problems here, not to mention that I switched OS's from XP to Windows 7.
When I plugged the external hard drive USB into the new laptop no Seamagine manager came up for user-friendly accessibility. I didn't know what to do, so I installed Seagate Dashboard onto the new computer. It didn't do anything for me either. No problem, I thought, I'll just use Windows Explorer to move the Itunes library, and then once I transfer (i.e., drag and drop) the old Itunes folder to the one, all will be as it was. I could then direct my Itunes account to use my external hard drive as the media source folder. I was wrong. It won't let me do that either. It says I don't have permission to do it.
How c an I get my old Itunes library info onto the C drive of this new computer, but keep the 250GB of media files on the external hard drive, just like the setup I had on the old laptop before it crashed? If you can help me, then you will be my hero. I'm scared to death that I've lost my library info and afraid to mess with it too much more for fear of erasing it or, worse, losing the 250 GB of media that is on the external hard drive, which has taken me a tremendous amount of time and money to compile. It is, in effect, irreplaceable. I'm very worried and frustrated. I've been working on this for days, to no avail. You're my last hope. Thank you.
Hmm, I think we should start over...
Here are the typical layouts for the iTunes folders:
In the image above the red outline denotes the "media folder", that is the folder listed under Edit > Preferences > Advanced. In the standard layout where the "media folder" is inside the "library folder" the iTunes library has the advantage of being self-contained and portable. Since you've lost the "library folder" from your old computer you're going to have to start over so you might as well get organized properly.
- If the folder curently holding your media files is called G:\iTunes then rename it as G:\Media.
- The support doc How to open an alternate iTunes Library file or create a new one explains how to create a new iTunes library where you want it. In short click the icon to start iTunes and immediately press and hold down the shift key. Keep holding until asked to choose or create a library, click Create and browse to G:\, make sure the folder is going to be called iTunes and click save.
- Move the folder that actually holds the media inside the folder G:\iTunes\iTunes Media. We're going to let iTunes reorganize everything (unless you have a collection of .wav files in which case stop and tell me because they require a different approach).
- Use File > Add folder to library and select the folder G:\iTunes\iTunes Media. iTunes will search through the whole series of subfolders adding all media files into the library and reorganizing them into the correct artist & album folders.
- Again, for data security, you really ought to obtain a second external drive at some point and backup your library to it. Only having one copy, as you have found, leaves you vulnerable to failure. External drives are no less prone to it.
A) Windows uses \ as a folder separator in path descriptions, Mac uses /.
B) Do you have a backup of the iTunes folder that was on drive C:\ or are you simply referring to the location of your media as a "backup" when it really the only copy? If you have a backup copy of your "original" iTunes library you could move/copy that to G:\iTunes shift-start-iTunes to open it, and then I can offer tools or techniques for fixing the links that will be broken becuase the drive letter has changed.
C) Use Store > Sign out and then Store > Sign in to sign into your iTunes account. You will also need to use Store > Authorize the computer to allow playback and transfer of any protected content. If your new library contains protected content from any other accounts then you will have to authorize the computer for those too.