You say you have files on an external drive, Its that the actual drive from the old PC used as an external drive?
If not is it copy of the contents of your old PC saved with the same folder structure as on the origianl.
If you have your old iTunes folder with all its original contents intact and exactly as it was on the old PC, it should be easy to do this.
OK, Download and install the latest iTunes if you haven't already done so.
You don't need Quicktime, but you must have the latest version if you want it.
Now rename the iTunes folder that iTunes created in your Music folder. You can delete it once you get everything working if you haven't added any content to it.
Now copy the iTunes folder with all its contents from the external drive into your music folder on the new PC so that it replaces the one you renamed.
Hopefully when you open iTunes it will be as it was on the old PC.
If you haven't been using iTunes 11, the following should help getting it to look like the v 10 if you don't like the new look.
ALT shows the menu bar temporarily
CTRL+B show/hide menu bar
CTRL+S show/hide side bar
CTRL+/ show/hide status bar
To make search more like it was, click on magnifying glass in search bar and uncheck "search entire library"
Copying files now as you said - thanks for your help. I do have some more music in a different folder that isnt in the itunes one on external hard drive - which is in the exact folder as it was on old PC and the songs from there was in the old itunes library. Doing what you told me, does that include this folder or do I have to do something else (obviously I can just drag that folder in new itunes but I want plays from them tracks in new itunes and to be included in original playlists they were in) Sorry if I sound dumb haha
Life is trickier with files that were not in your iTunes fodler.
The iTunes library database stores the full path to music files and cannot accommodate any change to this if the file was not in the iTunes media folder.
If you your new PC has the same OS and exactly the same folder structure right down to the account name, you may be able to get away with copying the folder into the equivalent location on the new PC.
If, for example the path to a track on the old PC was
It would have to be exactly the same on the new PC.
If this is not the case it may be possible to edit iTunes Library.xml to correct the path, and then recreate the iTunes library from the xml file, but you would not end up with exactly the same iTunes as all the date added fields would be the current date.
Normally when move an iTunes library to a new PC you would consolidate the library first to avoid the issue, but I don't see this working with an external drive as you face the same issue there.
It is easier to just add the tracks to your library and sacrifice the playlists unless the number of tracks is so small that you can find each track individually in iTunes.
(when adding tracks from another drive, you need to have copy to iTunes media folder when adding to library checked in preferences in order to ensure the tracks are copied.)
Any media that was stored outside the designated iTunes folder should be copied over and placed on the same path as it had on the old computer. If the media folder isn't a direct subfolder of the main library folder this too needs to go to the same path. If that isn't possible I have a script called FindTracks that can usually repair the broken links.
See the other tracks were in the downloads folder - should I move all the songs from the downloads folder on the externals hard drive to the downloads folder on this laptop? Then would itunes locate them like that? Or will I need to use that 'FindTracks' ? I dont understand that by the way.. please help! lol.
See the other tracks were in the downloads folder - should I move all the songs from the downloads folder on the externals hard drive to the downloads folder on this laptop? Then would itunes locate them like that?
Yes, as long as you have the same profile name on both computers.
If I understand correctly, have tracks in the downloads folder on the external drive presumably the are organized in to folders in someway.
Moving these tracks to the downloads folder on the new PC will only work if the full path that they end up in is exactly the same as it was on the old PC. This means every element of the path from the drive letter through username etc.
So if the files was in:
Then that is what it will have to be on the new PC. So unless you used an identical username it won't work.
If you can manage this, iTunes will find the tracks automatically.
If not, iTunes will ask for the location when you try to play a track. Obviously this is not feasible for anything but a small number of tracks.
Otherwise you are into editing your xml library file to correct the paths with find/replace which I can walk you though if that is want you want, bearing in mind that your date added fields will be the current date for all tracks and it is not trivial
Failing that you can just add the tracks to iTunes with add folder to library and accept that you will have to delete dead tracks an make new playlists.
This complication can be avoided in the future if you keep ally your tracks in the iTunes media folder.
OK first I want to say you are my hero at the moment, tt2! I stumbled across your vbs scripts some months ago after frying all three of my music backups and your scripts not only saved me time and money, they actually saved my sanity a little as well.
Since then I have shared the with friends, and they love them too.
In your own way you have helped many unknown others.
Today I found this forum and thought I would share the magic of your scripts and during a search for related posts, I stumbled across your profile - and hey, it looks like you are responsible for all of this awesomeness.
So I wanted to say many thanks!
I didn't even know what a vbs script was before finding your site, now I can't get enough......so thanks again.
I am confused...I recently did the same thing (switched computers) and regained my playlists and precious song info by manually copying music to a new location, changing itunes library location, and importing the library.xml file exported from my old computer.......and it worked!
My only disaster occurred after I let iTunes organise my library......this resulted in thousands of broken links including in my playlists.
Thankfully those .vbs scripts eg fix dead tracks helped a lot.
Side note - for some tracks it seems that iTunes will not remember the fixed link/ no matter how many times I fix it. It stays fixed for a while then reverts back to broken.
This occurs regardless of whether or not I use iTunes or another utility to fix dead tracks.