Recover iTunes Library from an Old Hard Drive

February 25, 2015


My old hard drive started sending SMART errors.  I purchased a new hard drive and tried to clone it…but alas, it would not clone. So, I re-installed the OS. I am able to access files from the old drive, so I need to figure out how to migrate my iTunes library from the old hard drive to the new one.  Here are the steps I took.  My new hard drive is my C: drive and my old drive is my F: drive.

    1. Install iTunes.
    2. Do a shift-start of iTunes.  Press *AND HOLD* the shift key while starting iTunes.  Keep pressing until you get a prompt to choose a library as illustrated below.
    3. (If this is a new iTunes install you will be prompted to accept the Terms and Conditions.)

  1. Browse to the old drive and choose the iTunes “library.itl” file.  This will load up the iTunes library from the old hard drive.
  2. Now we need to move the iTunes library to the new hard drive. Select Preferences => Advanced.  You should be viewing the following screen.
  3. Select “Keep iTunes Media folder organized.”
  4. Click OK.
  5. Select iTunes => Preferences.
  6. Select the Advanced button.
  7. Select the Change button in the “iTunes Media folder location” pane. The Change iTunes Media Folder Location window appears.
  8. Choose where you want to save your new iTunes Media folder.
    Note: Your iTunes Media folder is named “iTunes Media” in ~/Music/iTunes/ (the tilde ~ represents your home directory).
  9. Click OK in the Advanced window.
  10. The following prompt will come up.  Select “OK”.
  11. Now we need to consolidate the libraries.
  12. You will now need to activate the Menu Bar to finish this task. If you see the menu bar, you can continue to step #. If not you have two options:
    1. You can select “CTRL + B” or
    2. You can go to the drop down menu in the upper left corner and select “Show Menu Bar” option.
  13. In the Menu Bar, Select File => Library => Organize Library.  The following screen will show:
  14. Select “Consolidate files.”
  15. Click OK.
  16. All of your media files should copy to the new location. This will take some time depending on the size of your media files.
  17. After the folder copies. Quit iTunes.
  18. Find your original iTunes Media folder and rename it to old_iTunes.
  19. Open iTunes again.
    1. If you see the alert “The folder containing “iTunes Library” cannot be found, and is required. Please choose or create a new iTunes library.” you will need to manually move the “library.itl” to the new iTunes Library location.
    2. Stop iTunes.
    3. Copy the file to the new iTunes folder.
    4. Restart iTunes.
    5. When the alert “The folder containing “iTunes Library” cannot be found, and is required. Please choose or create a new iTunes library.” comes up, select “Choose Library”.  Select the “library.itl” file in the new location.
    6. If you can open and close iTunes without seeing the alert, you can now safely delete the old iTunes Library.

This will provide a general guideline I used to recover iTunes library after replacing my hard drive.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.