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So my computer is on its last legs. I intended to replace it after the holidays, but it's starting to look like I might be shopping next week. The only thing on the computer that I need to get is my iTunes library. I've been meaning to do a disc backup, even made sure to buy blank CDs, but...yada, yada, yada....I haven't actually done the backup.


My question is, if I can't get my computer to boot up long enough to make that backup, is there a way to copy my library from my daughter's iPod to a new computer? It's an 80 gig classic, the library itself is about 25 gigs.

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OK you have a couple of options:


If you can boot up, copy your files to a USB Drive. Here they are at New Egg ==> http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=414


If you can't boot up, your operating system is probably fried and needs to be reloaded. That usually does NOT mean that the drive itself is bad. However, bear in mind that a bad hard drive is possible, just not as likely.


What you need is a way to read your old drive long enough to pull your files off of it.


What you need is an item like:

Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U Storage enclosure- Serial ATA-300- 300 MBps


here it is at Amazon ==> http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS


What it allows you to do is access you old drive like a USB hard drive and recover your data with ease. AT around ~$30, it is well worth it to recover your precious data.

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I got it to boot, loads Windows, loads the toolbar along the bottom and the system tray. All my desktop icons are there, but that's as far as it goes. I can hear it clacking away like its loading, but nothing I click on will open. So if my hard drive is okay, that qizmo will let me read it from a new computer? I'd just plug it in like my iPod or my Nook?

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Yes. That's right. You'll get your new computer and get it all set up. Once you've got the new machine running okay, you'll remove the hard drive from your old computer - usually takes a few minutes but isn't all that hard to do, and then insert it rear-end first into the Thermaltake unit. Power on the thermaltake, and it will spin up the drive. Then, plug the Thermaltake into the new computer. You'll see Windows detect it as a new drive. After it's all done installing the hardware, you can open the Computer icon and see the old drive there.


If you had Windows XP, your itunes library will be in c:\documents and settings\username\My Music\itunes\. On the new computer, create a directory named just like that on the C drive. Now, When you install itunes, you can tell it where to find the library file, and you'll pick the file it copied over.


The reason you need to recreate the c:\documents and settings\username\my music\itunes folder is so that itunes knows where to find the actual music files on your new computer. New versions of Windows don't use the same folder structure - files are in c:\users\username\ now. If you don't recreate the folders but put them in c:\users\username\music, itunes will still be looking for the files in the c:\documents and settings\blahblah folder.


it's important to copy the library file itself because it's associated to an ipod. If you don't use the same library, itunes will erase and resync all the music to the ipod again.


PM me if you have more questions.


Oh, and once you've got everything off the old hard drive, you can format it and use it to back up your new computer. So, win/win there.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought I'd update this thread. I replaced my desktop about a week after my last post with an HP Pavilion along with a little wireless mouse. While I love the freedom the laptop gives me, I hate the trackpad thing when I'm editing. My hard drive has a bad section in the boot area, I think that's what my IT guy said, so I was never able to boot it up long enough to do a backup of my music files. Luckily, I was able to use my daughter's iPod to move my iTunes library to this computer. I found really clear, easy to follow instructions after doing some research and it worked like a charm.

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