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How does an external hard drive work???

by JC417 / February 5, 2010 5:06 AM PST

I have a new computer (compaq presario, 500gb HD) using windows 7. When 'staples' did the data transfer from my (old)Dell Dimension 2400, they mistakenly goofed on transfering my 'Apple i-tunes library', to where now I can't listen to my music/audiobooks. I phoned Apple tech support, they said I would have to tranfer myself with an external Hard Drive. The problem is, I've never done it before and am unsure how it works. The library contains 20gb of music/audiobooks using (i-tunes 9.0), and I don't want to pay $150.00 (unless it's absolutely my last option)for someone to come to my home to do it. I'm sure it's fairly easy but I need some help to guide me on what to do now? Staples refuses to help or take responsibility for their error, and have been rude about the whole situation. I'm on my own. Thanks JC

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That's not the question
by ChuckT / February 5, 2010 7:21 AM PST

You don't care about how the drive works, do you? What you are asking will get you answers about motors, magnetic head pickups, perhaps even answers about air currents and "flying head" distances.

What I think you want to know is where should your iTunes files be placed.
That is a simple move, of some files or files, from one location on the drive to another.

Sounds like the Staples tech got your file(s) over to the new computer. But without those files actually being in their correct place, then your iTune installation can not find your music.

I can't tell you that, I don't use iTunes, but I am sure someone here will be able to inform you.

To actually move those files should only take a few minutes. Having 20GB of files is fairly massive (I approximate it to be about over 5000 songs). But when you drag a file from one location to another location, on the same hard drive, then the action only renames the path "from where" > "to where." It doesn't have to rewrite much. It will be a fraction of a second, times those 5000 files, and thus I guess in a minute or two all those files can be relocated.

Just where is/are your files? and where to move them to?
Ask that.

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thanks Chuck
by JC417 / February 5, 2010 1:01 PM PST

Hey Chuck, I'm not asking how the drive works in and of itself, only what do I do when I get the external hard drive home....do I connect one end into the old dell, and the other to the new compaq? will it prompt me to take action? ....stuff like that.

And you pretty much nailed it, Staples did transfer the i-tunes library, but the wrong file (Music library - instead of... 'Media library')something to do with apples new version of i-tunes ... 9.0.

The 20gb's = 3099 songs and approx. 8 days of audiobooks. Thanks Chuck I'll figure it out, i'm sure it's easier than
I imagine it to be.... appreciate your time

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Ah, on an external drive!
by ChuckT / February 5, 2010 5:24 PM PST
In reply to: thanks Chuck

That's just a bit more time consuming. When I thought your files were on a rebuilt drive, in your present computer, then it is an easy move to place those files into another location on the same drive.

But! now I've just realized that the files are on a separate drive. That is going to be slower.

The relocation is still going to be to the same area, whenever you find out where that location is, but the time in transferring all that 20GB of data is going to take hours.

I am going to assume that your files were placed on a USB connected hard drive, that is one of the most common and convenient ways of transferring data. So, all you will need to do is plug that external drive into a USB port on the computer. You will probably have at least a couple on your computer. I would suggest, only because you are new at this, that you use the USB ports on the computer and not on a hub or extension, because that will more than likely be a high-speed USB connection.

And you do want to use a high-speed connection, because if the port is not running at high-speed then the transfer of that much data will take days! When you plug in that USB drive, if the device is not connected to a high-speed port you will most likely be told that you ought to plug in your high-speed device into a high-speed port.

You can have additional USB hubs as extensions to your current USB ports, and they can run just as fast as the ones on your computer, but since you sound like you are new to this, I would hate for you to get confused with what and why you need some other possible parts to get that extended port running at high-speed. It really isn't hard, I am just trying to recommend the least complicated method right now.

Now, one more thing, when you go to transfer that data off the external hard drive and onto your internal drive of your computer, DO NOT move the data. To "move" means to get it off one place and placed onto the other, which removes it from the first. The better action to do is to just copy the data. You want to copy, and not move for two reasons:
The first is, that way you keep the data on that USB drive as a fall-back in case you accidentally do something wrong. The files on that USB drive, it is a pretty safe back up.
The second is, that a move takes longer to do. When you move data from one drive to another it has to first copy the data (same as when you just do a typical copy), but then the file system has to spend additional time to delete the files off that source drive. Thus, the move action takes nearly twice as long. So don't do that, you are going to be taking a long amount of time already, in just doing the copy of the 20GB of data.

Now, please don't worry about which action, move or copy, you will be doing when you drag files from the external drive to your internal drive. The default action on drive to drive file movement will always be to copy, anyway. I only told you of the difference so that you don't select the move option.

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Easy . . .
by Coryphaeus / February 5, 2010 9:08 PM PST

But you'll need an external drive at least that size.

On the old computer in the My Documents files there will be a My Music folder. In that folder is the iTunes folder. This iTunes folder needs to be copied to the exact same place on the new computer. With a big BUT. It must be placed there BEFORE iTunes is installed. In your case you need to uninstall iTunes. Then move the folder. Then install iTunes.

One caveat. Browse around the new machine and locate the iTunes folder. It may be in a different named folder similar to the My Music folder on the old machine. In any case, the saved/moved folder must go into the same place before iTunes is installed.

Doing this from memory but I've done it on at lease a dozen machines. When iTunes is reinstalled it will find your music where it is expected. It even found my Tom Tom iPhone application.

One more thing. When you are done and happy and everything is working, you need to go to the old machine and open iTunes and deauthorize it. iTunes keeps a count of authorized machines and you are limited to five.

Wayne

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Re: you'll need an external drive at least that size
by ChuckT / February 6, 2010 3:51 AM PST
In reply to: Easy . . .

I am not disagreeing with you, but if I am understand him right, he already has the files on an external drive.

The tech, at Staples, copied off what was thought would be all his needed files. Now, as you've pointed out, he needs the help in getting his old files in place on his new computer.

You have good info.

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