iTunes and external hard drive data loss.. (Western digital 250 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive)

[qanda]This thread is about the Western digital 250 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]I have been using iTunes for a few years with my external harddrive (250GB Western digital) as the storage. I have never had any problems.

Yesterday I copied 40GB of new music into my itunes folder (g: music).

I then added the contents of my g:music to my library. This usually finds any new files and brings them into my library.

The process took a couple of hours - including reorganisation, bringing in new album artwork and determining gapless playback.

After it had finished the following happened:

  1. Many of the new song and others I had appeared with an exclaimation mark and wouldnt play
  2. I clicked to find their location. In my g: music folder the artist directory appeared but the files inside were all in chinese/japanese writing.
  3. I exited iTunes and checked the contents of the music folder using explorer. The same happened - with the chinese writing.
  4. I shut down my computer and restarted.
  5. As windows XP began it said it must check my external drive for consistency.
  6. It then began to tell me that there was certain errors in my external drive and it converted folders to files.
  7. I stopped this process as it reached 20% by clicking the power button on my laptop.
  8. I restarted my laptop without my harddrive in.
  9. The harddrive now shows around half of my artists as 32kb files instead of entire directories (most that used to have other album directories inside) and many music files. Instead of all the music files and folders and the artist folder simply appears one 32kb file (file type simply says file).

Note: I had 220GB of music on this drive. The drive still states that it has 220GB of data on it. But when I click properties on my music folder it counts only 95GB.

Does anyone know of anything I can do??

Many thanks in advance.


Unless you got a backup somewhere this is gonna be very difficult.
You could try some recovery products, but i doubt it’ll recover the files for you.

Try to copy the data to another drive.

Trusting ALL your music, even music that you have physical [I]pressed[/I] CD’s for is frankly being way too trusting of technology.

storing that lone copy on an external drive?.. I don’t want to say it…

I keep atleast four HDD copies of music I extract from physical CD’s, one of those HDD’s contains copies in two different bitrates a fourth drive has WAV copies.
In addition all of them are burned to optical discs (CD-R or DVD-R)

you had ONE copy of your entire downloaded music library?

I hope you can recover it.

I know I’d be feeling sick in your situation.

I’ve been there, that’s why I’m so “paranoid” about a layered defence against a Hard drive failure or system crash.

If your external drive is an exact match of what you have on your iPod, you can plug in your iPod and open it like a file and pull all of the music onto your computer hard drive or an external. I’m not going to claim to be a computer guru, but I ran into something similar and did this myself. You’ll have to search on how to do this via Apple website, etc., but I’ve done it. (you won’t have playlists and it will be messy, but music files should be there)

Ok everyone, I have been trying to transfer all the iTunes from my iBook G4 to my Windows based Notebook. Here is what I’ve tried.
1: Tried to back up 12 songs to a CD.-I get the message,“Need to use a DVD” ya know, not enough space.
2: I tried to use a USB Drive to backup all the songs- the Mac see’s the USB but when I try to transfer, no play list. Even though I can copy the entire app, I get everything but the play list.
3: I tried to use my Toshiba External Drive to backup on to DVD. The Mac recognizes the external drive but it wont backup. I read that the mac didn’t need a driver, it should be able to do the job.

Here is one thing that may be a problem: When I purchased the Mac, the seller had 1,300 songs that he just downloaded free & only removed the songs he purchased from iTunes. So what I have are just downloads from CD’s & websites.
I guess I’ll have to look to see what version of iTunes that is on the mac, maybe that will help.

I’d just forget about them & do the system restore so I can get it ready to sell but I wanted about 1/2 of what’s in iTunes. I hope I can get some help on this one, I’m stumped!!! Thanks, Dan

Apple tend to lock down cross-platform functionality in general which makes life more awkward in circumstances like this, but the recommended method is to use the backup and restore functions built into iTunes.

Apparently it’ll allow you to back up the contents of your library to multiple CDs or DVDs then you can restore this on the new laptop.



I hate WD HDD had way to many crashes like you have :sad:Personally I like Seagate or Intel but that’s my personal opinion as all HDD will die at some point from being used.

With that said never have 1 copy of your data and never under ANY circomstances use the Windows XP Fix (press that skip key or it will screw it up even worse and recovery app won’t be able to rescue as much data). At least have a backup on discs or a second HDD.

Not much you can do as was already said except try a data recovery app to get some of it back.