Accidentally erased my itunes music folder

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sevenseven7us, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. sevenseven7us macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    So most of my tracks have an exclamation point next to them in the icon status of itunes.

    When I go to play the song it says that the original file cant be found and would i like to locate it.

    I notice that i still have 122 gb's of music in my library and when I delete the tracks that cant be found well I see space available increase considerably.

    Im thinking that the tracks are still there somewhere. I had 15000 and it still says i have 15000 but I can only play about 5000 of them.

    is there anyway to find them?

    No I dont have it backed up.
  2. eman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    Use a file recovery program like "pc inspector file recovery", I'm not sure it will work on OS X. but worth looking into. I'll see if I can find a free recovery program for you.
  3. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2008
    North Shore, MA
    Check out Data Rescue II. It's not free but they do let you run a scan to see if you can recover anything before you buy the app. One thing to note is that the more you use your computer the less of a chance you will have of finding anything. Also, if DRII does find anything you will need a secondary drive to restore to as restoring to the drive you're recovering from is an exercise in futility.
  4. azdmelani macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2008
    Are they on your ipod? you can use senuti to download them from ipod to itunes
  5. g4cubed macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2004
    Well if you have some songs then you haven't erased your folder. Are you on a Mac or PC?
  6. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    everything you see in iTunes is basically a shortcut. It just points to the file in the library. If the files were deleted, they become useless.

    The fact that you still can play some means that not everything was in the iTunes folder, but whatever was is probably gone unless you can use a file recovery program like stated above.

    When stuff is deleted, all information about the file is deleted, not the file itself. It basically becomes Invisible to the system. It lies in the free space on the hard drive, and will remain there until you write something to the drive (it gets written over), which happens a lot either by you making a new file, copying files, or a program writing temporary files to do it's work.

    I'm not sure how file recovery works, if it will find "file001" and you have to guess what the name was one by one, and even guess what the extention was "mp3" "txt" etc.. if that is the case, I wouldn't think it is worth the trouble

    Or if it can somehow recover the info that it had prior to being deleted. You should always make backups of your music for this reason. I just burnt 6 single layer 4.5GB DVDs to backup my library. I also have a copy on my External HDD.

    the best way to backup is:

    -go into the actual "iTunes Music" folder


    -burn the folders to disk (copy the artist folders A-F to one disc..etc..) you'll have to make it work, as the discs have limited size. What I did was select artists A-F in iTunes, drag it to a playlist, and looked at the size. If it was around 3GB, I would use that for disc 1. do NOT burn from iTunes. (well you can, but that is not what I'm going for here)

    -Once all artist folders have been backed up, burn the contents of the "iTunes" directory, excluding the music folder you just burned. You can also exclude previous libraries folder. Just make sure the rest is saved, such as:
    -album artwork folder
    -iTunes library file
    -itunes library xml file
    -everything else that is there

    When you restore them, just copy all the music folders back where they were, and copy the library files back replacing any that may already exist. iTunes will open, and read the saved library file, and you'll have everything already set. Artwork, songs, everything. No re-sorting, re-adding, re-downloading artwork.
  7. sevenseven7us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    Yeah i sill have some music left. A couple thousand tracks. I quit erasing it about 75% the way through the process cuz I had a bad feeling.

    I've read alot a feed back so far and have come to the point of giving up and starting from scratch again. Fortunatly I get my music for free so I didnt lose too much money. Maybe about $200 worth. no big deal

    My beef was that my itunes music folder only said it had around 5000 files in it and my actual library when opened to play music said I had 15000. This is the reason why I tried to make a new itunes folder and erased the old one. I think somethig was bad with that file cuz when I started erasing it started erasing from 15000.

    Im a dj and I noticed that once I did erase most of that folder that my Serato DJ program ran way better so Im sure it was a bad folder. Now that I brought back some of those files that were in the trash my Serato program is running slow again.

    Im goin to back up straight to disc now but what are the best discs to use? I heard DVD can hold a bunch.
  8. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008

    CD-Rs can hold from 650-750MB

    Single-layer DVD-Rs can hold 4.5GB each

    Dual Layer DVDs I think are the biggest. I'm not sure what they hold because I get mine at wal mart and I never see them there.
  9. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    you believe your itunes folder to be corrupt?

    I had some bad folders in mine before, it took a while to fix too.


    -created a folder on my desktop
    -selected the first folder in my "iTunes Music" directory. I press the "down arrow" on the keyboard to go through them all until I find a dead or corrupt folder. (these ones contain nothing, will not load, and for some reason, they refuse to delete.

    -skipping the bad folders, I just move my good music to the desktop, and begin trying to delete the corrupt folders. Once they're gone, i bring up the iTunes window.

    -I delete ALL songs in my iTunes library, all playlists, everything.

    -Drag the folder on my desktop into iTunes, and let it re-add everything, re-sort, etc...

    -Delete the desktop folder when done.

    My iTunes worked better, and the corrupted folders were gone.

    I had to re-create playlists and stuff, which is also a lengthly process, but that was some time ago, and I never re-did it yet. I even re-formatted my computer, and copied everything back like I explained above.
  10. sevenseven7us thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    Thx Shaun. Ill try that out. Somethings gotta be up with that folder. It will load but it acts strange. Like I said it only reads as if it contains only 5000 tracks but my library has 15000 and when I deleted the folder it started deleting from 15000 so something aint right

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