Help, I accidentally deleted my entire iTunes library!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by intorqueo, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. intorqueo macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007

    Something terrible happened to me today, I accidentally deleted my entire iTunes library and it'd be really great if someone could help me out here! Please please please and thanks in advance.

    What happened was that I intended to delete all the songs from just one artist but for some reason, my iTunes deleted EVERYTHING in my library which I have collected over the past 6 years. It gets worse because:

    1 - I can't get my files back from my iPod because it died about a year ago
    2 - Um, I agreed to move all files to my recycle bin (at that point I had no idea I was deleting my entire library) and when I went to check the bin, none of the files were there
    3 - I attempted a system restore but all it did was to return my folders with no files in them
    4 - I tried to use a couple of undelete files software but none of them found the deleted files.

    I'm really desperate to get my files back and if anyone could help me that would be awesome. Thanks for taking the time to read this!
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1. Do still have said iPod?
    2. Have you checked in C:\Documents and Settings\"Username"\My Document\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music to see if the files are still there?
    3. System Restore would not have backed up your music.
    4. It sounds like they weren't deleted.
    5. Always backup
  3. intorqueo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    1 - Yep, I do. It's the model with the four round buttons and the click wheel. It still kind of works as a music player but only when it's plugged into a power source. When I plug it into my computer, it shuts off 5 seconds in.
    2 - Yep I have but they're not there.
    3 - Hehe yeah I guessed as much but it was worth a shot though.
    4 - Actually, I had my entire library on an external HD. I had "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" on, and I deleted the original files after they were copied. I'm pretty sure the files are not there anymore cause My Computer tells me I now have 17GB of space on that drive (I had 17 GB of music in my library x_x)
    5 - Yeah man. My big plan was just to have everything on an external drive cause my computer didn't have enough space for my library but lesson learnt. Sigh. =/
  4. jockmock macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    iTunes never deletes your songs 100%, well at least in Windows. If it didn't ask you if you want to put the songs in the trashcan, then they're still on your harddrive, just not in your library. If it did, and you put them in the trashcan, then they're there
  5. intorqueo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    They were supposed to go to my recycle bin. Ordinarily, files I delete from my iTunes can be found there but they weren't there this time probably because there were too many files deleted, I think. Haha. For some reason, a window from the recycle bin didn't pop up telling me that there was too many files and would I like to permanently delete them.
  6. chas0001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Alicante, SPAIN
    If they are deleted permanently from your PC :eek: perhaps you can remove the Hard Drive from your 3G iPod, put it in a hard drive enclosure, connect it to your pc and use software to restore your itunes library from it. Just a thought.
  7. intorqueo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    0_0 ok that sounds truly frightening. Hahaha I don't think I can do that cause I'm a n00b and also a clumsy oaf and will probably wreck something by accident =/
  8. jockmock macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    Then, they're probably still on your harddrive. Have you done a search?
  9. intorqueo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    Yep, I have done so. They're not there, and Windows has confirmed that I now have 17GB of free space on my drive. The weird thing is that I still have like a few random files (maybe about 1% of my original library) floating about in my iTunes folder but I've lost pretty much everything else.
  10. Tibwolf macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2007
    Try to change too many things on your disk.

    Download a HD partition restoring tool like TestDisk and try to restore your table.

    Like others have said, when a file is deleted, the file is still on the disk but it has a flag that keeps it hidden until the space is overwritten. If you haven't changed too many things since then, you should be able to recover most if not all of your songs.
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It sounds like you really deleted it since the space is freed up. There's a chance you can recover it if it hasn't been overwritten.

    I might even consider taking the drive out of the iPod and directly connecting it you your computer to recover off of it.
  12. adam388 macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007

    Yes i have the same problem but i think i can shed new light on the topic , i also have a external HDD ( a 500gig FreeAgent Seagate) i was trying to remove all the duplicates but accidentally deleted the entire library,

    and just like the other user , the actual files were deleted. I was pissed,
    so i tried doing searches on the hdd , with no progress ,

    AND this is when i get confused - for what ever retarded reason i decided to scan for viruses on the drive , When the scanner started to scan my h drive ( the external drive) IT FOUND MY MUSIC ! but the file path was H:\found001\dir0001.chk\(my music !!!!)
    so i got some downloaded a free ware data recovery prog , and it still cant find it , i know my music is there , its windows is ignoring it. are thier programs that can browse .001 and .chk file extensions?
  13. Tibwolf macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2007
    Download the TestDisk program.

    With that, you can scan your drive and restore the data tables.

    That should get you most of your music back
  14. intorqueo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2007
    Following your suggestions, I downloaded TestDisk this morning. It got me pretty confused, so I used PhotoRec which came with it and it seems like most of my stuff is coming back! It's still in the midst of retrieving my files so I'll let you guys know how it goes. Infinite thanks for the help, guys!

    (EDIT) Huzzah! PhotoRec has retrieved about 17GB of files! While I haven't checked all the files yet, it seems that at least 90% of my library is back, albeit with strange filenames, lots of duplicates and a couple of fragmented songs but hey, I'm not complaining. Thank you all so much for the help! :D (/EDIT)
  15. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    Your 3G iPod (white with 4 buttons across the top) will not charge via USB cable. So if the battery is low and you connect it to your computer, it will NOT charge and will probably just shut off and not stay connected. If you can find a Firewire cable for your 3G iPod you can then use some 3rd party software to rescue your music from the iPod... or you can charge your 3G iPod for a while and then plug it into your computer and see if that works. It's too bad you're using a PC... I don't know much about PC stuff.
  16. missnallie macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008
    looks like I bumped the thread... hmm. anyways, I have experienced a similar problem. I was trying to delete one thing and ended up deleting everything (music wise) from iTunes. I was trying to get my files out of the trash bin when I got the pinwheel. I decided to force shut down. That ended up leaving me with whatever made it to my desktop, and the rest of it gone. I've emptied my trash a few times since, so that's probably all gone.
    I still had everything on my iPod, but when I hooked it up it took everything off that I had besides the few saved files. (because I didn't have it on manual update)
    I don't really think there is anything I can do. I have downloaded a few programs to see if those could find the remains of what I used to have, but now I have pretty much lost hope.
    does anyone think they can help out?
    I mean, it'd be nice. I lost way over 2,000 songs.
  17. juellz macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2009

    u are pissed i suggest you slap yourself first of all then once more whoah. hahahha pisssed
  18. ScootPatoot macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    Wow...most helpful post I've ever seen on a thread almost 2 years old :rolleyes:
  19. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    That's only true for the good old FAT file system. With NTFS things are a whole lot more complicated and different.
  20. talentsky macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2009
    Hey,I also recovered the itunes library ,but how to range the name as before?
    only manually way ?--!
  21. stxnpx macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2011
    Download the songs you already bought

    That happened to me but you can recover the songs that you have already bought.

    1. Open iTunes in your browser.

    2. Click "purchased" in the top right section of the screen. The songs you bought will be listed on the left.

    3. Click on one of the songs, and click on "All Songs" (still in the left-hand column).

    4. In the bottom right corner of the page, click on the cloud picture that says, "Download All." All of the songs that you bought previously will be downloaded again.
  22. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    holy thread resurrection after three and a halfyears..
  23. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    I've seen a 5 year gap. You have to wonder how people find these old threads.
  24. Daniel Braun, Dec 6, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016

    Daniel Braun macrumors newbie

    Daniel Braun

    Dec 6, 2016
    Cincinnati Ohio
    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2016 ---
    I tunes is the worst media player I've ever used! I bought a mac-mini with the express purpose of using it as a music Library. After 1 2/3 years constantly replacing songs that self delete and countless Hours with Apple support I've Decided to go back to my Windows 7 computer. I'm disabled and therefore have time to Fool with this stupid computer I've Surrendered.... Its been like a full time job trying to maintain my music library. I don't know if I got a bad computer or ITunes just sucks but if your planning on using an Apple computer for a music library, may God have mercy on your soul and sanity. I wouldn't recommend it,,,,,,,,Most of my songs were loaded from Cd's about 12,000, I now have 10,275 and losing more on a daily basis....

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