Itunes ?

I have a mac mini that has leopard OS. I downloaded the newest 10.5.2 itunes today. All my music was on an external hard drive. Now it doesn't allow me use that HD. When i try to change the library folder location the HD doesn't show up. Did i screw up by downloading this version? Where do i go from here? Thanks.

that sucks

I assume you can see that drive otherwise?

You could restore a time machine backup from before you updated.

You could load an older version of iTunes but the new version may have altered your library so it won't work with older versions. You can always just reload the library but you'll lose some stuff like playlists.

Only other thing I can think of is contact Apple support.

Coming down to see Glen Campbell at the Ryman January 3rd. I have a couple of extra tickets for sale if you would like to join us.

Take care,
Does your external HD show up in the Finder, when you do command-N and open a Finder window for example? It should do this, as long as your Finder preferences are set to let external discs show up in the sidebar. If not, you can reset the Finder prefs to do it.

Once your external HD shows up in the Finder, it really should also show up in the iTunes "Choose iTunes Library" dialog. That's the one you get when you hold down the Option (Alt) key as you open iTunes.

I suppose you've tried this already, have you?
Hi Herman,

Thanks for the help. Will try some of those when i get a chance. Computer audio is great when it's running smoothly!

Thanks for the invite to the show. Glen isn't really my cup of Tea. Do stop by if you get a chance. Good to hear from you.

When i took my HD downstairs and hooked it up to that mac, i get this message...

The disc "music" was not repairable by this computer. It is being made available to you with limited functionality. You must back up your data...

Does this mean my HD is fried? It was all working well until i tried to upgrade to latest itunes. Maybe it was a coincidence?
OK Sd, if it were me I would take the external HD back to the original Mac and run a repair utility on it. Use Apple's Disk Utility if that's what you have. There is a chance you can save your music.

If you're using Disk Utility and it doesn't seem to do anything the first time, repeat the repair process a few times. BTW the big gun in repair programs is DiskWarrior, but it costs.
Post number 7 in this thread will be of interest. Perhaps the problem is OS-related, triggered somehow by the update you did, and is not a problem with the drive itself.

If the problem does end up appearing to be drive-related, as indicated by the presence of similar symptoms when it is connected to different computers, if the drive is formatted in FAT32 and Toby's good suggestion does not resolve the problem you could try connecting it to a Windows computer and running the Chkdsk utility. Post back if you'd like further information about that, indicating which Windows OS is being used. I have found Chkdsk to be very effective in repairing corrupted disk file systems, which may be what is causing the problem.

-- Al
Good advice from Al. One thing to try before you go either my route, above, or Al's, is unmounting the external disk (drag its icon to the trash or use the Eject button), then reconnecting it to the computer. See if the same message comes up. Sorry I didn't think of it earlier.

Do post back with an update if you get the chance.
Ok guys. I have tried a few things so far. The HD shows up on the desktop but not when i look for it as a new library option.
I tried the disc utility a few times. It didn't work. I tried it on 2 different Mac computers and it says the same message on both.
I will try to do the time machine backup to see if i revert to before i made the update to the latest version of itunes, if that works.
Luckily i did transfer all the info to a new HD just the other day.
Refresh my memory, when i add the new HD, do i just "add file to library"?
If your new HD is a duplicate of the one that's troublesome, and the troublesome one was you main iTunes library disc, then it should have an iTunes library on it.

In that case, hold down the Option (Alt) key when you click to start up iTunes in the Finder. When the "Choose iTunes Library" dialog appears, click "Choose Library...". In the window that appears, navigate to the new HD, find the iTunes library on it (just selecting the iTunes folder should be enough) and click "Open".

You should then have all your music available.

Good luck! Any other questions, or if this doesn't tell you what you want, please post.

That might work but iTunes finds files by storing the path to it in the library. The backup would have to be an exact duplicate having the same name and same file structure as the original which is doubtful. If you renamed it to match the old one that might work. If you go to the Music/iTunes folder you can open the "iTunes Library.xml" file and see what path it is looking for.

Interesting, I just did a test by renaming my music drive and iTunes followed that by renaming the path of the song. Evidently it is now using something other than the name to keep track of them. Not sure it is smart enough to do that if you switch to a different drive.

If you do an "add to library" then you will have two listings for each song, one of which iTunes can't find because it isn't there. You can get rid of the dead tracks by using this but might as well start over at that point. Hold down the option key as you start iTunes and it will give you the option to create a new library. Create one then just drag and drop the new drive onto the iTunes icon in the dock and it will add the songs. Only problem you will lose things like play lists, play counts, and ratings if that matters to you.

At least you have a backup. Looks like you need to get another drive ASAP so you have another. Too bad drive prices jumped lately.


Ok, now i'm getting a little worried. I hooked up my HD that i thought i had backed up my other music on. When i did it said " The alias "music " could not be opened, because the original item cannot be found."
What does this mean?
It gives the options to fix alias or delete alias. Don't know what these mean.
Streetdaddy, I don't know what "music" is on your system. Is it a folder, or a drive, or what? Also, how did you copy your music data to the backup drive?

I don't understand why your system is looking for aliases either. An alias is a signpost pointing to another item. It looks just like the original but there is a little arrow in the bottom left corner of its icon. Aliases are useful when you're working in one part of your system, your travel pictures folder for example, and in it you want to have convenient access to another part of your system, say your maps folder. So you make an alias of your maps folder and you keep it in your travel pictures folder.

An alias can lose its internal map, the one which tells the system where to look for the file the alias points to. When this happens, the alias can be deleted (because it's now useless) or fixed, which means you have to show the system where the original file is. If you choose to fix it, the system will show you a file dialog and you will have to navigate your computer's file structure in that, until you find the original item.

If this item is your backup hard drive, this drive should show up in the Finder if it is in reasonably good shape. If you don't see it already, there are two ways to check:

1. Choose "About this Mac" in the Apple menu and click the "More info..." button. System Profiler will open and you'll be able to select USB or FireWire in the left hand panel. The right panel will show you what is connected to your computer by these protocols.

2. In the Finder, choose "Preferences..." in the Finder menu and then choose the "Sidebar" tab. In the Sidebar panel which appears, make sure the item "External discs" is checked in the list titled "Show these items in the sidebar:". Then open a window in the Finder by choosing "New Finder Window" in the File menu or by holding down the Command key and pressing "N". The external disc should show up in the sidebar.

Once you find the backup drive, I would run Disk Utility, select that drive and choose Repair, just in case. However it is possible that your main hard drive needs repair also, or instead. To do that, start up from your System Install DVD by inserting the DVD and choosing Restart while you hold down the "C" key. Keep that key down until the computer has started. Startup will be slow. Find Disk Utility when the computer has finished starting up and run Repair.
Thanks for taking the time for that response. Wow. You guys are very helpful taking the time out to help me.
Ok, I was originally unable to find the disc in finder. I did all the things you mentioned. When i checked the box on usb in finder, i was then able to see the hard drive. { i labeled it "music", btw}.

When i ran disc utility, it said it couldn't be repaired or something similar. I then ejected that disc and hooked up my backup disc. When i backed it up, i hooked them up at the same time and "dragged" the original disc over to the new disc. I thought i had backed it up. Now i am wondering if i didn't do it correctly.
When i hook up the new disc, it shows up in finder and checks out ok in disc utility, but when i try to open it it says "alias "music" can't be found because the original item can't be found"

I have so many hours invested in burning all my cd's , i'm getting a sick feeling in my stomach!

When you say start up dvd, are you talking about the dvd's that came with the computer? Also, does it matter which computer i do this on? As it is much easier to do all this work on my imac downstairs. When i use the mini i have to lay on the floor and crane my neck and use the projector for the screen.

Thanks ,again.

Ouch, I think you may have a problem. If you dragged and dropped I'm pretty sure you just created an alias, what is called a shortcut in the world of Windows. It didn't actually copy the files, it just created a pointer that says where the original files are (or unfortunately where they were).

If you double click the backup to see the files does it show all of your files or just an alias, an icon with a little arrow on it.

If only the icon your only hope is to somehow recover the original drive.


I think you nailed it. When i double click the backup it showed all the music, but then i noticed it had switched and was showing what was on the original disc. I guess i created an alias and not a duplicate "backup" disc. Sigh... When i made the backup, i thought i had successful made a backup as it showed all the music in there.
What now? Anybody ever recovered music from a hard drive? Where do i go and how much does it cost?

One good thing good that comes out of it is i did the same thing for all my pictures on my downstairs computer. I am sure i created an alias down there, too.

I guess i need to find out how to make a duplicate backup disc!


Get Super Duper for backups

I have an idea, I'll email you.

Stop by for a coffee if you have time today.

You're very welcome for the help. If it turns out to be useful, pass it forward
when the chance comes up. BTW I see you have a good connection with
Herman so all this is hopefully of secondary use.

OK, last things first. You can run Disc Utility on your Mini's drive if you
connect the Mini to your other Mac with a FireWire cable and start the Mini up
with the "T" key held down. It should show up in the other Mac's
Finder as an external drive. Now run Disk Utility and check it.

Apart from that, to check or repair an internal hard disk, you have to run the
repair utility using the computer the disc is inside. If the Mini's internal disc
has a problem, there's no way around lying on the floor unless you can boot it
as a FireWire external, or attach an external monitor to the Mini, or else
remove the Mini's hard drive and install it in or connect it to another

Second last: yes, the startup DVD is one of the things that came with the

Third last: option-dragging from one location to another works for files and
folders, but it won't work for hard discs. This is one major reason you have
problems. The best way I know to make a disk copy is to use a disk-copying
program. There are two you can download. One is called Carbon Copy Cloner
and the other is SuperDuper. I use SuperDuper. It has nice interface and will
let you copy a whole drive to another drive for free.

OK, now the essential thing: you want to try to save your music. I am guessing
the music is on your original music external disk, but it might be on your
backup music disk as well or instead. Now you need to find a new place to put
it, temporarily, because you are going to have to set up iTunes all over again
and also probably reformat your music discs.

Finding and copying. With your music disc connected and visible in the Finder,
click on its icon to show the contents and find the iTunes folder. Double-click
that if it's there, and then look for an iTunes Music folder and/or an iTunes
Media folder. Open them. You are looking for folders named after the artists,
with files named for musical pieces inside these folders. iTunes Music will
have the artist folders directly inside. iTunes Media will have them in another
folder called Music.

Check to make sure your music is in these files. You can use the Finder's
"Quick Look" command, in the File menu, to play one or two and
make sure they're functional.

Find out how many bytes these files take up by selecting the iTunes Music and
Music folders in the Finder and then choosing Get Info in the File menu. Now
see if you have room on your Mini's hard drive or on your other Mac's hard
drive for them.

If there's room, copy them--you can use option-drag in the Finder this time-
-to the other drive. You may have to unmount the disc and take it to the other
computer. If not, proceed to the next step, which is to repeat the entire
process from "Finding and copying" above, but this time with your
backup drive. You don't need to copy the music twice, if it turns out to be
intact and identical on the two external discs.

You don't even need to copy the music once, but it's insurance. If you turn out
not to have any extra room on your two Macs' internal drives, never mind. (
Remember, too, that a Mac needs 10% hard disk space free and unused, for
normal operation. )

Now here's the step you can't go back from. Reformat one of the external
drives, probably the backup, anyway the one with the least music on it if
there's a difference. Do this reformat with Disk Utility, but *don't use the
Erase function*. Use the Partition function instead. This will appear when you
click on the disk icon--NOT the volume icon. The volume is the name you
gave to the disk, and it's indented right under the disk icon in the left panel of
Disk Utility. Choose "1 partition" in the drop-down menu.

Now click on "Options...". If you think you will ever want to use
your disk with a Windows computer, choose "GUID partition map".
If not, or to be perfectly safe, choose "Apple Partition Map". Now
finish the reformat. The disc should mount in the Finder.

Now, from your other external or from your computer's internal drive, copy
your music folders back onto the newly formatted external disk.

Once that copy is safely done to your satisfaction, reformat the other disc the
same way, but don't copy your music to it.

Now for this next step you'll need both external disks connected to your
computer and mounted (i.e. visible in the Finder). Open iTunes with the
Option key held down. Choose "Create Library..." and in the
"Where" dialog, choose the empty external disc.

You get the rest. Once iTunes is opened, choose "Add to library..."
and restore your library from the other external disc.

When this is done, trash the music files you copied onto the first external
drive you reformatted, and then use SuperDuper to back up your (renewed)
music disk to the empty backup disk.

You may very well want to buy a licence for SuperDuper so you can use it to
do a quick incremental update of the backup music disc, every time you add
music to the main disc. This will mean your two music discs will be exact
copies of each other all the time. You can see the value in this.

Last thing: if you don't have a backup disk for the Mac Mini ( the internal
drive, not the music drive ), do consider getting one and maintaining it with
SuperDuper. If the Mini's internal drive ever fails ( and it will ), troubleshooting
it will be a snap.

Sorry this was so long but I didn't want to leave you hanging. If it seems like
too much, take your Mini and your drives to an Apple service shop and get
them to do it all. Good luck and let us know how it goes if you get the chance.
I was originally unable to find the disc in finder. I did all the things you mentioned. When i checked the box on usb in finder, i was then able to see the hard drive. { i labeled it "music", btw}.

When i ran disc utility, it said it couldn't be repaired or something similar.
What happens if you try to look at the files that are on it?

If you are able "to see the hard drive" it tells me that it probably has not experienced a hardware breakdown. So the problem may be a file system corruption, or something like that. The FAT32 file system is prone to that, and external drives are often supplied formatted in FAT32, because that file system can be utilized by both Mac and Windows machines.

I again suggest that if you can get access to a Windows machine, you connect the drive to that machine; examine its "Properties," which among other things will indicate "FAT32" if that is its file system; see what files are indicated as present, if any; and if the music files are not indicated as being present run ChkDsk on the drive. Post back if you'd like further information on how to do that, indicating whether the machine has Windows XP or Vista or 7.

-- Al
I hooked the hard drive with my music back up to do all the steps that Tobias mentioned. For some reason, i was able to play music on itunes now.
It gives the alert that Start up disc is almost full.

When i went to do a disc repair on my hard drive it stops with the message "first aid failed".
Most of the music plays on itunes without the hd attached but a few say file not found. When i hook up the hd, all the files will play. This has me thinking that most of the music is on the internal hard drive., and i have duplicated them on the hard drive.
How can i erase the internal hard drive of all this music and free up space, while using the hd for keeping music only.

to get it all on the external drive first go to advanced preferences and make the external drive your iTunes media folder, if you click change you can browse to it.

then go to File - library - organize library and then choose consolidate. It will copy all music files not already there to that drive. Make a backup copy of the music drive and then delete them from the internal drive.

Streetdaddy, the "first aid failed" message may be because of the circumstance Al posted on above: FAT32 formatting of the hard drive.

If that's the case, I certainly agree with Al that you have much to gain by correcting the situation. Transfer your music to a backup drive when you have finished following Herman's suggestions, above. Then partition the hard drive as I described in my own long post, using Disk Utility. Finally you recopy your music to the reformatted drive.

Use SuperDuper ( or Carbon Copy Cloner ) to do the first transfer and the second recopy. Just clone one disk to the other.

Once that's done, you may have to tell iTunes once more, via Preferences --> Advanced ( thank you Herman ) where your iTunes Media folder is.

Good luck and update us if you can.
OK, i renamed the itunes library, consolidated files. Then went to back up the main Drive, but it said unable to run because memory was full. I then took both drives downstairs to my imac and tried to make a backup using superduper.
When i tried to select the drive to be copied, it didn't show up as an option.
I could see the backup drive, but not the main music disc. They were both mounted ( you like that? see, i learned something,haha) on the desktop,tho.
Just by chance when i looked thru the to be copied to options, there was the main music drive as an option. When i clicked it, it said "music" is not a mac formatted disc. it is formatted in MS DOS .To use it i would need to erase it using disc utility and reformat in mac os extended.
So do i need to copy the main music disc to my internal drive and make the copy from there? Don't know if i have room...there are 4000 songs on there in Apple Losseless. Thanks again for the patience !
No, you don't need to copy first to the internal drive. While I don't know anything about SuperDuper, and I don't know much about Macs in general, it seems clear that it is a disk cloner program that does not want to clone from a disk that is not formatted in HFS+ (Mac OS extended), either because it is not designed to be able to do that, or perhaps because the target disk may be HFS+.

BTW, the reference to "MS DOS" format undoubtedly means in more specific terms FAT32, which Mac OS's can work with, regardless of whether or not SuperDuper is able to.

My suggestion is that instead of bothering with the cloning utility, you simply use the file management provisions that are provided in the Mac OS to copy all of the files from one drive to the other. After doing that, as Toby suggested you should reformat the original drive, probably to HFS+, and then copy the files back to it. That would result in greatly reduced susceptibility to file system corruption, compared to FAT32, with the only downside being that it would no longer be compatible with Windows machines. If Windows compatibility is a consideration, you should reformat the drive anyway, after copying the files from it, but reformat to FAT32.

-- Al
Thanks,Al. It's starting to make sense.

When you say "file management provisions that are provided in the Mac OS ",

what are you referring to? Is there a easy way to do that?
When you say "file management provisions that are provided in the Mac OS ",

what are you referring to? Is there a easy way to do that?
Herman and Toby can answer that much better than I can. As I said I have little knowledge about Macs. But I'm simply referring to whatever the conventional methods are in OS X for copying files.

-- Al
If i can't transfer a non mac formatted disc to another mac formatted disc with the superduper or clone software, where do i go from here?
I can't reformat it without deleting it, correct?

I guess i could transfer the internal hd from my mini to a mac formatted hd, and have most of my music. Then delete the internal memory after i make a couple copies of that. Is this my best option? Or is there still a way to get the info from the non mac formatted disc over to a mac disc? Will re read Toby's post to see if i missed it.
If i can't transfer a non mac formatted disc to another mac formatted disc with the superduper or clone software, where do i go from here?
What I'm saying is don't clone the disk that has the files on it to the other disk, just copy the files to the other disk. That should be very simple and straightforward. Disk cloning and file copying are two very different things, done in different ways. Either one would provide you with the necessary backup, but since in this case the cloning program won't work, just do it by copying, instead.
I can't reformat it without deleting it, correct?
Correct. Be absolutely sure that you have successfully copied the files to the backup drive, before reformatting the first drive.

-- Al
Al's advice is on the money. Basically you have to stash your music files somewhere safe while you get your music drive into perfect shape, emptied and squeaky clean with all the bookshelves in order. So to speak. Then you reformat the music drive and copy the files back onto it. Then if it all works, you clone your music drive to a reformatted backup drive, using SuperDuper.

Al suggests you stash your music files by copying with the OS. On a Mac, copying files with the OS is called copying in the Finder. You open a window and navigate within it until it shows a list of the files you want to copy. You open a second window which shows the destination, the place you want to copy the files to. Then you select the files in the first window and drag them to the second. The Finder will put up a progress bar to show you how long you'll have to wait till the copy is done.

The only worry I would have here is the possibility that some of the music files have been corrupted. If you have any of these, copying them is not a good idea. They need to be trashed asap. Unfortunately I don't think you can find them without a diagnostic and repair program. I use DiskWarrior. However it costs $100. I have never been sorry I paid the money but you don't have to feel the same way. You can go ahead and do your copy without it. The chances are small that there will be a file corruption problem on the disk.
Thanks so much guys. This has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I did the same thing with my iphoto backup hard drive. ( creating only a alias, not a backup). I just finished putting all my iphoto pics onto an EHD and am in the process of using superduper to make a copy of that disc for safekeeping. What a disaster that could have been, losing pictures. Worse than music as they can't be replaced.
Tomorrow when i get time i'm going to copy my music over and then reformat the original disc and use it as a backup. You guys have been great, Thank you!
One last question.... What is the advantage of "cloning?" It seems like it is easier to just find it on Finder and drag it over to the new disc. ( ie copying)
I'm not sure either what benefit, if any, would be provided by having a cloned disk, as opposed to simply having a backup disk containing copies of the original files. Perhaps Toby will elaborate.

All I can envision is that it could possibly eliminate the need to point iTunes to a different music storage drive, if the original drive had to be replaced. That would take just a few clicks to do.

Basically, a cloned disk is a disk whose contents are identical to the ENTIRE contents of the original drive, including identification and structure-related information that is used by the operating system but is normally invisible to the user.

Under certain circumstances, having a clone can actually create problems, because (oversimplifying slightly) if both drives are connected simultaneously the operating system may get confused as to which is which.

-- Al

A clone is a bit for bit copy including all hidden files. If you want to make a bootable disk that includes the operating system you have to clone since a backup copy won't grab everything you need to make that work.

If it's just data files then a drag and drop will work but a program like Super Duper is easier and faster especially after the first backup. It will do incremental backups; it will see what is new or changed on the main disk and only copy those to the backup, which is much faster than a full copy.

BTW don't know if it got answered but no, Super Duper doesn't work with Windows formats.

Al, Herman's excellent response gives my reasoning for the clone operation using SuperDuper. Once it's set up, regular incremental backups become so easy that they are actually likely to get done. As well, familiarity with the SD process may encourage a user to adopt a regular backup strategy for the startup disc too.

As for the possibility of confusion between volumes, operator error is always a thrilling possibility. However the volume and its clone are allowed to have, and should have, different names and creation times. Also, on startup, iTunes will open the last iTunes library used. If that's not available, it will ask to be shown, or told to create, another. It's not likely iTunes will inadvertently get confused this way.
Excellent clarifications, Herman & Toby. Thanks. I believe that assignment of different names and creation times eliminates the possible concern I expressed about cloning.

Cloning programs that I am familiar with, in the Windows world, will usually duplicate absolutely everything, including what is known as the "disk signature" in the drive's "master boot record," which among other things identifies the disk to the operating system. In case you're curious, the kinds of problems that can lead to, especially if the drive being cloned is an OS drive, are described here.

Best regards,
-- Al
Thanks for an interesting read, Al. I don't believe SuperDuper cloning goes quite as far down into the disk structure when duplicating data as the Windows process does. For this reason one would have to consider the Windows cloning operation as more rigorous.

Cloning programs for the Mac were not even necessary before OS X. A simple drag and drop Finder copy would have been enough, previously. SuperDuper adds the extra operations required after the OS change, but the word "clone" is actually a popular usage, it seems.
Hi Toby,

It gets even more rigorous with Windows 7 and Vista, compared to XP which was addressed in the link I provided. And it has to be, or the clone of a W7 or Vista OS drive won't boot. Another reference that may be of interest.

But as you imply, the word "clone" can be used in various senses.

Best regards,
-- Al
Hi, I am sure you've found your. Answer by now, but if not here it goes. I made the same upgrade to my Mac mini which has made it finicky when it comes to external hard drives, I myself use the apple time capsule as my hard drive and after the upgrade the Mac mini no longer recoginized the files. What I did was delete all the files and redown loaded them again. Don't delete them in the trash, delete them off the Mac mini, and then reload the library again... Simple step... Hope this helps...
I ended up taking it to the Mac Authority for help. It was going to be hundreds of dollars for them to do the work. He said why don't you just copy files form old HD { format problems} to the new HD.{ properly formatted}. I did this, then created a new library and told itunes to use it as my new library location. Then i deleted all the music i had inadvertanly stored on my mini.
I tried to reformat my old HD but i think it is fried. I need to get a backup and run superduper. Thanks to all that helped on this thread. I learned a lot.
Thanks very much for letting us know how things turned out, Streetdaddy. Your plan sounds excellent. Best of luck!