I am replacing my Macbook's hard disk and I have already a copy of all files I want to transfer over except for my iTunes library.

Since I sync my iPad with it, and have some apps, what is the best approach to backup and migrate my iTunes library to the new disk?

I don't have a 2nd computer, so I can't use the migration assistant.

  • a full copy of the hard drive (carbon copy cloner, superduper etc.), time machine or just copying files over? – user6124 Jul 19 '11 at 11:57
  • I am just copying files over. I want to do a full reinstall of the OS (haven't done it in years). – Pablo Jul 19 '11 at 12:21
  • do you need your iTunes backups? – user6124 Jul 19 '11 at 12:37
  • I don't think so. My iPad is going to be backed up in the 1st sync on the new OS anyways. – Pablo Jul 19 '11 at 12:47

The simple answer is iTunes has really only stores two types of data:

If you don't just want to plug in your iPad and other iOS devices and transfer purchases, then you'll want a $8 drive connector to connect your old drive as an external to bring over the media, the backups or both. Yu can also get these files from time machine or other backup (offsite or local)

Even after swapping the old drive, you can still start iTunes pointing to the old backup library and run / restore or export parts of the library playlists and move over just part of your library.

It really depends on what exactly your setup involves (sync data over USB like calendars or photos) may require you to migrate some other data or watch/control the first sync to ensure your iPad doesn't lose unintended data.

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A regular iTunes sync will not copy your music from your device to your Mac's new HD. So you want to make a separate backup of your iTunes library to an external HD or flash drive.

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If you have an external storage device with enough free space, all you need to do is copy your iTunes folders from home/music/iTunes and home/library/iTunes and replace those folders on the new drive.

After that, when you open iTunes, everything will be as it was on your original hard drive.

If you haven't got an external HD with enough free space, you can connect your original HD through a caddy, and transfer the files like that! You can buy caddy's from various retailers, I'm not sure where you are based but you can get an idea here http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=disk+caddy&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9272701352248655613&sa=X&ei=2qElTqChNs-XhQed2KyBCg&ved=0CGMQ8gIwAw

Make sure you get a 2.5" SATA Caddy/Enclosure for a laptop HD or a 3.5" for a desktop!

(I'm assuming you're using a mac here, in regards to the file paths, not too sure what they would be on a windows machine, but shouldn't be too different!)

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  • Why has this answer been downvoted? – DreLambo Nov 28 '13 at 18:00

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