Looking for iPods?

iPodsStart shopping

iTunes Tune-up 9.1: Moving your library off a laptop

In my last post I talked about relocating my iTunes library from my PC's hard drive to an external drive. The process worked so well, I decided to do it to my laptop, too. My laptop serves as a portable office, and I have it with me just about all the time.

While I usually leave it set up in the same place throughout the workday (unless I'm travelling), I still have to plug in and unplug the external drive almost daily for my commute.

I discovered that if I left iTunes open and disconnected the external drive, iTunes would reset itself to make the laptop's C drive the default library location. Although all the songs remained listed in iTunes, each had an exclaimation mark in front of them to denote an unknown address.

When I reconnected the hard drive, I had go into the iTunes "Advanced" menu and change the address of the library back to the folder on the external drive. I then had to select "update" and wait a minute or so while iTunes reestablished all the connections between its listings and the music files on the external drive.

iTunes also reset its library location to the C drive if I opened the program before I connected the external drive to the laptop.

Fortunately, the work-around was pretty simple. The secret was to close iTunes before disconnecting the external drive and opened it only after reconnecting the drive. As long as I remember the sequence, I can enjoy my music without cluttering up my laptop's hard drive.

And the good news is that even if I forget, the updating of the links is just a minor inconvenience, not a major systems crisis.

Gift Card The Great Gear Giveaway

Sign up for our email newsletter and then enter to win a $350 Rewards Card.