Q: I just got a new PC running Windows 7. All my content is stored on an external hard drive. My iTunes folder is on my old PC but all the music is on the hard drive. After I install iTunes on my new machine, what do I do to get it to see my external hard drive with all my music?
A: The easiest way to handle this is to copy the “iTunes” folder from your old PC hard drive over to your new PC, placing it in the same relative location on the new PC (generally under your “My Music” folder). This folder contains your library database and all of the information about your content, and as long as it’s in the right place on the new PC, iTunes should just open it up in much the same way as it did on your old PC.
You will need to ensure that your external hard drive gets assigned the same drive letter, as iTunes stores a full path to each of your music files in its library database, so it will expect to find your media files in that location. You can reassign drive letters in your Windows 7 Control Panel under the Computer Management section.
Your iTunes Preferences are also not normally copied over as part of the iTunes folder. If you really want to copy these over manually, they’re stored in a file named iTunesPrefs.XML in C:Documents and Settings(your name)AppDataLocalApple ComputeriTunes. Most of the information contained in this file can be easily reconfigured by a visit to the iTunes Preferences settings, however, so copying this file over is not crucial to the process.
For more information, see our article on Transferring your iTunes Library.