How to Prepare a Windows Vista PC to Back Up the Songs from an iPod - dummies

How to Prepare a Windows Vista PC to Back Up the Songs from an iPod

By Woody Leonhard

If you want to back up the songs on an iPod, you first need to prepare your Windows Vista PC. In order to protect the files on your iPod, you first need to move your iTunes library and then turn off the auto sync feature.

If an iPod has been used with a Windows Vista PC, it’s typically set to auto sync with the computer. The auto-syncing feature will ensure that the files on your iPod match those on your computer. So, if you try to copy the files from your iPod onto a computer that doesn’t already have a copy of the same files, the auto sync feature will delete the files on your iPod so that it matches the empty library on your computer.

If you’ve ever synchronized your iPod to the computer at hand, or if you aren’t sure, you need to disable Automatic Sync. However, before you can disable this feature, you need to protect your iPod using a simple workaround.

  1. Choose Start→Music and locate the iTunes folder.


    The iTunes folder contains all the data that controls your iPod library.

    If you’ve changed the location of the default iTunes folder, you’ll need to locate it in its modified location.

  2. Drag the iTunes folder onto your desktop.

    Not to worry. You’ll drag it back at the end.

    Most people have several gigabytes of music in their iTunes library. If you do too, it will take some time for the folder to move everything. Just sit tight and wait for it to finish.

  3. Start iTunes.

    None of your songs will show up in the iTunes Library. That’s good, since you’ve temporarily placed the library on your desktop, hidden from iTunes.

  4. Plug in your iPod. If you get an AutoPlay notification, click the red X to exit AutoPlay.


    iTunes presents you with a notification that your iPod is linked to another iTunes music library. That may or may not be true, but the message is triggered by moving the library as you did.

  5. In the Linked to Another iTunes Music Library message box, click the No button.

    That ensures that your Pod won’t be synced.

  6. Click the Display iPod Options icon.

    You can find the Display iPod Options icon (it looks like a little iPod) down near the lower-right corner of the iTunes window. iTunes brings up the iPod options dialog box, with the Music tab selected.

  7. Uncheck the Open iTunes When This iPod Is Attached box. Then select the Manually Manage Songs and Playlists option.


    iTunes warns you that you’ll have to manually eject the iPod before each disconnect.

  8. Click OK twice to return to iTunes.

  9. Go back to your Vista desktop and click and drag the iTunes folder back into your Music folder.

    Be careful to drop the iTunes folder inside the Music folder, not inside one of the other folders in the Music folder. If you did it right, Windows Explorer warns you that the destination already contains a folder named iTunes.

  10. Click Yes. You do want to merge the old iTunes folder with the new one.


    Vista asks whether you want to remove and replace a newer file with an older one. Usually, that’s a warning sign — but in this case, yes, you do want to dump the new file and use the old one.

  11. Check the Do This for the Next 1 Conflicts box and then click the Move and Replace icon.

    Vista overwrites the new files and replaces them with the older ones — the ones that contain your music library.

  12. Go back to iTunes and double-check your library.

    Your music library should be in place.

  13. Shut down iTunes and unplug your iPod.