The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions

Some background info:

  1. A little while ago, I formatted the second hard drive (the one I had installed Linux on) and moved Erin’s and my “My Documents” folder to the G: drive. I also moved my projects folder, and our folder of ripped mp3’s. This is in preparation for upgrading to Vista. I wanted our files on a separate drive so that if everything goes to hell, we won’t lose our stuff.
  2. Yesterday, I went to General Nanosystems and bought a stick of RAM to upgrade the machine with, also in preparation for Vista.

I got home and plugged the RAM in and tried to restart. When I got to the XP login screen, there was a message about a corrupt registry key that had been successfully restored. This all sounded good to me. I tried to logon and the screen froze up.
I restarted the machine and the same thing happened. I took out the RAM and everything was back to normal.

Sort of.

When I logged in, my user settings had been reset, so all my preferences were gone, including the new My Documents mapping to the G: drive. I remapped My Documents to the G: drive, reset my wallpaper, etc. which didn’t take long. I assumed that my settings had been lost because of the freeze when I tried to login, and that Erin’s settings were fine, because I hadn’t logged in as her.

When Erin plugged in her iPod this afternoon, it wouldn’t let her sync, saying that some other computer “owned” the iPod. Also, there was a lot of music missing from her library. Now, its bad enough when I screw something of MINE up, let alone something of hers.

So I figured out that since I had moved the music directory to the C: drive to the G: drive, thats why it couldn’t find the music. So I re-added the music folder from its new location, hoping that iTunes would recognize that the songs already existed and just update the locations. It doesn’t do that apparently. Now there were a BUNCH of duplicate songs; the new ones I had just added and all the old ones that iTunes couldn’t find. Worse still, all of her playlists referenced the bad songs and there doesn’t appear to be a way to “swap” songs or anything.

There was still the issue of iTunes not letting her sync up. Then I realized it. Her user settings had been reset, just like mine, so her My Documents was still pointing to “C:\Documents and Settings\”, etc. so she now had a brand new iTunes profile, which made the iPod think this was a new machine.

I remapped her My Documents to the new location, and the sync functionality came back, whew.

Back to the invalid songs and all the duplicates. I found the iTunes library xml file and took a peek. Very easy to understand file, you can see the tag where iTunes stores the path to the path on the file system. I thought I was all set, just a quick find and replace on all the invalid file paths, and I’m back in business. I tried this and fired up iTunes. All the songs were still invalid. I looked at the xml file again, and all the invalid paths were back!

It seems iTunes knows if someone had tinkered with the xml file and restores it if its been modified. Ugh.

In the end, I just had to wipe the library and re-import all the folders and now the playlists will have to be recreated. Not the best result but at least everything can be fixed, its just a pain in the ass.

I just have to laugh a little because I rarely buy new RAM for a computer and I also rarely (if ever) add a new hard drive and remap the “My Documents” folder, but since I did both of those, they joined forces to screw me over, and I didn’t even get to add the damn RAM!

(Never did figure out what the problem was, but I don’t want to tempt fate and put it back in, that shits going back to GN)

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