I was recently handed an old Windows laptop, and told “It is broken so I know you can put it to use, and if you get my music off of it that would be awesome.” Right away I knew I had a great chance of recovering everything from the hard drive.
I took the hard drive out of the laptop and plugged it into my workstation via a SATA to USB converter. It showed right up and I mounted the partition that I thought would be the windows partition:
# ls autoexec.bat config.sys doctemp found.000 found.003 MSOCache pagefile.sys ProgramData Program Files Users Boot DELL Documents and Settings found.001 hiberfil.sys newfile.enc pending.un ProgramData.LOG1 $Recycle.Bin Windows bootmgr dell.sdr Drivers found.002 Intel newkey PerfLogs ProgramData.LOG2 System Volume Information
Well, that looks familiar. Then went into the person’s user directory and did this:
# find . -type f -name '*.m4a' -o -name '*.mp3' -ls > ~/music_file_list
I could have been more thorough and looked for more file extensions (acc,m4u, etc.), but I figured iTunes would just put every music file in the same folder. The resultant file looked like this:
# tail music_file_list 82837 9632 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 9861791 Sep 16 2008 ./Users/laptop/Music/iTunes/Alanis\ Morissette\ -\ Jagged\ Little\ Pi\ 12.mp3 307 27696 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 28357414 Oct 22 2008 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/3L\ First\ Semester/Energy/dem\ now.mp3 53814 4856 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 4972361 Feb 17 2007 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Bouncing\ Around\ The\ Room.mp3 53817 6116 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 6259086 Feb 17 2007 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Come\ Together.mp3 53834 8132 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 8325962 Feb 17 2007 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Funky\ Bitch.mp3 53962 31512 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 32266213 Dec 21 2004 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Inflate-_Barnacles.mp3 53975 4424 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 4527885 Feb 17 2007 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Julius.mp3 53979 12288 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 12579091 Apr 1 2002 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Mike's\ Song.mp3 54019 8476 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 8677963 Mar 31 2002 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Vultures.mp3 54028 6004 -rw------- 2 fordodone fordodone 6146289 Feb 17 2007 ./Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music/01\ Wilson.mp3
Now the goal was to get a list of unique directories in which music could be found. I would then take that list and rsync those directories to a local hard drive. Since the music files could be located at any unpredictable level in the tree, and I only wanted the directory listing I did this:
# cat music_file_list | cut -d / -f 2- | rev | cut -d / -f 2- | rev | sort | uniq -c 926 Users/laptop/Music/iTunes 27 Users/laptop/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music/Podcasts/GreenBiz\ Radio 10 Users/laptop/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music/Podcasts/NPR_\ Planet\ Money\ Podcast 51 Users/laptop/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music/Podcasts/This\ American\ Life 4 Users/laptop/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music/Podcasts/WNYC's\ Radiolab 2 Users/laptop/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music/Smeal\ College\ of\ Business/Wall\ Street\ Bootcamp\ Series 1 Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/3L\ First\ Semester/Energy 8 Users/laptop/Searches/Documents/Old\ Computer/My\ Music
That gave me the list I was looking for and how many mp3 and m4a files were in each unique directory. I’ll probably skip the Podcasts, and just recover the rest. It looks like this will be about 30G of files, so I will probably use adrive.com to upload and share this amount of data.
TODO: revisit this exercise with