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All of my kids have experienced problems at one time or another, when upgrading iTunes on their laptops. The version number doesn't matter, as this has happened for the last couple of years, so the version number has changed. It isn't consistent. What is consistent is sometimes, but not always, after upgrading iTunes, it will have lost all of it's information about the music, podcasts, etc, that it had. And yet if I bring up Windows Explorer, I can find all of it there. It's a pain to have to recover that.

The pertinent question is, how do you recover all of the music, podcasts, playlists, etc, that is on the computer, but iTunes doesn't show it in the library?

Second, what causes iTunes to do this in the first place?

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This has never happened to me, and I'm responsible for over 50 iTunes installations among various staff and faculty at the college where I work (we hand out iPod Touch to students, so everyone has and uses iTunes). Is it maybe something in your network/OS environment? –  Joel Coehoorn Jul 11 '12 at 1:52
    
It's a simple peer-to-peer networking environment we have at our home. Six Windows 7 machines, 1 wireless HP printer, 2 Roku's. –  Rod Jul 11 '12 at 14:18
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I can't speak to the cause of the problem, but clearly the updated iTunes isn't looking at the existing iTunes Library which contains everything it needs to know about your media. The simplest solution is to import the existing iTunes Library into the updated version of iTunes.

Please refer to the Apple Support Article No content shows up in iTunes after updating for the appropriate steps to importing your existing iTunes Library.

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Yep, my kids get this a lot. I've got 4 kids and it seems like whenever an update for iTunes comes up at least one of them has this problem after updating. –  Rod Jul 11 '12 at 14:22
    
It's strange. I would expect this to happen in non-default installs. At least it uses an external database so they can get back to where they were prior to update. –  ephsmith Jul 11 '12 at 14:29
    
Unfortunately, even the link on Apple's website didn't recover my daughter's library. –  Rod Jul 13 '12 at 3:45
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