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Best way of keeping Steam installs

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by ic1male, 12 May 2018.

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  1. ic1male

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Oct 2003

    Posts: 28,025

    Location: Westchestershire

    Some of these games on Steam are massive and I don't relish the idea of having to download some of them again. Is the built in backup method a good way to shove the game files on to an external HDD so you can just get them back again in the future with minimum fuss?
     
  2. PiKe

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,723

    Location: Lake District

    Copy the common folder inside steamapps.
     
  3. Lordgrayone

    Gangster

    Joined: 20 Apr 2008

    Posts: 395

    That works but you can also install them onto a second hard drive and on a reinstall just point steam back to said folder, I can't think where in the options it is off the top of my head
     
  4. ic1male

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Oct 2003

    Posts: 28,025

    Location: Westchestershire

    I can't find how you do that, I know there is a simple button in Uplay or Origin to locate already downloaded game data but I can't see a similar thing in Steam.
     
  5. PiKe

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,723

    Location: Lake District

    If you move the data back into the common folder and install the game again, steam will check for existing files first.

    In reverse, move the folder out of common, before uninstalling it from the client.
     
  6. ic1male

    Caporegime

    Joined: 28 Oct 2003

    Posts: 28,025

    Location: Westchestershire

    Ah, OK. I thought it just started overwriting the files. I'll give a try, cheers.
     
  7. hyperseven

    Soldato

    Joined: 1 May 2013

    Posts: 7,442

    Location: M28

    dont you have to copy the manifest file as well then it just auto picks them up.
     
  8. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2009

    Posts: 11,174

    Yes, you need the manifest file as well. Those tell Steam whether the game is complete or only partially complete. Without the completed manifest file, Steam will start downloading the game again if you move a game folder back into the Steam directory.

    The manifest files have numbers and no indication which is for which game. If you search for the game in question and steam appid, you'll get the number which corresponds to the game.
     
  9. Cheroulam Nab

    Gangster

    Joined: 1 Jan 2011

    Posts: 136

    Location: County Durham

    This was helpful as I have games with a total storage need of at least 2+TB and that is my main steam account. I did try to copy the games themselves and put them in their own folder but as you can probably imagine that did not work I wasted valuable time and space. Thanks for posting this OP.
     
  10. Antar Bolaeisk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 19 Dec 2006

    Posts: 9,279

    Location: Saudi Arabia né Donegal

    Does the move install folder option not work with an external HDD?
     
  11. CHokKA

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 May 2004

    Posts: 3,767

    Location: Home

    I have my entire Steam installation on a different hard disk and I’ve never had to do anything other than reinstall Steam back to the same location when I’ve reinstalled Windows. Steam has just automatically picked up all the games and carried on as normal when I’ve selected one to play.

    I’ve never moved them to an external HDD though. When I run low on space, I’ve upgraded my games HDD and just copied everything across and changed the drive letter on the new HDD to what the old games drive was. Steam has then just carried on as normal.
     
  12. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: 5 Mar 2010

    Posts: 7,092

    There is the backup option, when i used to have poor internet, i would back them up to a DVD.
     
  13. Swifty55

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Feb 2006

    Posts: 5,630

    Location: Home

    Use a separate SSD/HDD and just add the folder to your steam library folders.
     
  14. Rifte

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Sep 2010

    Posts: 2,761

    Location: Somewhere in Asia

    THIS!

    I have 3 x 4TB external drives (overkill I know). Once I have finished the game, I move the contents over and if the day ever comes that I want to play it again...I move it back.

    Simples.
     
  15. Martini1991

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Sep 2009

    Posts: 28,557

    Location: Dormanstown.

    Get virgin media 350mb :p.
     
  16. robinbanks

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Feb 2012

    Posts: 231

    Location: witney

    This :D
     
  17. LeMson

    Mobster

    Joined: 21 Mar 2012

    Posts: 3,510

    Steams on another hdd for me, fresh install of base files onto ssd, ask it to install one game thats on hdd, point it to install it in hdd location, steam then finds the game already installed and all the other games in that steam hdd folder, job done
     
  18. GBRusty

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Feb 2014

    Posts: 1,050

    I have my Steam games spread over 4 drives. My favourites and Vr games are on my SSDs, my other ones are spread across my 2 other big HDDs.

    When I install a new game it asks where I want to install it and i select the drive I want then.
     
  19. suenstar

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 May 2011

    Posts: 965

    Location: Cornwall, England

    I'd get it if it was available in my area, sadly I don't think Virgin will ever be providing broadband in Cornwall.

    I keep a copy of my steamapps folder on an external HDD and just transfer the games I'm playing across to my main drive and swap them out when I'm done.
     
  20. demonix

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,944

    Location: Cowley, Middx

    You don't as I copied the whole of my xcom 2 install folder from one computer to the other (over the network) and once I set it to install, it automatically picked up on the files that were there already and all it needed to do was download all the mods.