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Thread: The Steam Thread Of Steaming

  1. #1
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    The Steam Thread Of Steaming

    Finally got Windows installed on an SSD (btw, if you've never used Ninite, it's a godsend for new Windows installs), and now I'm wondering how long it will take me to fill up its paltry 80 GB (actually 50 GB now) of available space once I start installing games.

    Here are a couple solutions to my problem, which allow you to link your Steam library to other hard drives on a game-by-game basis (install some games on one drive, some on another, move them back and forth, link everything to Steam, etc.):

    Steam Mover

    SteamTool Library Manager

    I'm reading up on them, deciding which to try. Probably don't need both. (Edit: Think I'll try the SteamTool Library Manager first, since I have a ton of games installed on my now-no-longer-primary old Windows drive already, and it looks like this will let me surf there and link up easily.)

  2. #2
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    That was relatively painless! And now I have a lightning-fast Steam app, using my already installed games on my old hard drive... bazinga!

    L4D + L4D2 + Portal 2 = 30 GB all by itself, so yeah, that was not gonna happen on the SSD.

  3. #3
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    So was your solution indeed the SteamTool Library Manager? I just bought a new system and have the same issue. Installing other software on another HD didn't seem like a big deal but I hadn't yet thought of Steam.

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    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Yup, that's the tool I used. The directions on the website were fairly clear, but here's a digest:

    First of all, all content goes into a new folder that's only for the library manager. The tool won't work on a folder where you've already got stuff installed. It's a little silly, but whatever. Create an empty folder, associate the tool with that folder, and get going.

    If you already have a game installed on another drive, copy the game's directory out of "steamapps/common" into the new (empty) directory you associated the tool with, then use the tool to "link" Steam to the directory for that game, then install the game in Steam and it will see the content, verify it, and you're out the door.

    In order to install a new game, I'm pretty sure it has to go onto the SSD first, and then the tool can copy it over to the other drive, leaving a link behind. I haven't tried yet, but I don't know if there's a way to freshly install a new game directly into the linked folder on the slow/big HD.

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    Thanks for the info Mac

  6. #6
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macheath View Post
    In order to install a new game, I'm pretty sure it has to go onto the SSD first, and then the tool can copy it over to the other drive, leaving a link behind.
    I just gave this a try, and it's way better than that. I started installing Borderlands (7+ GB, way too much for the SSD), then clicked "pause updating" in Steam and "move to storage" in SteamTools, and finally "resume updating" in Steam.

    I never had more than a few MB on the SSD before I copied it over (basically just started it to make the folder and such), and now it's continuing to download onto the big drive, leaving my precious SSD alone.

  7. #7
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    I installed Team Fortress 2 last night, and as is the case with many Valve games, it's special and drops all its content outside the steamapps/common directory, where this SteamTool can't manage it for me. 11+ GB of files were plopped down right in the base steamapps directory, and that is way too much. So I was forced to take matters into my own hands.



    Start by copying the files over to a slow hard drive.

    Go to wherever you installed Steam. On my machine, it was:

    Code:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\
    Arrange the files in this directory by size. The ones at the top are obviously the ones you want to move, so just drag them to a directory on another hard drive, and Windows will copy them there. I used:

    Code:
    F:\STEAM\team fortress 2
    Now, get the files on your C: drive out of the way, so you can put junction points down in their place. Just rename them and give them some extension (e.g. ".bak"). You may need to close Steam to do this, if Steam is currently using any of the files. The reason you're renaming them instead of just deleting is, hey, nobody's perfect. Maybe you'll fuck something up! You can delete the renamed ".bak" files after you've finished and everything still works.

    Next, you'll need to run "cmd" as the Administrator.

    You can probably just type "cmd" in the Start Menu, and when it comes up, right click and "Run as administrator." Alternatively, you can enable your Administrator account and put a password on it, which is what I did. Follow these instructions to accomplish that in Windows 7:

    1. Go to the Start Menu and right click on "Computer," then select "Manage."
    2. Double click "System Tools" -> "Users and Groups" -> "Users."
    3. Right click the Administrator account and select "Set password..." then click "Proceed."
    4. Enter a password and confirm it.
    5. Right click Administrator again, and this time select "Properties."
    6. Un-check "Account is disabled" and confirm.

    Now that you have an enabled Admin account with a password, open up the command prompt (Windows + R, type "cmd" and hit enter). Now switch to the Admin user with the following command (this is kind of like "sudo" on Linux):

    Code:
    runas /noprofile /user:Administrator cmd
    Put in your new password, and another command prompt will pop up, this time running with Administrator privileges.

    Now you're ready to make the junction points you need.

    Use the "mklink" command for each of the files you moved to your slow drive, and create a link (or junction) from a location on the SSD to the real file on the slow drive. Here are the commands I pasted into the command prompt (one at a time):

    Code:
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\team fortress 2 content.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\team fortress 2 content.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\source 2007 shared materials.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\source 2007 shared materials.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\source materials.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\source materials.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\team fortress 2 materials.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\team fortress 2 materials.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\source sounds.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\source sounds.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\source models.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\source models.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\multiplayer ob binaries.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\multiplayer ob binaries.gcf"
    mklink "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\source 2007 shared models.gcf" "F:\STEAM\team fortress 2\source 2007 shared models.gcf"
    Remember, the LINK is on the LEFT, and the REAL FILE is on the RIGHT. If you've ever used "symlink" on Linux, you've probably been confused by which is which, because everyone who has ever used symlink has had to look it up over and over again. This is the same deal.

    And it's that simple! It might look complicated, but I just wanted to make sure this post was detailed. It took me five times longer to type up this post than it did to actually accomplish the feat.

    Fire up Steam, make sure Team Fortress 2 (or the game of your choice) is still working, and if so, delete all the ".bak" files you created in the steamapps directory and have a nice day.

  8. #8
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    When I wanted my steam games on another hard drive, I just used this and that was that. It seems like a lot of mucking about just to have steam on an SSD.

  9. #9
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    True, moving Steam to another install location is an obvious solution. But if you want to have Steam itself -- or the games you play most often -- load from a fast SSD, and still would prefer not to fill the damn thing up, then you need a way to split the install between drives.

  10. #10
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Steam's doing some neat community stuff lately:

    http://steamcommunity.com/communitycontent

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