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Old 09-09-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
Dr.Zoidberg
 
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Multiple 'steamapps' folders on multiple drives

Alright, so I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I'm gonna put this down anyways.

An increasing problem, with game sizes is the Hard Disk usage, especially when people start installing and using multiple games that take 10--20 Gb worth of hard disk space. Also, another thing is when super-awesome fast hard drives are added into the mix, where you want to put your awesome heavy-weight games onto this drive, but maybe not all your Steam games, like those casual or older/less played games.

I have an idea to introduce a system into Steam where Steam will keep a 'steamapps' or Steam-games folder in more than one place, which is curently ALWAYS where the Steam program itself is located.

For the first example, I'm going to take my current laptop. It has a 320Gb hard drive which has 2 partitions of about 142 Gb each. As it currently stands, I have filled up the partition with Steam on it to within 3 Gb of it's capacity, and every time I want to add another game, I have to weigh my options and delete another game to make room. However, I have the other drive sitting around with about 100Gb of free space. What I would LIKE to do is have a second 'steamapps' folder located on this drive to expand my ability to store games on this laptop. As it is, I keep having to delete games to install others, then once I'm done with them, I have to re-download the other sometimes too. It'd be nice not to have to do this.

Another situation, that I'm not in, but could be possible, is if I had a super-awesome-fast Raptor or SSD drive or equivalent. Now, I understand that these drives are nice and fast, but are lacking on space. In this situation, I'd like to have a 'steamapps' folder and store on that drive my 'Crysis' or 'Metro 2033' type super-games on this fast drive, and then have one on another drive with far more space, yet slower, store the rest of my games, whether they be less high-requirement or just older games from way-back that don' need such state-of-the-art fast systems.

And perhaps another possibility, that links to my first example above, with the space-starving laptop. Instead of storing many games on my laptop AND on my desktop, I could have a 'steamapps' folder on a portable/external hard drive, where I have Steam installed on both the Desktop and Laptop. Then I could would only have to download/update 1 set of games instead of two, I mean, sure, this might cause a performance hit on those super-games, but this could still be used on that set of older/legacy games.

For this to work, of course, the option to create a new 'steamapps' folder would be needed, maybe on the "Steam" drop-down menu, and of course some method or index in the base of these folders so that Steam wouldn't have to scan the folder everytime to find out which are installed if we're talking about a portable drive and is connected, and the option to have Steam actually look in the location on startup to see if the folder is even there. Also, the option of which of these 'steamapps' folder to install the game to would be needed when we wish to install new games. And maybe the option to 'move' a game installation from one of these folders to another.

But Why would VALVe do such a thing? I have a few ideas:
-More satisfied customers
-Customers would need to download games less often, beacuse of not having to redownload games (first example), or having to download multiple copies for multiple computers (third example), which would lead to...
-... less bandwidth expenditures for VALVe, which is always a good thing.



Some input, maybe? Other ideas to augment this one?

EDIT: Just thought of a better title for the thread, "'Steamapps' folder on more than one drive", little help please?

Last edited by Dr.Zoidberg: 09-09-2010 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Formatting errors.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
spidaweb
 
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You may be able to work around this problem by moving some steamapps to another drive and then creating a hard link from the new location back to the original location.

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d....mspx?mfr=true
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:01 AM   #3
>X2<
 
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You can also have multiple steam installations on one machine. You just have to have shortcuts to them seperate.

Install steam to C: E: and F:, create a folder on the desktop called (steam) and put a shortcut to each Steam.exe and name them so you know which it which. You must however quit one version to start the other, only one instance can be running at a time.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:42 AM   #4
Dr.Zoidberg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by >X2< View Post
You can also have multiple steam installations on one machine. You just have to have shortcuts to them seperate.

Install steam to C: E: and F:, create a folder on the desktop called (steam) and put a shortcut to each Steam.exe and name them so you know which it which. You must however quit one version to start the other, only one instance can be running at a time.
While I will use that, I still think that the gist of the suggestion of having one Steam instance be linked to different 'steamapps' folders would still be worthwhile to implement.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:46 AM   #5
rsharpe95
 
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I second this suggestion as I was about to make the same point myself.

Let me restate the problem:

Situation: First of all, I love the way Steam has managed my purchased games up until now. I own more than two dozen games right now, and even though I don't have them all installed, my Steam directory is growing quite large. There are certain games that would really benefit from a Solid State Drive, but there's no way I have enough money to afford a SSD big enough for all of my Steam games and my system. I want to install only select games that really need the performance on that drive, but Steam doesn't allow me to do this.

Problem/question: I want to install certain games on a different drive separate from my normal Steam installation directory. Is there a way of doing this?

If not, this really should be made an option. It was fine at the beginning when I only owned a handful of games, but over the years, I'm doing more and more purchases exclusively using Steam. It is starting to become unmanageable, and this technical limitation is starting to degrade my enjoyment of games under Steam.

Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:35 AM   #6
Amander
 
 
 
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There is a way using junctions. But it's easier to move the whole Steam folder to where you have space.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:28 PM   #7
-=oWn4g3=-
 
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Add +1.

just got a new SSd with 60gigs for Win7 and it would be great to have some titles on that drive, like CS:S or other games I play quite often.

The implementation can be too difficult I guess.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:13 PM   #8
Ranek520
 
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There's a program called Winbolic Link that does all the complicated stuff for you. All you have to do is copy the game folder out of steam apps (ie the Mass Effect 2 folder) and ANYWHERE on the other drive. Then use winbolic link to create an NTFS junction (with the name of the original folder) that points to the folder on the other drive. The program offers more information than I posted. This can also be accomplished with mklink in the command prompt.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:05 AM   #9
paln_paln
 
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I agree. Multiple steamapps should be allowed and supported
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:58 AM   #10
-=oWn4g3=-
 
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@ Ranek520

Is there any performance loss due to this link? It sounds like a nice idea, but still I think it should be implemented in the Steam Client.
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:02 AM   #11
Amander
 
 
 
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I used that sometime and got no performance issues. Now, I just have my whole Steam folder at a place where I have space.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:13 PM   #12
-=oWn4g3=-
 
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Space is not my main concern. It's more about increased performance by installing some games that do a lot of hard disk acesses onto an SSD which has only about 60GB.

In 1 or 2 years this problem might be reduced because SSDs with loads of space become cheaper but it would be great to benefit from their performance right now.

Please think about adding this feature
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:56 AM   #13
Shifty Pete
 
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We need this feature
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:56 PM   #14
rsharpe95
 
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I've just purchased several games by other means in order to get around this limitation so I can install them on a SSD.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:34 PM   #15
ultradude25
 
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http://forums.steampowered.com/forum...php?p=16134224
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