Go Back   Steam Users' Forums > Steam Discussions > Help and Tips

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-05-2011, 04:53 PM   #1
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
How does the Steam Backup and Restore games feature work?

This is to my understanding:

1. You are given the option which games gets backed up.

2. Steam "compresses" the games into a single or several CD or DVD size backup, depending on what the size of the backup is going to be and whether you choose CD or DVD.

3. The file is located under your Steam client's folder under Backup.

4. You can then burn this file into CD or DVD, depending on the choice you made earlier on, whether Steam would use CD or DVD sized backups.

5. After burning it to CD or DVD, you are free to delete what's inside the "Backup" folder, correct?

6. When you want to restore the game, you don't need to download it again: All you need to do is to copy the file/s from CD or DVD into the "Backup" folder of Steam, and then run the Backup and Restore games option in the Steam client, correct?


Did I get that all correct?
Streaks is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2011, 04:54 PM   #2
damaged
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Reputation: 8595
Posts: 7,262
You forgot the part where it breaks and you still have to download most, if not all of the game anyway.

Just backup the whole Steam folder and save your sanity.
damaged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
Zedo Mann
 
 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Reputation: 37
Posts: 738
And you don't have to burn it to a CD/DVD or copy it to the Backup folder of Steam.
You could just run it right off a flash drive or any folder on your computer.
Make sure you don't have the games started to install or anything either.
Zedo Mann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 01:07 AM   #4
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zedo Mann View Post
And you don't have to burn it to a CD/DVD or copy it to the Backup folder of Steam.
You could just run it right off a flash drive or any folder on your computer.
Make sure you don't have the games started to install or anything either.
Uh...k.
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by damaged View Post
You forgot the part where it breaks and you still have to download most, if not all of the game anyway.

Just backup the whole Steam folder and save your sanity.
It does that?
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 01:34 AM   #6
Mr_Fusion
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Reputation: 52
Posts: 264
Quote:
Originally Posted by damaged View Post
You forgot the part where it breaks and you still have to download most, if not all of the game anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Streaks View Post
It does that?
Yes, it does.

As suggested, just copy/archive the content of the Steam\SteamApps folder and you are set.

If you want to pack/archive individual games separately, 3rd party games have a few .ncf files (usually named in a way that at least hints at which game they belong to) in Steam\SteamApps, and their actual content is stored in the Steam\SteamApps\Common\<gamename> folder; you should pack the .ncf files and the content folder belonging to a given game together into an archive.

For older Source games it's a bit more difficult, as they use a lot of shared .gcf files (actually, nearly any use all of them now) so your best course of action would be to just pack everything (as in, HL2, HL2DM, Ep1, Ep2, Portal and CS:S) into one archive containing all Source related .gcf files you see in Steam\SteamApps.
Mr_Fusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 01:40 AM   #7
ozgeek
 
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Reputation: 252
Posts: 2,162
The backup feature is rubbish at best. More hard work to do when all you need to do is just backup one folder (one large folder depending on what games you have).

I have my steam program and it's 330 games installed on a seperate 1TB hard drive. If I need to reinstall Windows, all my games are still there safe and sound on Drive E. When after setting up Windows, I just start steam.exe and am asked to login to my steam account and that's it.

I recently bought a 2TB external drive and am about to back that steam folder to the drive.
ozgeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
ZeromotivatioN
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Reputation: 0
Posts: 7
Does copying the steam folder work if you are restoring to a new install or transferring games to another computer?

Edit: Never mind should have read ozgeek's post fully. Yes

And yes the default steam backup is complete crap I have been using it to download Crysis, GA, etc. on the university network --1hr and I have my whole library of ~20 games-- via my laptop to transfer to my desktop. Which works sometimes...

Last edited by ZeromotivatioN: 02-06-2011 at 01:16 PM. Reason: Answered my own question
ZeromotivatioN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozgeek View Post
The backup feature is rubbish at best. More hard work to do when all you need to do is just backup one folder (one large folder depending on what games you have).

I have my steam program and it's 330 games installed on a seperate 1TB hard drive. If I need to reinstall Windows, all my games are still there safe and sound on Drive E. When after setting up Windows, I just start steam.exe and am asked to login to my steam account and that's it.

I recently bought a 2TB external drive and am about to back that steam folder to the drive.
Yeah, me no moolah for 1TB hardrives...yet. Them things are quite expensive. Am still waiting for them to get cheaper.

I always go for internal hard drives. They are cheaper, and faster (well, cheaper at least). But I am running out of drive bays.

So, its rubbish at best? So, I will have to download...from complete and utter 0% scratch?

Dammit Steam! Get this feature to work good, will ya? Gamersgate games might not have a backup feature, but all you need is WinRAR and you are set.

UPDATE:

So, just copy the whole steamapps folder under the Steam directory and that's perfect? Even saved games will be saved?

How about just copying the whole Steam directory instead?

What exactly happens when one uses the Steam backup and restore feature? I never used it yet, but I did backup and deleted ZenoClash (replaced it with TES4: Oblivion) after I finished it. Backed it up with Torchlight, SWARM Arena and The Polynomial; 4 games in one DVD So I will have one nasty surprise if and when I restore ZenoClash?

Steam would tell me something like, "Uh...your backup is cr**, so basically you wasted one DVD disc and now you will have to download the entire game all over again, which yes, will take atleast 1 to 1.5 days. HAHAHAHAHA! The cake is a lie."

Last edited by Streaks: 02-06-2011 at 03:56 PM.
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 03:48 PM   #10
damaged
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Reputation: 8595
Posts: 7,262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Streaks View Post
Yeah, me no moolah for 1TB hardrives...yet. Them things are quite expensive. Am still waiting for them to get cheaper.

I always go for internal hard drives. They are cheaper, and faster (well, cheaper at least). But I am running out of drive bays.

So, its rubbish at best? So, I will have to download...from complete and utter 0% scratch?

Dammit Steam! Get this feature to work good, will ya? Gamersgate games might not have a backup feature, but all you need is WinRAR and you are set.
If you want to use CDs or DVDs, just use windows backup that's built-in, it will compress, verify and span multiple peices of media (CD/DVDs, etc) if needed.
damaged is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 03:52 PM   #11
B33 ENN
 
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Reputation: 4900
Posts: 5,772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Streaks View Post
...So, its rubbish at best? So, I will have to download...from complete and utter 0% scratch?

Dammit Steam! Get this feature to work good, will ya? Gamersgate games might not have a backup feature, but all you need is WinRAR and you are set.
No, you just need to use an archiving program to backup the "Steamapps" folder:

"<Drive>:\...\Steam\Steamapps"

If your archiver lets you ou split the backup into manageable chunks, then you can store it however you like across various media, like DVD-R/RW, or various HDD partitions. Compression would improve that too.

That's what I always do, use a general backup/imaging program. Like a previous poster said though, if you want to extract individual games manually, then it is more tedious, but doable.
B33 ENN is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by B33 ENN View Post
No, you just need to use an archiving program to backup the "Steamapps" folder:

"<Drive>:\...\Steam\Steamapps"

If your archiver lets you ou split the backup into manageable chunks, then you can store it however you like across various media, like DVD-R/RW, or various HDD partitions. Compression would improve that too.

That's what I always do, use a general backup/imaging program. Like a previous poster said though, if you want to extract individual games manually, then it is more tedious, but doable.
If its doable, why can't the bloody Steam client do it? Oh Steam, *sigh* tsk tsk.
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #13
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by B33 ENN View Post
No, you just need to use an archiving program to backup the "Steamapps" folder:

"<Drive>:\...\Steam\Steamapps"

If your archiver lets you ou split the backup into manageable chunks, then you can store it however you like across various media, like DVD-R/RW, or various HDD partitions. Compression would improve that too.

That's what I always do, use a general backup/imaging program. Like a previous poster said though, if you want to extract individual games manually, then it is more tedious, but doable.
So...I'd probably be backing up in DVD RWs then...


UPDATE:
Holy Moley...I've got 60GB worth of stuff in my steamapps folder...

That's 13 DVD RWs...yikes.

Last edited by Streaks: 02-06-2011 at 04:01 PM.
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 04:05 PM   #14
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Backing up the games is one thing...backing them up along with their saved games is another...

Saved games used to always be located within its own game folder. Whose bloody ugly idea was it to change that? Made things a whole lot complicated.
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2011, 04:11 PM   #15
Streaks
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Reputation: 68
Posts: 799
Exclamation WHY IS THE STEAM BACKUP AND RESTORE FEATURE RUBBISH?

On another thread I started, I asked about the Steam Backup and Restore feature and how it works. I wanted to know how I'd do the "Restore" part of the process when the time comes.

That's after I backed up ZenoClash, Torchlight, Swarm Arena, and The Polynomial in one DVD and then I deleted ZenoClash to make way for TES4: Oblivion.

I didn't expect to receive replies like, "Oh, that Backup and Restore feature? RUUUUBBISH!"

WHY IS THE STEAM BACKUP AND RESTORE FEATURE RUBBISH? And is Valve improving on it? I've wasted a small number of DVD's doing rubbish backups?

Much dismay and dislike, Valve. Much dismay...
Streaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Steam Users' Forums > Steam Discussions > Help and Tips


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Site Content Copyright Valve Corporation 1998-2012, All Rights Reserved.