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Old 04-04-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
DarkNova
 
 
 
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Running Steam Games on External Hard Drive

I'm going to be living in a college dorm soon, and we have a 50-gigs/month internet usage cap.
As a PC gamer, this is a pretty significant problem.
It's bad enough that playing games and watching videos require an internet connection,
but downloading even 1 Steam game would eat about 20% of my entire "data allowance".
I was planning on purchasing a 1-terabyte external hard drive, which I could use to download games onto via the library's wifi (free/unlimited).
My question is, will the games perform well, do I have to upgrade to a USB 3.0 Port, or is this not an option at all?

Last edited by DarkNova: 04-04-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
Satoru
 
 
 
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You can run them off an external. Load times aren't really optimal but it will work. If 'possible' I'd go with eSATA or USB3.0. An eSATA enclosure should be relatively cheap.

Loks like you can do an eSATA + USB3.0 enclosure for around $40-ish

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=1&srchInDesc=

Last edited by Satoru: 04-04-2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
Ceron
 
 
 
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Why not just transfer the games off the external HDD onto your computer's HDD?
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:31 AM   #4
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^^ Does that actually work? I assumed that Steam Client would get confused and do a fresh install, just like it does for every update to Dungeon Defenders.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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Try the Steam backup/restore feature maybe... I've never used it myself but it could end up being easier than moving directories or trying to somehow sync Steam installations between computers...

Last edited by HeatSurge: 04-05-2012 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:41 AM   #6
ageres
 
 
 
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I always download games on my work and then just copy game data to steamapps folder of my home PC with an external HDD. It works fine. Sometimes steam redownloads executable files or configs after verifying but their size is neglectful in comparison with all gamefiles' size. I have never tried Steam backup/restore feature, I doubt it is more convenient than simple copying. Also I keep all steam games on my USB HDD in order to not download them again if I want to install them. So you should try this method.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:53 AM   #7
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Just another vote for the copying files from the steamapps folder method... I've done it a bunch (have steam on four computers in the house and a couple friends that bring over laptops sometimes too) and it works great. Never bothered trying the backup/restore method, sounds like more of a pain and recently I've seen some people posting they've had problems doing it that way.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:34 AM   #8
TeKraken
 
 
 
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I avoid the backup/restore tool in steam as lots of people have trouble with it.

You can just copy and paste games in/out of the relevant Steam folder.
Verify the game before you run it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:45 AM   #9
DiceDuP
 
 
 
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eSATA drives will run at the same speed as an internal SATA drive @3.0gbps. I've had my Steam folder installed on an external SATA enclosure for around 3 years and it never gives me any slow downs or trouble.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:51 AM   #10
ShaggyDK
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNova View Post
^^ Does that actually work? I assumed that Steam Client would get confused and do a fresh install, just like it does for every update to Dungeon Defenders.

Nope, as long as it's in the right place. Steam will have to "detect" it. You will have to run the game, and verify cache. That's it.

I've done it before when I reinstalled windows. I transferred to external than back to internal.


Edit: Using steams back up function has never worked well for me. Just copy/paste.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #11
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Works fine on my external harddrive.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #12
fishy638
 
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This is a quite old topic but i have Batman arkham asylum on my portable HDD and if i run the game it asks to activate via securom, does running it off the portable HDD count as 1 activation or will i have to reactive the game everytime i move PC's
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #13
TeKraken
 
 
 
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Each time you plug the drive into a new pc you'll get the first time instal thing run where it installs directX, .net and c++ if needed.

As it's a new PC install I imagine a SecuRom activation will be used with each PC.

Is it the Goty or the NON goty version you have?

◦Non-GotY Edition: 4 activations per month.
A revoke tool is available in your Steam Tools section.

◦GotY Edition: 4 machine limit
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:28 PM   #14
De4thRaTTle
 
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Man I can only dream of a 50 gig cap, I have a 4gb cap! and I pay like 40 quid a month for that privilege! I had unlimited high speed f/o cable net, cable tv and phone back in the Uk for 30 quid a month...

Any way Id like to know how this goes DarkNova as I am in the same boat as you and will be buying an external HDD very soon.. GL!
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #15
TeKraken
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by De4thRaTTle View Post
Man I can only dream of a 50 gig cap, I have a 4gb cap! and I pay like 40 quid a month for that privilege! I had unlimited high speed f/o cable net, cable tv and phone back in the Uk for 30 quid a month...

Any way Id like to know how this goes DarkNova as I am in the same boat as you and will be buying an external HDD very soon.. GL!
As other have said, USB3 or eSata are fine, you may get away with usb2 but it wont be great.

For the extra cost it's worth going for the USB3 or eSata.

You might want to look out for DRM activations though.
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