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Old 04-17-2012, 05:56 PM   #1
XxaP
 
 
 
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Need help with Steam on ssd/hdd

I have a problem with my Steam setup.

I have a 120gb SSD drive with my Steam installation located on it, and my overflow is on a 7200rpm 2tb hdd. I move my games back and forth with the excellent free 'Steam Mover' app.
The problem is my Steam installation has bloated to 75gbs without ANY games on the drive (except my Origin account is on the same 120gb drive with 18gb for BF3) so I have no room for any Steam games on my SSD.
The 75gbs Steam has claimed looks to be all .ncf, .gcf and .acf files (located in SteamApps folder) for source engines, game dlc, updates, etc.

How do I move my Steam installation onto my HDD and free up my SSD for games? Can I just 'drop' Steam onto the HDD and erase it from my SSD altogether? What happens to everything I have already moved to the HDD using 'Steam Mover', will those symbolic links still be recognised?
And I assume Steam uses my windows documents (on my main Windows installation drive to store settings, gamesaves, etc.)... so will Steam be able to find all my old settings if I drop it on my hdd?

Sorry if I've made this sound so complicated, but that's how I made it for myself...
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Not sure but you might be able to copy the folder over to the extra HDD, and then reinstall Steam on that location. I guess it'd pick up all the old stuff if done properly.

Me I have Steam installed on the HDD, and any games I want to play on my SSD I move over. Games that really benefit from it are limited anyway.

You don't really want your SSD to be your standard install location (hence the reinstall to the HDD). It's just a waste of the SSD.

Last edited by Pheace: 04-17-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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you shouldn't be coping files back and forth to SSD.. you're going to kill it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubs View Post
you shouldn't be coping files back and forth to SSD.. you're going to kill it.
Not if TRIM is enabled.

And to answer the OP's question, all you have to do is delete everything in your Steam folder except for Steam.exe and the Steamapps folder and move the folder over to your HDD. Then, open up Steam.exe and it will reconfigure Steam on your HDD.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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with trim or not, it will impact performance if you constantly write/delete. trim helps, but does not stop write amplification, eventually you will notice degrade in performance..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM

I used to run some games on SSD but it really only shaves off a couple seconds at most. some games with large cache files might load quicker but i just ended up running games on 2 small single platter 500GB drives in raid 0 and it's almost just as fast in games. now i just boot OS and applications from the SSD. photoshop and video editors really benefit from the SSD compared to normal hard drive.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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This did not belong on a Steam General Discussion forum.

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Old 04-17-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Here, use this:
http://code.google.com/p/symlinker/

Move folder... Put symlink where folder was, pointing at new location....

Very symple

Actually copy the folder first, then delete the one you do not want. Sometimes things can fail during the move.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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Also note that a lot of games barely even benefit from being on an SSD drive. The only scenario that's ever been put forward are for gatmes that stream textures on the fly, so you don't see 'blips' in fps when the textures/levels stream from teh hard disk. Other than that the benefits are generally small most games are simply not IO limited.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Sorry Silicon, wondered if I was in the right place for this post - but now I am!
I'll try what Pheace and cslayer suggested, then use Stinkytaco's SymLinker app if need be.
You're right though, i was worried about my SSD being mostly a downloads folder. The read/writes were the only function this drive has been performing. SSDlife say's the drive is still 100% though, so hopefully I've not damaged it too much. And I do have TRIM to fall back on.
My Western Digital Caviar black drive does generally feel fast enough for the majority of games though, so I'll reserve the SSD for something I'm playing all the time or a game I know has a lot of load screens or is known to be optimized for SSD.
I think the biggest boost to games for using SSD comes indirectly from the general system cache being quicker to access, and not necessarily having the game installed on the drive itself.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satoru View Post
Also note that a lot of games barely even benefit from being on an SSD drive. The only scenario that's ever been put forward are for gatmes that stream textures on the fly, so you don't see 'blips' in fps when the textures/levels stream from teh hard disk. Other than that the benefits are generally small most games are simply not IO limited.
Ya Satoru - one game I know it helps is Brink, which i think streams it's textures like you said. I guess that's what I was thinking of where mentioning 'optimized for SSD', but really - streaming textures might not be optimal to begin with, from what I understand.
There's a Youtube video showing a dramatic improvement in Brink with SSD - and I think it was even on a PS3. On the same ps3 Skyrim showed similar improvements, until the big PS3 update, then the improvement was much less noticeable.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:44 AM   #11
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Anything with paging terrain, and paging culling will benefit from this.

BF2-BF3 faster level loading, less chop when streaming textures, sounds.

GTA 4 FAster level loading, no chop at all when going between chunk-zones.

Saints row 3- makes the game completely lag free.

Fallout 3, F3 New vegas. Load screen between zones is a 1 frame yellow flash, no sound lag.

Red Orchestra 2, nearly instant map changes.

Black op's COD, Just amazing load times.

Oblivion, No load screen, everything seamless.

Any Unreal 3 based game ,Streaming textures, Stops first time sound lag. Load times are amazing.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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Nice list Stinkytaco

That should be a thread in itself..
...back to Google I guess
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by scubs View Post
you shouldn't be coping files back and forth to SSD.. you're going to kill it.
If it was that easy to kill an SSD

I would never have gotton one.
Or mine would be dead by now after 1 day of use.
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