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Steam: alternative installation locations now available

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#16 PsYcHoKiLLa

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 18:39

Wonder if you can do this with folders on a home server, would be cool if more than one PC could use the same game folder on a central computer, would have to be gigabit network and a very fast drive obviously.


#17 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 18:48

My Steam folder is now up to 1.6TB and contains over one million files. I've got it on a dedicated 3TB hard-drive and I'm on Windows 8, so if it gets too large I'll add another drive to my Storage Spaces array and transfer it across.

#18 Athernar

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 18:50

Any installed game files... save files / profiles could end up all of the place.


Saves/profiles aren't really relevant in this context, the point is that the old system very likely depends on the launcher / base files (moreso for Steamworks titles) existing within the common folder under the Steam install path.

The new format probably has entries for custom library locations that the old didn't. The GCF/NCF file formats are very old, and date back to the original release of HL2 in 2004.

#19 +BeLGaRaTh

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 18:57

I've had steam on my C drive and the games on my D drive for years, I dont think this is new

#20 TheExperiment

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:07

My Steam folder is now up to 1.6TB and contains over one million files. I've got it on a dedicated 3TB hard-drive and I'm on Windows 8, so if it gets too large I'll add another drive to my Storage Spaces array and transfer it across.

Err, congratulation for hoarding games you'll never actually play and junking up your file system? Heh.

I tried this in the Bootstrapper beta they decided to postpone. It didn't work the greatest so I decided to hold off til a final release...now that it's in release I have plenty of space so I'm not terribly concerned.

#21 hjf288

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:14

Meh I used junctions anyway long before this..

Games I regularly wanted to play/load fastest went on one of my ssds, others went on the steam drive.

Nice to see an official option though

#22 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:25

Err, congratulation for hoarding games you'll never actually play and junking up your file system? Heh.


Modern file systems are perfectly capable of handling such data loads. If I want to play any game then I just launch it from Steam and it's up and running - no downloading, no delay. I often play older random games when I get bored. For instance, the other day I loaded up the original Crysis to take screenshots and I did the same with Aliens Versus Predator. If I kept deleting games that I hadn't played for years then I'd be constantly redownloading them and having to wait before playing them.

If I wanted gaming to be inconvenient and time consuming then I would have bought a console. I can afford the hard-drive capacity so I might as well use it, as I have over 13.5TB of storage and will probably add another 4TB at some point.

#23 +LogicalApex

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:30

I think you're confusing Steam install location with library install location(s), you could install Steam to any drive you want - but any files would have to be within steamapps\common\.


Not confusing, just saying I don't see what his post of games not supporting alternative drives really means. As, the games already supported being installed on a drive other than C as long as Steam was also installed there.

#24 Athernar

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:47

Not confusing, just saying I don't see what his post of games not supporting alternative drives really means. As, the games already supported being installed on a drive other than C as long as Steam was also installed there.


No, you are confusing the ability to install Steam to any drive with the ability for Steam to install different games to multiple drives.

The old content system is not capable of this feature, the new one however has it built-in. Hence why Borderlands doesn't have the prompt while GTA4 does as the guy I quoted mentions.

#25 threetonesun

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 19:53

Not confusing, just saying I don't see what his post of games not supporting alternative drives really means. As, the games already supported being installed on a drive other than C as long as Steam was also installed there.


Steam on C, Counter Strike on C, Skyrim on C, Farcry 3 on D.

That's what's new.

#26 +LogicalApex

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 20:01

Steam on C, Counter Strike on C, Skyrim on C, Farcry 3 on D.

That's what's new.


I know what's new ;) I was never discussing that nor saying it isn't a good advancement. I was in a reply chain as to why it took so long.

#27 TheExperiment

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 20:10

Modern file systems are perfectly capable of handling such data loads. If I want to play any game then I just launch it from Steam and it's up and running - no downloading, no delay.

Yes, however the Master File Table and related bits grow to accommodate the workload and become slower to get what they need. Steam also has to check for updates on that many more titles, and your games and file system data are far less likely to be defragged so I question the 'no delay' part.

As to why what you said fits the definition of 'hoarding' well I'll let you figure that one out. But alas, I'm not actually trying to insult you so do what you will. :) Just weirds me out that people actually do that....much like my friend who rips every DVD he's ever owned even though he'll never actually use 99% of them.

#28 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 21:19

Yes, however the Master File Table and related bits grow to accommodate the workload and become slower to get what they need. Steam also has to check for updates on that many more titles, and your games and file system data are far less likely to be defragged so I question the 'no delay' part.

As to why what you said fits the definition of 'hoarding' well I'll let you figure that one out. But alas, I'm not actually trying to insult you so do what you will. :) Just weirds me out that people actually do that....much like my friend who rips every DVD he's ever owned even though he'll never actually use 99% of them.


Fair enough, but to me the convenience outweighs other concerns and I've never noticed performance issues. Steam handles the number of games installed pretty well - though it's certainly not perfect - and I'll often see 5-10 updates downloading at the same time, which is fine as I have a 40Mbps connection. To put that in perspective, if I wanted to download a game like Max Payne 3 - which is 30GB - I'd have to wait between 1.5 - 2hrs with my connection. To me that simply isn't convenient.

#29 brianshapiro

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 21:28

Would be cool if Microsoft just changed all of their system storage to library-based systems, so you could have an Applications library that aggregated folders from across your hds.

#30 TheExperiment

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 23:50

Would be cool if Microsoft just changed all of their system storage to library-based systems, so you could have an Applications library that aggregated folders from across your hds.

Well, when using WinRT apps, you've kinda got that already.

Sadly, not many WinRT apps yet.