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How do you juggle your games between a small SSD and a standard hard drive?

Kalmah

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2003
3,692
1
76
Some people were talking about this in the skyrim load thread and I didn't want to de-rail the discussion. But it got me thinking, since I plan on upgrading some of my computer components(including getting a SSD) soon.

Let's say I have Steam download all of my games to a huge hard drive, but I want to move games over to the SSD occasionally when I decide to play them. How does Steam handle this?

I'm guessing the solution is going to be a shabby workaround.
 

thm1223

Senior member
Jun 24, 2011
336
0
71
Install Steam on both HDD's?

Honestly if you have a 128gb+ SSD I can't imagine the problem. I have 2 128gb SSDs in RAID0, and I keep EVERYTHING except my music/video collections on it.
 

Kalmah

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2003
3,692
1
76
Install Steam on both HDD's?

Honestly if you have a 128gb+ SSD I can't imagine the problem. I have 2 128gb SSDs in RAID0, and I keep EVERYTHING except my music/video collections on it.
Yeah, I suppose you're right. As long as I keep only programs on the SSD I might be ok. Right now I have 2 - 256GB drives, the second being all backup and download and the first being my c drive. I just had to uninstall a bunch of stuff on c as I was down to about 4GB so that I could reinstall TF2.

I just noticed that Steam has a 'backup' feature. Anybody use it? It almost looks like it might do what I want it to do.
 

Dumac

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,391
1
0
I just don't put steam on my 120GB ssd...

/shrug

too big

I have Diablo 3 and SC2 on my SSD right now. That's it for games.
 

Nvidiaguy07

Platinum Member
Feb 22, 2008
2,836
3
81
Yeah, I suppose you're right. As long as I keep only programs on the SSD I might be ok. Right now I have 2 - 256GB drives, the second being all backup and download and the first being my c drive. I just had to uninstall a bunch of stuff on c as I was down to about 4GB so that I could reinstall TF2.

I just noticed that Steam has a 'backup' feature. Anybody use it? It almost looks like it might do what I want it to do.
i used to use the "backup" feature, until i realized its a giant waste of time. Backup the game files in steamapps, and save them that way. (instructions on steam website)

I would be against having two steam installs. Steammover works great. Then again, my SSD is so small i barely have anything on there. Once i upgrade to a bigger SSD, i see myself using steammover quite often.
 

JamesV

Platinum Member
Jul 9, 2011
2,002
2
76
I manually move games to my HDD and use mklink. I guess that's the same thing Steammover does, but I'd rather spend the 2 minutes to move a folder and then create the link myself, instead of installing software to do it.
 

NoSoup4You

Golden Member
Feb 12, 2007
1,253
6
81
Skyrim and Baldur's Gate 2 stay on the drive, but other than that I just download/delete games as necessary. There are steps to save space, like managing your temp folder and deleting the hibernation backup, which if you have 8 gig's or more will be a huge amount of space saved.
 

skulkingghost

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2006
1,660
0
71
I had the same issue you do with Steam until I discovered Steam tool, it migrates individual games over to your SSD, and keeps them working with Steam.

http://www.stefanjones.ca/steam/

I just used it for RAGE and a few other games and it works great. Valve games aren't compatible though.
 

Ferzerp

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
6,427
105
106
Install Steam on both HDD's?

Honestly if you have a 128gb+ SSD I can't imagine the problem. I have 2 128gb SSDs in RAID0, and I keep EVERYTHING except my music/video collections on it.

My steam directory is 384 GB...


Anyway, to answer the question, instead of worrying about the hassle, I went the SRT route. I have a 64GB Samsung 830 as cache in front of two 640GB WD black drives that are striped. It works out pretty well. Not quite SSD-like (all my other systems are SSD driven), but close enough that I can barely tell a difference, and I don't have to worry about juggling storage.
 

Grooveriding

Diamond Member
Dec 25, 2008
9,078
1,217
126
I prefer this tool.

http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html

Allows you to move files or directories to different drives and then create links/junctions where they need to be on your other drive. Provides some nice functionality and can do anything you need for running games in Steam from different locations. This tool works better than the Steam specific one in my mind. Just cut the directory for the game and paste it to your other drive, then pick the game's new drive & directory location as your link source and drop it as a junction in your native SSD Steam /common directory.
 
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BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,882
971
126
Honestly if you have a 128gb+ SSD I can't imagine the problem.
It sure is a problem when you have 425GB worth of games like I do.

My solution was a 1TB VelociRaptor - almost as fast as the SSD for game load times, but with plenty of space to fit everything onto one drive, meaning I don't have to play musical chairs with my data.
 

YBS1

Golden Member
May 14, 2000
1,931
111
106
This...

I'm running a 256GB SSD as my primary (OS, apps and commonly played non-Steam games), I have Steam installed to a dedicated 240GB SSD, a 1TB WD Black for older games, and a 640GB WD Green for storage purposes. I simply install all Steam games to Steam's default directory and as the SSD fills up I use the program above to shift one or two that I least frequently play over to a "Steam" folder on the WD Black.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
What I do is just install a few games at a time that I play regularly, once I'm done with a game I backup the game directory to a 2Tb WD drive and uninstall it, that just saves re-downloading it.

Junction points to a HDD work just fine but then you waste the speed benefit of the SSD, I'd prefer to simply work within my 120Gb limit, I find it extremely hard to justify needing more than about 100Gb for games at a time.
 
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gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,702
426
126
I don't. SSD is for OS and browser/productivity stuff. Large drive for games and other rarely used programs. Large external drive for media.

However, I got into this habit due to having a 64 gig SSD and recently moved to 128. So I may be able to revisit that and put some games there. Problem is that I don't stick with one game till I'm done with it...I bounce around between many and never really finish them.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,009
272
126
It sure is a problem when you have 425GB worth of games like I do.

My solution was a 1TB VelociRaptor - almost as fast as the SSD for game load times, but with plenty of space to fit everything onto one drive, meaning I don't have to play musical chairs with my data.
Lots of good discussion in his review thread. I contributed my $0.02 regarding using a RAID0 array with a RAM cache in front of it.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2252905&highlight=1tb+velociraptor
 

Pr0d1gy

Diamond Member
Jan 30, 2005
7,775
0
76
I would recommend not pirating to anyone, then your hard drives won't get overstuffed. I'm not saying that you don't pay for everything, but I have found that people that tend to download torrents and such quickly fill their storage space.
 

Fox5

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2005
5,957
7
81
I would recommend not pirating to anyone, then your hard drives won't get overstuffed. I'm not saying that you don't pay for everything, but I have found that people that tend to download torrents and such quickly fill their storage space.
I own ~164 games on steam. Since the average game now takes up like 10GB, it's super easy to fill up a SSD or small hard drive legally.
 

gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
30,702
426
126
I would recommend not pirating to anyone, then your hard drives won't get overstuffed.
What I get out of this here is that you believe anybody who fills up an SSD is a pirate, and that there's no legitimate way to fill 128gigs. I am trying not to fall into your obvious troll bait, but it's possible you're actually this stupid. Therefore I'm taking time out of my day to let you know that a lot of like to have almost all of our Steam catalog installed at once. I didn't even buy that much during the summer sale and it ended up being over 100gigs of new game installed in a single week.
 

Kalmah

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2003
3,692
1
76
What I get out of this here is that you believe anybody who fills up an SSD is a pirate, and that there's no legitimate way to fill 128gigs. I am trying not to fall into your obvious troll bait, but it's possible you're actually this stupid. Therefore I'm taking time out of my day to let you know that a lot of like to have almost all of our Steam catalog installed at once. I didn't even buy that much during the summer sale and it ended up being over 100gigs of new game installed in a single week.
Yeah, it really doesn't take much. I had MS Flight simulator installed with tons of payware-mods and free mods. (high def textures for the entire usa). My flight sim folder was probably 60GB. Throw in Team Fortress, Sins of a Solar Empire, Company of heroes, Borderlands, Evil Genius, A heavily modded Skyrim and a heavily modded Baldur's gate that I don't want to uninstall because modding it took forever. OS, standard programs, etc... That will put you down to 3GB remain space real quick.

I don't put anything on C that isn't executable or isn't a support file that is necessary to have for something else. All that goes on my other drives.
 

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