Installing games on a different physical drive than the OS

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,370
2
81
#1
Per title... I've got a 500 GB SSD and a 960 GB SSD on the same machine. The OS is installed on one of the drives with some games. What happens if I install other games on the other drive that does NOT have the OS on it? Will this affect the performance of the game at all?
 

Rebel_L

Senior member
Nov 9, 2009
396
13
81
#2
With platter drives it was always much better to have your games on a second physical disk, with SSD it doesnt make as much of a difference but it isnt going to be a bad thing.
 
Apr 8, 2001
32,502
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#3
Only effect on where the game is installed is what type of drive it is. In general, any SSD will be similar in performance with a hard disk drive being slower whenever large amounts of data is transferred or accessed. Assuming all drives are in the same computer, no effect on it not being on the OS drive.
 

PajamaParty

Junior Member
Mar 22, 2019
22
2
41
#4
No. Even if it somehow does, it will be such an insignificant effect on the performance that you will never even notice it.
 
Aug 14, 2000
21,469
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#5
If both drives are SSDs you won't see any performance difference, it's done mainly for convenience and data management.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,456
26
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#6
I have Steam on its own SSD and I usually install older games on my 1TB HDD. I haven't noticed any kind of lag, delay, or even abnormally long loading times. You'll be fine.
 
Dec 12, 2001
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#7
What I do is have my OS and all the related apps etc installed on a Samsung 970pro 512GB drive and use two 1TB Samsung 860 evo for my game installs. SDD makes a hide difference compared to a HDD but any SSD will work fine and there won’t be a noticeable difference between two different drives for games. To answer your question there is no performance difference between using one drive for game installs and another to be your OS drive and have steam physically installed there. The performance of the drive (up to a point) will make some difference.
 
Aug 25, 2001
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#8
Related to this, and STEAM, I have a few questions.

I have a Win10 Pro 64-bit "gaming box", here, with a pair of RX 570 8GB cards, and a 240GB Adata SSD with the OS on it. I also have a 4TB 5400RPM HDD as a secondary drive.

I think that I added the 4TB as a Steam drive, in addition to my C: (240GB SSD), but I would like to move my existing downloaded + installed games off of my SSD, and onto the HDD.

Short of wiping my STEAM install, and starting over and re-downloading and re-installing everything, I have no idea how to go about this.

Someone once said that the functionality of "Steam Mover" was now in the Steam Client. I've never used "Steam Mover", but when I go to my Library directory setup, there's no option to move installed games from one drive / library to the other one (HDD).

How do I do this?

Secondarily, and this mostly applies to my friend. He's got a Win7 64-bit OS setup on a 120GB SSD, with Steam installed, and some smaller free games. He wants to get Soul Calibur VI for PC, I think, but I don't think that he has enough room on his 120GB SSD.

I recently ordered and received some 480GB Kodak SATA SSDs. I also have a Silicon Power 512GB SATA SSD. I was thinking, of plugged one of those into his rig, and installing Win10 Home 64-bit, using his Win7 64-bit key, onto a 480/500GB-class SSD, and then he could dual-boot using either BIOS, or if I modified the BCD on the Win10 drive, to add a back-link to his Win7 install with all of his personal stuff, then he could boot Win10 for gaming.

My question is, can he install Steam in both Win7 64-bit on the 120GB SSD, and then Win10 64-bit on the 480GB SSD, and set up the Steam drive for Win10 on the C: (480GB SSD), and then go into the Win7 64-bit OS install, and add the SAME STEAM DIRECTORY as a secondary Steam Game dir, and have it pick up the games that were installed under Win10, to be able to play them in Win7, too? Is this possible?

I used to do something similar back in the day with Win98se, W2K, and XP, with my Visual Studio install directory.

TL;DR: Need help moving Steam games between library dirs, and need guidance on installing Steam on a multi-boot rig, and using a single Steam game dir for both OSes.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,456
26
106
#9
I used to just move the Steam directory and delete some of the necessary files, then redownload them once I launched Steam but it seems there's easier ways. I Googled your question and came up with a number of different ways to move your entire Steam directory to another drive. I don't have Windows 10 so I can't really say which will work.

As for the second question, if it's a dual boot then no. Your friend can just create a second account on the other OS and use Steam's family share to just keep all the games on the same account, but installed on separate operating systems. You could also just use the same account, but you'll have to deal with the Steam mobile authentication every time he wants to switch around.
 

Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,503
31
106
#10
The easy way to move Steam games around.

Step 1: Right click an installed game in your list. Select properties at the bottom of the list that pops up (just like in windows explorer).

Step 2: In the properties screen, click the local files tab at the top.

Step 3: Click on "Move install folder" button at the bottom of that screen.

Step 4: Move game to Steam folder of your choice. If you have not created one, it should give you an option to "create steam directory/library on drive C/D/E" etc.. Be sure to double check the drive letter of the drive you wish to use etc..

Step 4.5 IF... you do not get an option to create a new steam folder on another drive. Go to settings under Steam at the top left of the app/program. Under settings go to the Downloads sub section. You should see "Content libraries" at the top of that screen. Click that button and then "add library folder". This screen shows you what drives have steam directories/libraries on them and how much space they take up.

The process meter is a bit wonky but if you leave it alone it should tell you when your are done. If you leave that active window, you may have to hit "move install folder" again to see the progress meter again.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,463
807
126
#11
The easy way to move Steam games around.

Step 1: Right click an installed game in your list. Select properties at the bottom of the list that pops up (just like in windows explorer).

Step 2: In the properties screen, click the local files tab at the top.

Step 3: Click on "Move install folder" button at the bottom of that screen.

Step 4: Move game to Steam folder of your choice. If you have not created one, it should give you an option to "create steam directory/library on drive C/D/E" etc.. Be sure to double check the drive letter of the drive you wish to use etc..

Step 4.5 IF... you do not get an option to create a new steam folder on another drive. Go to settings under Steam at the top left of the app/program. Under settings go to the Downloads sub section. You should see "Content libraries" at the top of that screen. Click that button and then "add library folder". This screen shows you what drives have steam directories/libraries on them and how much space they take up.

The process meter is a bit wonky but if you leave it alone it should tell you when your are done. If you leave that active window, you may have to hit "move install folder" again to see the progress meter again.
THANK YOU!!!!! :) :) :)

I don't think that I ever would have figured that out on my own. Thanks. Got most of my games moved over to the 4TB HDD, except Tekken 7, which it said needed an update first.

Hopefully this frees up mucho space on my 240GB SSD, and makes my daily backups go faster.
 
Apr 8, 2001
32,502
34
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#12
I install all games into my steam folder and just move the steam folder if I need to move drives. Then just start a new install of the client and it finds everything and sets the program menu shortcuts back up. If you need to run a game scan after and it will correct anything as needed.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,200
43
106
#13
No. Even if it somehow does, it will be such an insignificant effect on the performance that you will never even notice it.
platter vs ssd can make substantial differences in load times. Once you're in the game, not so much but if you have a lot of load transition or have to load saves after deaths a lot you really can notice.
 

PajamaParty

Junior Member
Mar 22, 2019
22
2
41
#14
platter vs ssd can make substantial differences in load times. Once you're in the game, not so much but if you have a lot of load transition or have to load saves after deaths a lot you really can notice.
That is correct, but OP was talking about installing the OS on one SSD, and the game on the other SSD. In that case, there shouldn't be any noticeable performance issues.
 
Oct 18, 1999
20,841
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#15
I have around 5 2tb SSDs on my gaming PC and have steam games all over the place. OS drive, d:, e:, f:, you get the idea. Also, GOG, origin and uplay games all over the place. I also have an external 10TB spinny HD that I back everything to. I am waiting for 8tb ssd or larger to become affordable.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,456
26
106
#16
I have around 5 2tb SSDs on my gaming PC and have steam games all over the place. OS drive, d:, e:, f:, you get the idea. Also, GOG, origin and uplay games all over the place. I also have an external 10TB spinny HD that I back everything to. I am waiting for 8tb ssd or larger to become affordable.
That's overkill. There's no reason to keep every single game in existence installed unless you're still using dial-up. All my games are installed to a 256GB SSD and my Steam library is over 500 games, not to mention Battle.net, Uplay (only installed when I'm playing Farcry), and 50+ physical discs. I'm genuinely curious as to what you're installing where you felt the need for 10TB worth of SSDs and a 10TB backup HDD.
 
Oct 18, 1999
20,841
86
126
#17
That's overkill. There's no reason to keep every single game in existence installed unless you're still using dial-up. All my games are installed to a 256GB SSD and my Steam library is over 500 games, not to mention Battle.net, Uplay (only installed when I'm playing Farcry), and 50+ physical discs. I'm genuinely curious as to what you're installing where you felt the need for 10TB worth of SSDs and a 10TB backup HDD.
Well, its not just games, I literally have every piece of data I have ever had since 1983. I have at least 2TB of music that I have ripped over the years from my ancient vinyl collection. Most of my DVD and Laserdisc collection as well. And pretty much every game I have ever had on PC. I just ordered another 2TB SSD to move my steam games to as they are the ones that are most scattered about.
 

Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,456
26
106
#18
Well, its not just games, I literally have every piece of data I have ever had since 1983. I have at least 2TB of music that I have ripped over the years from my ancient vinyl collection. Most of my DVD and Laserdisc collection as well. And pretty much every game I have ever had on PC. I just ordered another 2TB SSD to move my steam games to as they are the ones that are most scattered about.
The music I understand as I have all my music on a separate PC and there's a lot of people who have HTPCs so the movies I get also, but are you keeping all your games installed forever? That amount of space just seems really unnecessary.
 

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