Backing up games with Steam - Overclock.net

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post #1 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

I'm going to be doing a big upgrade over the next day or two and will probably be reformatting to get that fresh feeling.

However, the only bit that really bothers me is my games. All my other software can be and will be quickly installed again. What is the best way to back up all my games, including the saved game files. I don't really want to lose lots of progress on the many games I own.

Can I simply just copy my Steam folder (450GB+) onto an external HDD and place it back into the fresh install? I also believe that some saved games files are not saved in this directory, could anyone shed some light on the best way to go about this please?

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post #2 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 08:19 AM
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Do you run SSD + HDD?

Last time I installed Steam, I just put it on the HDD. This way, I don't have to think about reinstalling Steam and all it's games next time I format my OS by leaving the HDD as it is.

I don't think you can just move the Steam folder to another device. I think the installed games makes certain entries in the Windows Registry. You could move all the games over though, and move them back after reformatting. That might work, so you don't have to download major parts of the game? I'm not sure, but it's worth a try if you can't just move it all.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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yes, I do run a SSD + RAID0 HDD set up. Although Steam is actually installed on my C drive with all the games installed on the D drive.

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooksy View Post

yes, I do run a SSD + RAID0 HDD set up. Although Steam is actually installed on my C drive with all the games installed on the D drive.

Do you plan on formatting the D drive too? Because if you don't, you should be fine. There shouldn't be any problems when you just install Steam back on the C drive and put your installed games directory back to the location of your games on the D drive.

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post #5 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 09:22 AM
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Yes you can just move the steam folder then re-run the steam.exe file. That will reinstall the steam service but wont create the steam shortcuts. this will also move them games etc and everything will be almost as normal (you'll have to reinstall the games but wont have to redownload them)

The problem is the game saves they are dotted around the place for this you can use the program within my sig to either simplify the process or show the folder directories so you can manually backup then restore the game saves.

also make sure you disable any securom activations e.g Crysis 2 has a 5 time activation limit.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OkanG View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooksy View Post

yes, I do run a SSD + RAID0 HDD set up. Although Steam is actually installed on my C drive with all the games installed on the D drive.

Do you plan on formatting the D drive too? Because if you don't, you should be fine. There shouldn't be any problems when you just install Steam back on the C drive and put your installed games directory back to the location of your games on the D drive.

No I don't plan on formatting the D drive. So just format my SSD, install windows, reinstall Steam and set the install location back to how it was before and it'll just work? Sounds simple enough

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post #7 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 10:40 AM
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Steam is easily backed up; you need to backup your 'steamapps' directory (this is where your games are downloaded to) and the 'steam.exe' file. Copy & paste these to another drive or partition as you would any other file or folder.
To 'restore', simply drag and drop them into the directory of your choosing. Run 'steam.exe' and it'll automatically re-configure itself, install the Steam service and download the latest Steam Client version.
If you're not formatting the partition / drive Steam is installed upon, you don't need to do anything but run 'steam.exe' after you've re-installed Windows.

Your saves on the other hand are a bit more of a hassle.
Saves can be placed in many paths; Documents, AppData\Roaming, AppData\Local, a game's installation directory and so on. Either Google each game for their locations or use something like 'GameSave Manager' to do it all for you (link in my sig).

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 10:42 AM
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Hmm... Nobody seems to do it besides me, but I acually run the steam game backup utility. Works very. Just create a second partition, slap them on it, install windows back over your first partition, and in steam restore your games. You may or may not have to hunt for all your save games though.

This also works if you and a friend purchase the same game and dont want to download it twice. You can just have one person download it, back it up, and restore it to the second device.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 10:46 AM
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Just copy the whole steam folder to a backup harddrive (external HDD or another internal HDD will be fine).

Then once you do the upgrade and reinstall windows, just copy the steam folder back across and click the steam.exe and steam will take care of the rest for you.

To add shortcuts on your desktop again, go into your steam library and go through the games you want a shortcut for on the desktop.

Very easy to do and has been hassle free for me doing it like this for years.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-03-2012, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information guys, it has been much help!

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