Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Move Your Steam Install

Move Your Steam Install

Update:There is an “official” Steam post on how to do this. While the steps below will work, you can also use this method. However it will require you to reinstall steam/update the client. The method below still works and requires no downloads/updates/installs.

Moving your steam install? How? This question was raised after I installed Steam and downloaded Half-Life2, Episode One, Lost Coast, and Team Fortress 2 and fully patched them all. I installed Steam to my C: drive and figured that I would get to chose where each purchased game is installed to. Not true!
Steam runs all of its games as subsidiary applications of Steam. Each of the newer Steam based games stores all of its data files and executables under the same directory structure as the Steam client install!
For me, I have one disk for windows and a raid array for games. Having my games run off of my windows drive was getting to me as I know I could have faster load times. After some Googling, I found out how to do it! I compiled directions from a few sources as well as from my experience doing it!
It worked flawlessly for me! However, if you mess it up its your fault and you can just do a fresh install to fix things (you will just have to wait for the dl again though).

  1. Steam and all games must stay in thier current directory strucutre
  2. That means you can’t split games and steam up across drives
  3. You can only have 1 active steam install
  4. This will break all shortcuts for games/steam. You will have to manually recreate or fix them. (not hard)

Steps: Moving The Install
  1. Shut down steam if it is running (right click system tray icon => exit)
  2. COPY the steam directory from the original location to the new one.
  3. Rename the original directory. (e.g C:/Program Files/Valve => C:/Program Files/Valve_ORIG or C:/Program Files/Steam => C:/Program Files/Steam_ORIG)
  4. In the new directory (not original), delete the file named “ClientRegistry.blob”.
  5. Manually run “steam.exe” in the newly copied directory.
  6. Watch steam “update” a.k.a verify itself. It won’t download anything/need to reinstall.
  7. Run a game to verify it works
  8. Delete the ORIGINAL install (e.g. C:/Program Files/Valve => C:/Program Files/Valve_ORIG or C:/Program Files/Steam => C:/Program Files/Steam_ORIG )
  9. Done, except for fixing short cuts on your desktop/start menu (see below)
Updating the Shortcuts
  1. Find the short cut that needs to be fixed either on your desktop or in the start menu
  2. Right click it
  3. Chose “Properties”
  4. Change the “Start in” property to reflect the new drive & directory path (e.g “C:\Program Files\Steam\” => “X:\Program Files\Steam\” )
  5. Change the “Target” value to use the new drive & directory path. The STEAM shortcut can’t have i its target edited, don’t worry it will work! (e.g “C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe” -applaunch 440 => “X:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe” -applaunch 440 )
  6. Click Apply, Click Ok
  7. Repeate