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Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

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jztemple2
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Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by jztemple2 »

So I've got a new rig coming. Last time I switched to a new computer was 2014 and I copied over my Steam directory to the new machine before I fired up the Steam client for the first time. This time I won't be in the middle of playing any Steam games, I'll be doing Ubisoft stuff actually. Is it worth backing up the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam folder and installing it on the new machine as is? I've never cared about old screenshots so don't take that into consideration. Are there other items or features for which it would be better to copy over the old Steam installation? Or on the other hand would it be better to start off with a clean Steam installation? Thanks for any help on this, as I get older I tend to be less sure of what the hell I'm doing :roll:
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Blackhawk »

In a perfect world you'd just have to copy over My Documents/My Games, but due to idiocy games have been putting all sorts of files, including your saves and characters, all over the place, including in the Steam folder. The latest trend is for games to put them in /AppData where they're impossible to find without copying the entire directory with subdirectories.

So I'd normally copy AppData, the Steam folder, and My Documents in its entirety.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by stimpy »

jztemple2 wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:17 pm So I've got a new rig coming. Last time I switched to a new computer was 2014 and I copied over my Steam directory to the new machine before I fired up the Steam client for the first time. This time I won't be in the middle of playing any Steam games, I'll be doing Ubisoft stuff actually. Is it worth backing up the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam folder and installing it on the new machine as is? I've never cared about old screenshots so don't take that into consideration. Are there other items or features for which it would be better to copy over the old Steam installation? Or on the other hand would it be better to start off with a clean Steam installation? Thanks for any help on this, as I get older I tend to be less sure of what the hell I'm doing :roll:
I just had a hard drive fail and had to reinstall Steam from scratch.
There was absolutely no down side to doing so. All of the progress I had made in games was kept as well as achievements and such.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by jztemple2 »

Thanks for your reply!

Back in 2014 I actually copied the entire C:/Users folder over to the new machine and apparently didn't screw anything up, but I'm wondering if that might not be a good thing to try again :roll: . So I'll start with, as you suggest, the AppData, Steam folder, and My Documents first. Thankfully I had a rehearsal of the upcoming activity when I had to set up a new office computer for the wife and actually was able to leave her old computer in place and put the new rig in a temporary location with its own keyboard, mouse and monitor and just moved things on thumb drives as needed. I plan to do the same thing when my new rig arrives, although I'll move my old one to a temp table with peripherals and put the new one in its intended permanent location. That way I can fire up games on each rig in turn to look for issues.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by jztemple2 »

stimpy wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:30 pm I just had a hard drive fail and had to reinstall Steam from scratch.
There was absolutely no down side to doing so. All of the progress I had made in games was kept as well as achievements and such.
I'm assuming though that you lost any screenshots that weren't uploaded, plus things like settings files. Like I said above, I can deal with not having the screenshots, but I'd hate to have to go through setting up my force feedback wheel again for my racing games.

Like stimpy said, it's insane where developers tend to stick their setup and save game files. I was just poking around on my rig and was finding them in all sorts of odd places. I've even found screenshots being put in my Dropbox account!
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Zarathud »

I remember that after you install steam, you just have to copy over the steam/steamapps subfolder which is where the game data is located. steam will configure itself for the new system, but you have your game files. You'll be tweaking the graphics settings for games and possibly having steam check the file integrity, but that avoids redownloading.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by LordMortis »

Blackhawk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:19 pm In a perfect world you'd just have to copy over My Documents/My Games, but due to idiocy games have been putting all sorts of files, including your saves and characters, all over the place, including in the Steam folder. The latest trend is for games to put them in /AppData where they're impossible to find without copying the entire directory with subdirectories.

So I'd normally copy AppData, the Steam folder, and My Documents in its entirety.
AppData sometimes has problems copying some files even when you switch profiles (though I rather doubt any related to steam) and can create other problems when you go to reinstall other software as it often is aligned with unique registry entries.

Why software devs put data you might want to port from machine to machine in the and non intuitive hidden appdata or roaming folders is beyond my ability to comprehend.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Montag »

Steam does have backup feature that you can create archive files and use those for an installation. I was able to use this successfully in the past and to install a game on a separate machine with a different Steam account.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Blackhawk »

LordMortis wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:49 am
Blackhawk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:19 pm In a perfect world you'd just have to copy over My Documents/My Games, but due to idiocy games have been putting all sorts of files, including your saves and characters, all over the place, including in the Steam folder. The latest trend is for games to put them in /AppData where they're impossible to find without copying the entire directory with subdirectories.

So I'd normally copy AppData, the Steam folder, and My Documents in its entirety.
AppData sometimes has problems copying some files even when you switch profiles (though I rather doubt any related to steam) and can create other problems when you go to reinstall other software as it often is aligned with unique registry entries.

Why software devs put data you might want to port from machine to machine in the and non intuitive hidden appdata or roaming folders is beyond my ability to comprehend.
I know. It makes me crazy. I get that Microsoft wanted them out of My Documents (as that's intended only for user-facing files and not internal stuff), but putting them in and obscure directory that's hard to find and is literally hidden by the operating system is a terrible solution.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Daehawk »

Never understood why everything isn't in the game directory in Steam. Like the old days.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by jztemple2 »

Montag wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:52 am Steam does have backup feature that you can create archive files and use those for an installation. I was able to use this successfully in the past and to install a game on a separate machine with a different Steam account.
Thanks for letting me know about that. Is this the function listed under Properties/Local Files/Game Files... in the game library? It is neat that you can do all the games you have installed at one location.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by hitbyambulance »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:38 am
LordMortis wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:49 am
Blackhawk wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:19 pm In a perfect world you'd just have to copy over My Documents/My Games, but due to idiocy games have been putting all sorts of files, including your saves and characters, all over the place, including in the Steam folder. The latest trend is for games to put them in /AppData where they're impossible to find without copying the entire directory with subdirectories.

So I'd normally copy AppData, the Steam folder, and My Documents in its entirety.
AppData sometimes has problems copying some files even when you switch profiles (though I rather doubt any related to steam) and can create other problems when you go to reinstall other software as it often is aligned with unique registry entries.

Why software devs put data you might want to port from machine to machine in the and non intuitive hidden appdata or roaming folders is beyond my ability to comprehend.
I know. It makes me crazy. I get that Microsoft wanted them out of My Documents (as that's intended only for user-facing files and not internal stuff), but putting them in and obscure directory that's hard to find and is literally hidden by the operating system is a terrible solution.
this is actually closer to how *NIX does things, so glad to see MS wised up to this practice a little bit. i do agree %APPDATA% needs to be more visible.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Blackhawk »

hitbyambulance wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:30 pm this is actually closer to how *NIX does things, so glad to see MS wised up to this practice a little bit. i do agree %APPDATA% needs to be more visible.
It isn't an accessible folder. If Joe User wants to find his game saves, My Games (or something similar) is the rational place to look. LocalLow? Roaming? What does that even mean? What about that tells someone that it's where they need to look for their saves.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by hitbyambulance »

Blackhawk wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:09 pm
hitbyambulance wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:30 pm this is actually closer to how *NIX does things, so glad to see MS wised up to this practice a little bit. i do agree %APPDATA% needs to be more visible.
It isn't an accessible folder. If Joe User wants to find his game saves, My Games (or something similar) is the rational place to look. LocalLow? Roaming? What does that even mean? What about that tells someone that it's where they need to look for their saves.
definitely no MS fan here - the terminology sucks and i hate the Windows registry as well.

i think we are in agreement on this, in the end.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Paradroid »

hitbyambulance wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:30 pm this is actually closer to how *NIX does things, so glad to see MS wised up to this practice a little bit. i do agree %APPDATA% needs to be more visible.
Exactly. It's a good (stolen) idea, but as you and Blackhawk point out, it fails at the final hurdle. Typical Microsoft, really.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Montag »

jztemple2 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:11 pm
Montag wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:52 am Steam does have backup feature that you can create archive files and use those for an installation. I was able to use this successfully in the past and to install a game on a separate machine with a different Steam account.
Thanks for letting me know about that. Is this the function listed under Properties/Local Files/Game Files... in the game library? It is neat that you can do all the games you have installed at one location.
I think it is just under the file menu in Steam outright.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by jztemple2 »

Montag wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:18 pm
jztemple2 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:11 pm
Montag wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:52 am Steam does have backup feature that you can create archive files and use those for an installation. I was able to use this successfully in the past and to install a game on a separate machine with a different Steam account.
Thanks for letting me know about that. Is this the function listed under Properties/Local Files/Game Files... in the game library? It is neat that you can do all the games you have installed at one location.
I think it is just under the file menu in Steam outright.
Cool, I found that! :D.
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Re: Going to a new rig, do I copy over the old Steam folder?

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

FWIW, Steam Library Manager is a useful FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) tool that helps further simplify the process of quickly and easily copying, moving, or backing up Steam, Origin, and Uplay games and libraries.
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