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[Help!] Changing Hard Disk and reinstalling Steam & its games

I am moving onto a new Hard Disk. Reinstalling everything (even the Windows Updates.... God, give me strength!)
It is a tedious task, no need to tell, and I could use some automation. I am concerned about my Steam client. I would like to export every customization I made to it over the years (of course I do not remember them all, else it would not be a problem worth asking help for) but I just do not know how to do it. I browsed the Steam FAQ/KB/what-is-called and found no answer.

Can you help me?

I am not concerned about my games' savefiles. I backup those manually. And I suppose that whatever achievements I unlocked, as well as my playtime with each game, reside within the Steam servers.
But... the personalizations I made to the very client? How do I preserve those?

One more thing. This question might be less stupid than it sounds: must I uninstall Steam and all games from the old disk BEFORE I reinstall them all onto the new disk? The new client will certainly phone home to tell that my account is being used on a different computer (detecting the new Hard Disk is enough to warrant that, I wager)... will not this cause problems??
Thanks for any help.


Re: [Help!] Changing Hard Disk and reinstalling Steam & its games

-What do you mean with customizations? Steam settings? Game categories? Those are all saved in the cloud.
-No you don't have to uninstall Steam, you're allowed to use it on multiple pc's (even simultaneaously) - I have it on my laptop, desktop and windows tablet.
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Re: [Help!] Changing Hard Disk and reinstalling Steam & its games

You can copy the install folder wholesale from the old computer and paste it directly onto the new one. It's a simple task. I'll outline.

1. Go to (steamfolder)/steamapps and copy the common/ folder. Paste it on an external drive.
2. Install steam on the new computer. Wherever you want. Your choice.
3. paste the common folder where the common folder would be on your new computer.
4. Basically done. You will have to "install" every game, but all the files will already be downloaded. It will check that the files are there, apply updates if necessary, and let you play, saving you almost all the download/install time.

And no, you don't need to uninstall anything at all from the old machine.
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Re: [Help!] Changing Hard Disk and reinstalling Steam & its games

Two additional troubleshooting abilities to keep in your pocket if needed:

1. After your switchover is complete and you're feeling ready to take on Steam, bring up the main Steam interface page (double-click on the Steam icon on your task bar), then go to Steam (tab) -> Settings -> Downloads and click on the button marked "CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE". This will clean out any stuff cached on your older machine that was copied over.

2. If any individual game is giving you grief, first try this: in the main Steam interface page, right-click on the game in question and select "Properties". In the Properties dialog box, select the "LOCAL FILES" tab and then click on the "VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES..." button. This will start the process of validating the core game files. If any file required by the base game isn't found, or is considered corrupted, Steam will try to reacquire the correct files for you and download them next time you try to start the game.

I've found these two actions have cured most of the (few) issues I've had with Steam games when switching to a new machine. Good luck!

Re: [Help!] Changing Hard Disk and reinstalling Steam & its games

Thanks a lot guys! -- that was good help :thumbup:

Spoiler:      SHOW
Yesterday I lived through the Windows Updates. I feel stronger, somehow :wtf: As if I endured some hell like a pro.

At the first run Windows Update made 2 small updates for the very Windows Update component. It took 5 minutes. Nice.

At the second run it made 130 important + 98 optional updates. I never pick the optionals (lotta undesired stuff mingles among them), but even just the important ones were worth 840 MB. It sequestered my computer for over 2 and a half hours and required 3 reboots before I could get a hold of my machine. Not fun at all.

At the third run it made 9 important updates. Funny how the optionals were not listed anymore at this point. It took about 20 minutes. And 1 reboot.

At the fourth run it signaled me 1 important update. No optionals (what, are they gone forever?). I turned off, went to sleep. Could not stand another minute of it.


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