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Moving hard drive with only steam installed to new computer with different OS

Looked through the forum a bit, and can't seem to find EXACTLY the answer I'm looking for, so here it is.

Going to be building a new computer this weekend. My current computer has two hard drives. HDD 1 has OS and a storage partition, HDD 2 has ONLY steam installed on it. Current computer has windows 7 64 bit home edition installed on HDD 1.

New computer is getting a new SSD to put windows 10 home 64 bit. My question is, can i take HDD 2 from the old computer, and plug it into the new computer and let steam do it's thing updating games and all that, and basically run it without a hitch?

After reading some threads, this may not work, mostly considering the steam installation is coming from a Windows 7 machine and going onto a Windows 10 machine.

IF simply plugging it in will not work, what are my options. HDD 2 is mostly full, so it sort of goes with little explaining that I do NOT want to install another almost 1TB of games again if I don't absolutely have to. I know I could theoretically reformat HDD 1, move it to the new computer, install steam, and just move the steam folder over from HDD 2....BUT HDD 1 is 5 years old and I really don't want to count on it lasting another 4 or 5. I don't currently have a free 1TB or bigger external drive to copy HHD 2 onto as a holding place while i reformat and then install fresh again on it.

So that is where I am. Any solutions or advice would be greatly appreciated!
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about moving hard drive steam installed computer
  1. Is this the Steam client as well as games, or just the games?
    In your Win 10 environment, where is the Steam client?
  2. USAFRet said:
    Is this the Steam client as well as games, or just the games?
    In your Win 10 environment, where is the Steam client?


    The steam client is also installed on HDD 2. I currently do not have my new computer built yet. The idea was that the steam client and folder would all stay on HDD 2, that way i minimize any files for steam that go onto the new SSD
  3. Best answer
    Manbutter911 said:
    USAFRet said:
    Is this the Steam client as well as games, or just the games?
    In your Win 10 environment, where is the Steam client?


    The steam client is also installed on HDD 2. I currently do not have my new computer built yet. The idea was that the steam client and folder would all stay on HDD 2, that way i minimize any files for steam that go onto the new SSD


    Well, you'd need to reinstall the Steam client anyway. You might as well put it on the SSD.

    Having the Steam games over on the other drive should be NO problem.
    In the Steam client, just designate that folder where they live on the "HDD 2 "as an alternate location.

    Thusly:
    ----------------
    In the steam client:
    Steam
    Settings
    Downloads
    Steam Library Folders
    Add library folder

    ----------------

    That should work
  4. USAFRet said:
    Manbutter911 said:
    USAFRet said:
    Is this the Steam client as well as games, or just the games?
    In your Win 10 environment, where is the Steam client?


    The steam client is also installed on HDD 2. I currently do not have my new computer built yet. The idea was that the steam client and folder would all stay on HDD 2, that way i minimize any files for steam that go onto the new SSD


    Well, you'd need to reinstall the Steam client anyway. You might as well put it on the SSD.

    Having the Steam games over on the other drive should be NO problem.
    In the Steam client, just designate that folder where they live on the "HDD 2 "as an alternate location.

    Thusly:
    ----------------
    In the steam client:
    Steam
    Settings
    Downloads
    Steam Library Folders
    Add library folder

    ----------------

    That should work


    That makes sense. Thank you for the incredibly fast response! When I moved my steam folder to HDD years ago, steam was finicky about having the client installed on one drive, and the games and stuff stored in another area (or at least I THINK I remember seeing that a while ago).

    Would I need to un-install the steam client on HDD 2 before moving to the new computer? Or can I just install steam on the new SSD, plug in HDD 2, and have the steam client installed on the new SSD read from the steam folder on HDD 2 while changing nothing on HDD 2 prior? Example: since the client and all it's folders are on HDD 2, will i need to remove certain folders from HDD 2 to ensure there is no over lap with the steam client and it's folder on the SSD?

    I will look around more on the steam forums for using multiple storage drives for games and client stuff, as I'm sure there are tons of it. I just could not seem to find anything as specific as the question I was asking.
  5. In the above pic, you'll see that I have 4 different game locations on 2 different drives, neither of which is the C drive.
    The Steam client lives on the C drive along with the OS and all other applications.

    Zero performance impact.


    You don't 'need' to uninstall the Steam client on that drive. But it will just be sitting there taking up a little bit of space.
    Your new Steam client that will be on the new SSD does not care.

    Identify the folder where the SteamApps folder is on the current HDD. That's what you tell the new Steam client to look at.
    On my drive(s), I have a top level folder called (as seen above) 'GamesOnTheBigSSD', or whatever.
    Under that is the SteamApps folder that Steam creates when you install the first game in there.

    In your case, I would create a new top level folder. Call it 'WhateverIWant'.
    Copy/paste the existing SteamApps folder as a sub of 'WhateverIWant'.
    In the new Steam client, designate 'WhateverIWant' as the default location.
    Done.
  6. Thank you so much! I was planning for the worst trying to figure out the least tedious way to do all this. As long as I don't goof something up, this should be super simple and was exactly what I was hoping for!
  7. Hey I am just about to do this exact thing and am wondering if you were successful?

    I have a second hard drive on a windows 7 pc containing only steam/u-play, wanting to switch it into a new case with windows 10 on an ssd.
    New case has a second drive at the moment so i'm thinking i'll but put bigger, more recent games on the new second drive and use my current second drive as a third.

    Also i'm a total noob, i know it's only two cables for the hard drive but it's easy to do right? i'm worried i'm gunna blow up my house or something
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