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I'm confused. Where do I put my games in Win 7?

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 2, 2010 8:45:00 PM

Hey everyone, Mike here. I'm confused.

I built a computer. I installed Windows 7. I installed games. Now I can't figure out how to organize them.

Where should I be installing them? There's "games" and "my games". "Documents" and "my Documents". I don't understand the file pathways. World of Warcraft installed itself in "Program Files" and "My documents", Starcraft and Dragon Age in "documents". All seem to be rooted in "program files" but if I delete anything from "documents/my documents" the game doesn't work. I don't want my games in "my documents", they're not documents. I'd like them in "my games" or "games" but I can't move them. My games are all scattered and I don't know if that's where they really ARE of if they're rooted elsewhere. It all seems so redundant. I am very confused.

Please help.

Thanks.

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September 2, 2010 8:49:49 PM

Games install themselves to Program Files, the files in My Documents are just user-specific ones. If you want, you can use symbolic links to move the files in My Documents to the game directory in Program Files.

http://code.google.com/p/symlinker/
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a c 354 $ Windows 7
September 2, 2010 9:04:30 PM

Here is a good rule of thumb. If you don't know why something is there, and it's not doing anything bad, leave it.

PC files are not like a collection of matchbox cars in your shoebox, you can't just move them around to organize them as you wish.

SOME files you can move, pictures you save, movies, etc... your files that you create, those don't care where they are. Altough if you move those around, some software may have issues finding them again like iTunes.

If a program installed files in a certain directory, that's where it will look for them next time it runs.
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September 2, 2010 9:22:30 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Here is a good rule of thumb. If you don't know why something is there, and it's not doing anything bad, leave it.

PC files are not like a collection of matchbox cars in your shoebox, you can't just move them around to organize them as you wish.

SOME files you can move, pictures you save, movies, etc... your files that you create, those don't care where they are. Altough if you move those around, some software may have issues finding them again like iTunes.

If a program installed files in a certain directory, that's where it will look for them next time it runs.



Thanks for the reply. Yeah I'm not trying to rearrange the registry, I just want my games in one location. I don't want them strewn across 5 different locations with seemingly redundant folders mixed in with what really are my documents. I figure that Win 7 would grant me the flexibility to arrange them to my liking. The reason I was asking for help is because I don't want to just ignore them, I'd like to understand how to organize them. I've installed these programs so I'd just like to organize them in a way that makes me happy. Any advice on how do that or understand it better would be helpful. Thanks again.
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September 2, 2010 9:36:47 PM

Here's an example. Say you want to move your Dragon Age files to the main install directory. So you go to C:\Users\Your Name Here\Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age. Whatever you see there, move it to C:\Program Files\Dragon Age\ (preferably, make a folder inside there to place the moved data). Then, open a command prompt and type:

  1. mklink /h "C:\Users\Your Name Here\Documents\Bioware\Dragon Age" "C:\Program Files\Dragon Age\Name of folder"
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a c 354 $ Windows 7
September 2, 2010 10:08:35 PM

mirzai_m said:
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I'm not trying to rearrange the registry, I just want my games in one location. I don't want them strewn across 5 different locations with seemingly redundant folders mixed in with what really are my documents. I figure that Win 7 would grant me the flexibility to arrange them to my liking. The reason I was asking for help is because I don't want to just ignore them, I'd like to understand how to organize them. I've installed these programs so I'd just like to organize them in a way that makes me happy. Any advice on how do that or understand it better would be helpful. Thanks again.


Win 7 has nothing to do with this, it's how the programs you install on it work. They put some user files in your directory so when you delete the game you can keep your saved games for later.

You don't need to, nor should you, "organize" anything a program installs automatically. That's more meddling than organizing. My wife likes to organize stuff, then it takes me 3 days to find a video card I left on a table. Not much of an improvement is it?
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a b $ Windows 7
September 2, 2010 10:20:46 PM

Please clarify something for me: Was this a fresh install on Windows 7 on the hard drive, an upgrade, or a re-install with or without formatting? Are these "Libraries" (My Docs, Music, etc.) on a second hard drive, or on the same drive as the OS?

I understand the "My Documents" and "Documents" folders, I had the same issue.

I may have a solution. Right click on the folder with out the "My" name, and change the name or path to include the "My", or visa-versa. Don't change the "path", just the name.

I don't like the "My" name for these Libraries (as not all the folders had the "My"), so I changed and consolidated them into just "Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos, etc."

I hope this doesn't screw up the paths for shortcuts or program launches.
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September 3, 2010 2:37:23 AM

With some games if you do an advanced installation, you can choose where they install.
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September 3, 2010 4:55:36 AM

hang-the-9 said:
Win 7 has nothing to do with this, it's how the programs you install on it work. They put some user files in your directory so when you delete the game you can keep your saved games for later.

You don't need to, nor should you, "organize" anything a program installs automatically. That's more meddling than organizing. My wife likes to organize stuff, then it takes me 3 days to find a video card I left on a table. Not much of an improvement is it?


Ok I hear what you're saying. Well if that's how it is then that's how it is. I just don't understand all the redundancy. I install Dragon Age and I end up with a "Bioware" folder in my "Mike" folder, the "My Documents" folder inside my "Mike" folder, the "Documents" folder underneath my "Mike" folder, the "Program Files" and the "Games" folder. Oh yeah, and the "My games" folder too. WTF. Bioware is all over the place and me being a stickler for organization and consolidation, this is really aggravating. I am ONE GUY. I don't need a "personal" folder, a "my documents" folder inside my personal folder, then a "documents" folder beneath it. Then to find out that I can't/shouldn't move things in folders designated as "personal" and labeled as "My" just sounds strange. I really don't like the "My Documents" vs "Documents" thing. They're ALL my documents. It's all my stuff. I just want it in one place. I am truly appreciative of your response and I'm not disagreeing with or challenging anything you're saying. I'm just venting because I'm aggravated with this setup. :fou:  Thanks again.
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September 3, 2010 4:56:38 AM

gendoikari1 said:
Here's an example. Say you want to move your Dragon Age files to the main install directory. So you go to C:\Users\Your Name Here\Documents\BioWare\Dragon Age. Whatever you see there, move it to C:\Program Files\Dragon Age\ (preferably, make a folder inside there to place the moved data). Then, open a command prompt and type:

  1. mklink /h "C:\Users\Your Name Here\Documents\Bioware\Dragon Age" "C:\Program Files\Dragon Age\Name of folder"


Thanks, I just tried that and I totally failed at it. I couldn't open the game and had to reinstall it.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 3, 2010 7:10:42 AM

mirzai_m said:
Hey everyone, Mike here. I'm confused.

I built a computer. I installed Windows 7. I installed games. Now I can't figure out how to organize them.

Where should I be installing them? There's "games" and "my games". "Documents" and "my Documents". I don't understand the file pathways. World of Warcraft installed itself in "Program Files" and "My documents", Starcraft and Dragon Age in "documents". All seem to be rooted in "program files" but if I delete anything from "documents/my documents" the game doesn't work. I don't want my games in "my documents", they're not documents. I'd like them in "my games" or "games" but I can't move them. My games are all scattered and I don't know if that's where they really ARE of if they're rooted elsewhere. It all seems so redundant. I am very confused.

Please help.

Thanks.


My rule of thumb is simple: I NEVER let anything install itself in the default directory, especially not Program Files. I created a directory called C:\Games, and all my games get installed there, without exception. That way I know something is there because I put it there.

Unfortunately, most newer games will create a folder somewhere in your Documents folder or in C:\Users\[yourname]\Appdata\etc.. to store saved games and user profiles. Those directories cannot be altered safely, you'll just have to live with it.
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September 5, 2010 1:55:08 PM

Best answer selected by mirzai_m.
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September 5, 2010 1:55:26 PM

Herr_Koos said:
My rule of thumb is simple: I NEVER let anything install itself in the default directory, especially not Program Files. I created a directory called C:\Games, and all my games get installed there, without exception. That way I know something is there because I put it there.

Unfortunately, most newer games will create a folder somewhere in your Documents folder or in C:\Users\[yourname]\Appdata\etc.. to store saved games and user profiles. Those directories cannot be altered safely, you'll just have to live with it.


Thanks.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 5, 2010 3:10:01 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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