Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Running OS and games on seperate HDD-performance boost?

Last response: in Storage
Share
February 28, 2013 3:54:12 PM

Hi all,,

So uh, apparently running your OS and games on separate Hard Drives can potentially increase performance (maybe minimal, idk). Either way, it would work fine for me, as I happen to have 2x1TB HDD's, with one with my OS and all my games and applications on there, and then the other with just like, random assorted files (videos, pictures, etc., stuff that I don't use often and can just throw on there to free up space, not like I really need any more space atm).

Anyways, would it even make any difference whatsoever if I moved all my games over to my second Hard Drive? (not uninstalling, but just moving the folders over, I'll be maxing out my bandwith for months re-downloading all those). I always assumed it would make it faster keeping the games on the same Drive as the OS, but maybe I'm wrong? Not sure, just been seeing a couple forums here and there saying likewise.
a c 79 G Storage
February 28, 2013 7:32:12 PM

You may want to forget the idea because there's no way you can just "move" your installed games (or any other installed software) to a different drive and expect them to work. All the related paths and other information in the Windows Registry would then be invalid so those games and apps won't run.

If you want to move games and apps to a different drive, you'll have to uninstall them from their existing location, then install them on the other drive.

Like I said, in view of that, you may want to forget the idea.
February 28, 2013 8:21:46 PM

phil22 said:
You may want to forget the idea because there's no way you can just "move" your installed games (or any other installed software) to a different drive and expect them to work. All the related paths and other information in the Windows Registry would then be invalid so those games and apps won't run.

If you want to move games and apps to a different drive, you'll have to uninstall them from their existing location, then install them on the other drive.

Like I said, in view of that, you may want to forget the idea.


Oh yea, I somehow completely forgot that there's the root directory, and then a whole bunch of sub-directories for games.. -.- Jeez I was just gonna move the root-directory over lol, that would've failed miserably. But for future reference (future games, if I ever decided to re-install Windows, etc.) does it make a difference?
Related resources
a b G Storage
February 28, 2013 8:36:38 PM

There is a way to move the games, and use junctions.

there is a program that makes this easy - it's Steam mover. it was created to move steam games, but you can use it to move any application between drives, and it creates the junction points, and allows you to move them back when you want.

http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover
a b G Storage
February 28, 2013 9:14:07 PM

It is not much of a difference. The reason being most os files will already be in ram so most hdd activity is already just game files. Also if you set the second hdd to turn off when idling, then it may take a couple extra seconds for it to spin up when first starting the game. I'd still say to do it if you got a spare hdd though. It's a bit better organization and some argue they have more files on the "fast" part of the hdd.
February 28, 2013 9:35:34 PM

k1114 said:
It is not much of a difference. The reason being most os files will already be in ram so most hdd activity is already just game files. Also if you set the second hdd to turn off when idling, then it may take a couple extra seconds for it to spin up when first starting the game. I'd still say to do it if you got a spare hdd though. It's a bit better organization and some argue they have more files on the "fast" part of the hdd.


Well I guess I could always just move the root directories over too an external, and then uninstall.. So pretty much taking away 99% of the download, mostly file re-validation for games then. But uh, what do you mean by the last part there, more files on the "fast" part of the hdd?
February 28, 2013 9:40:59 PM

phil22 said:
You may want to forget the idea because there's no way you can just "move" your installed games (or any other installed software) to a different drive and expect them to work. All the related paths and other information in the Windows Registry would then be invalid so those games and apps won't run.

If you want to move games and apps to a different drive, you'll have to uninstall them from their existing location, then install them on the other drive.

Like I said, in view of that, you may want to forget the idea.


Not necessarily. If they are steam games you can just move the entire steam directory. I have kept the same steam install through multiple operating systems/reformats, I just paste in the backup of my steam folder, launch steam from the install directory once after a reformat and it will install the last little bit the OS needs for it to run properly. So yeah, if its steam it will be fine.
a b G Storage
February 28, 2013 9:59:38 PM

Quote:
You may want to forget the idea because there's no way you can just "move" your installed games (or any other installed software) to a different drive and expect them to work. All the related paths and other information in the Windows Registry would then be invalid so those games and apps won't run.

If you want to move games and apps to a different drive, you'll have to uninstall them from their existing location, then install them on the other drive.

Like I said, in view of that, you may want to forget the idea.



Sorry Phil22 but you are wrong, junctions do just that.

Here is information about using junctions. This is the same way Steam mover works but it will work for any game NOT just steam games. I use this and have them bookmarked so I can refer to them all the time.

nadim615 have a read of these links. Use junctions and there will be no problems with having to download even 1Kb of info.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262456-32-guide-trans...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link
February 28, 2013 10:34:05 PM

bgunner said:
Quote:
You may want to forget the idea because there's no way you can just "move" your installed games (or any other installed software) to a different drive and expect them to work. All the related paths and other information in the Windows Registry would then be invalid so those games and apps won't run.

If you want to move games and apps to a different drive, you'll have to uninstall them from their existing location, then install them on the other drive.

Like I said, in view of that, you may want to forget the idea.



Sorry Phil22 but you are wrong, junctions do just that.

Here is information about using junctions. This is the same way Steam mover works but it will work for any game NOT just steam games. I use this and have them bookmarked so I can refer to them all the time.

nadim615 have a read of these links. Use junctions and there will be no problems with having to download even 1Kb of info.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/262456-32-guide-trans...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link



Ah ok. Thanks :) 
a b G Storage
February 28, 2013 11:04:40 PM

No problem that's what we are here for. :) 
a b G Storage
March 1, 2013 1:56:01 AM


The outside of a hdd is faster, shorter access times and where files are written to first. I know some defraggers will move frequently used files but I can't remember if the default windows one will.
March 1, 2013 9:01:17 AM

k1114 said:
http://www.hdtune.com/images/screenshot.png
The outside of a hdd is faster, shorter access times and where files are written to first. I know some defraggers will move frequently used files but I can't remember if the default windows one will.


Ah so files which I write to the drive first will be the ones that open/run the fastest?
a b G Storage
March 1, 2013 4:45:55 PM

Yes but remember that any running program is off the ram so hdd speed is just when loading. And as I said defraggers may move the files to the outside.
a b G Storage
March 1, 2013 4:57:15 PM

Steam developed games (DOTA2, TF2, Halflife, etc...) cannot be moved from your main steam installation, even using junction points, as they use large .cab files local to the main steam install. They will go where your main steam install goes.
a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 1:22:40 AM

chugot9218 said:
Steam developed games (DOTA2, TF2, Halflife, etc...) cannot be moved from your main steam installation, even using junction points, as they use large .cab files local to the main steam install. They will go where your main steam install goes.


as none of those games get a great boost from an SSD I have not tried to move those but this is good to know.
!