Installing games to a secondary drive?

madh83

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I'm using vista 32 bit and for some reason every single game I've installed to a secondary drive that the OS is not on won't boot. I click on the .exe and nothing happens at all. Games installed to the C: drive that vista is on work just fine. What gives?
 

serpretetsky

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these are fresh installs? meaning you have your system with partition c: and d: and right after you install games on d: they don't run?

or do you mean you might have moved the hdd from a different computer and are now trying to run them and they dont work. Or perhaps you've reinstalled c: and now games on d: dont work.

what games? any programs work off the secondary partition?
 

madh83

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Yes, I just installed the games. They are seperate Hard drives, so the OS is on drive C. While I just installed the game( Tomb Raider underworld in this case) to D. I also tried the witcher, in both cases clicking on the .exe does nothing. Tomb Raider gives an error about directx 9.0c not being available. However, they both work if I install to drive C.


EDIT: Solved, turned out to be an issue with my firewall. Bastard firewall...
 
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zoobaby

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If you like to/need to format/reinstall often, you don't have to re-install your games as well. I've had mixed luck as some games use registry settings.
 

Demon10000

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Yes, I just installed the games. They are seperate Hard drives, so the OS is on drive C. While I just installed the game( Tomb Raider underworld in this case) to D. I also tried the witcher, in both cases clicking on the .exe does nothing. Tomb Raider gives an error about directx 9.0c not being available. However, they both work if I install to drive C.


EDIT: Solved, turned out to be an issue with my firewall. Bastard firewall...

Have you just tried installing the DirectX 9.0 runtimes?

I'm not sure why it would work on one drive and not the other, but if an app is screaming about not being able to see directx dlls, then I would try making them available...
 

DeaconFrost

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what is the advantage of installing programs like this?
There isn't an advantage. Even if you come across a few games that don't need to be reinstalled when you reinstall the OS, it still isn't much of a reason. Installing a game and restoring saved game files isn't a big deal at all, especially if you use something like SyncToy to keep those files backed up anyway. If a person is that concerned with time when they reinstall the OS, they either are reinstalling too often, or they have WAY too much free time to be playing THAT many games.
 

madh83

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There isn't an advantage. Even if you come across a few games that don't need to be reinstalled when you reinstall the OS, it still isn't much of a reason. Installing a game and restoring saved game files isn't a big deal at all, especially if you use something like SyncToy to keep those files backed up anyway. If a person is that concerned with time when they reinstall the OS, they either are reinstalling too often, or they have WAY too much free time to be playing THAT many games.

That was a kind of a weird personal response there.

To answer the original question, my second hard drive is slightly faster than my primary. I can also put the swap file on a seperate drive from the games that load. They're both minor optimizations, but potentially prevents stutters in some games.

It would have also been possible that I just had more space on my secondary drive. There's a number of other possibilities as to why someone would install programs to a second drive.
 

DeaconFrost

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That was a kind of a weird personal response there.
There may be some very unique situations why someone would need to use a second drive, but don't expect any performance increases. My response wasn't a personal one at all. I try to keep my answers to factual, logical information, and not get caught up in all the over-hyped "tweaks" that are spread all around the web. Too many times on computer boards, you'll see people swearing by a certain topic, simply because it builds momentum as the "cool thing to do", when in reality, it offers little to no benefit at all, and sometimes ever robs the computer of performance, in some cases.

Now, as to why you thought my response was personal....think about it. If you want to complain about how long it takes to reinstall a few games everytime you reinstall the OS, that means you are reinstalling very often. So, that being said, why wouldn't the person use a drive imaging program, such as Ghost or TrueImage? Why wouldn't the personal spend time figuring out why they are ruining their installs so often?

To your situation, the faster hard drive should always be used as the primary system volume. Your OS is what you load each and everytime you turn on the computer, so it is in use far more often than any game. Why do you think many gaming systems come with a Raptor for the C drive, and a larger storage drive as the second? that faster drive should be used as your primary, and your games should be installed there as well, if you are truly concerned about performance.
 

MrF

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I re-install my OS often because I beta test different versions of the OS.
I beta test because I like to. It is my computer and my data.

I play games because I like to. It is my time and my money.

Every time I re-install the OS, I don't want to have to re-install all my games and applications and set up my email and my pictures and music and ....
That is why I install my programs (and games), and locate all my documents and emails and pictures, on a different partition than my OS.
It has nothing to do with the computer performance, and everything to do with my convenience.

People have different priorities and objectives. What works perfectly for one, could be quite useless for another. There is no "one size fits all".
 

DeaconFrost

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If you Beta test OSes often, you fall into the category of someone who should be using a drive imaging program. You even go on to mention convenience as your primary driving factor. If a VM isn't going to fit the bill, that's the way to go.

Also, you assume I am anti-gaming. I also play games, but I don't reinstall that often thanks to Vista, and even if I decided to, I keep my config files and saved games backed up with SyncToy, so it is actually quite easy to put my data back.

Besides, if you really wanted to wipe your PC clean and lay down different OSes that often, you would be using strictly web based e-mail. Your pictures, music, etc should always be stored on a data drive/partition, so they don't really enter into this discussion. I keep mine on a second drive, where I also store all the data SyncToy keeps backed up for me. Installable apps and games typically need to be reinstalled anyway, so there's nothing to gain by having them elsewhere. It's a simple concept that isn't hard to grasp, really. You can always reinstall from the disc, where as your saved games, documents, pictures, etc can't be recreated easily, if at all, so that's why user created content should be stored elsewhere, such as a data drive. Taking it one step further, by storing all your user data on a secondary drive, it makes back up processes much easier, when you want to send all that to an external drive or server.
 

MrF

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Your pictures, music, etc should always be stored on a data drive/partition.
It is the same concept with the games and applications.
It is very easy to set them up so that they do not need a re-install.

After I re-install my OS, or after I restore my OS image using a drive imaging tool, it takes me zero seconds to have all my applications, games, and email client running.

Almost every concept has pros and cons. This one works for me.
It may not work for you.
If you find information provided by someone useful, use it. If you find it useless, do not.
You don't have to convince everyone to set up their computer exactly the same as yours.
I like coffee, you like tea. There is nothing wrong with that.
 

DeaconFrost

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after I restore my OS image using a drive imaging tool, it takes me zero seconds to have all my applications, games, and email client running.
Right, and they don't need to be kept on another drive for this. That's the point of using a drive imaging tool. If you are truly testing several different OSes, you'll want to make sure the application installs are native to each OS, to make your troubleshooting and testing simpler, especially to diagnose any issues you may encounter. Your posts are starting to contradict themselves, as it typical in this discussion. If convenience is what you are after, take the steps to make your testing methods more convenient. K.I.S.S. is the motto to follow.

We can go around and around on preferences and how different things work for different folks. That's not the case here. Each time you've given me a reason to install apps and games to a different drive, it's been easily refuted with a quicker, more logical method. This happens each and every time this topic is debated, and it gets tiresome quickly. The same patterns hold true each and everytime. If Windows apps and games were written differently, to be self-contained, and not use the archaic registry, we'd certainly have something to discuss. However, as long as the registry exists, and application installs go the way they go, there's no reason to install them elsewhere.
 

MrF

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My Programs (applications, games, or anything I install) partition currently has 110GB used space.
If I install all of that into the same partition as my OS, my OS image will be more than 60GB (120/2=60). Creating a 60GB image would take about an hour. So does restoring it.

My Windows 7 OS partition has only 10GB of used space. Its image is 5GB. It takes me 5 minutes to create or restore it. That (spending 5 minutes instead of one hour) is convinience for me.

I also have images for Vista or Xp. Each of those has a reasonable size of less than 5GB as opposed to the impractical size of > 60GB.
That is manageability of images to me.
 
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DeaconFrost

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My Programs (applications, games, or anything I install) partition currently has 110GB used space.
Very few applications can function without being installed on the native OS, due to the registry. You'll have a better chance with games in this area, but even then it seems most games need to be reinstalled. Even if you had 60 GB of data on your primary volume, your resulting image wouldn't be 60 GB.

This leads to another point I find so amusing here. Is an hour to reimage your system really that big of a deal? One hour for a drive restore isn't that big of a deal, and would likely take less time than that, even with a 35 to 40 GB image. You aren't doing it that often, and once again, if you are there's an even better way to approach this. If you reimage often enough to be testing, where you might be switch OSes everyday, several times a day, or even every couple of days, then you shouldn't even be bothering with an imaging program. You should be using an internal SATA drive cage, with removeable drive carriers. I've been using the Vantec model on a test system, and it works great. I have as much going on in my day as anyone else, so, like everyone else, I try to be as efficient as possible.
I think DF is skynet.
If approaching a topic or situation with logic and common sense makes me skynet, so be it.
 

MrF

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Very few applications can function without being installed on the native OS, due to the registry.
These are the programs or applications I currently have installed on a partition other than the OS partition with no issues:
Microsoft Office 2007
Java
Ghostscript
Acrobat
Acrobat reader
Virtualbox
Acronis True Image Home
Foxit Reader
Cobian backup 9
Turbo Tax
VLite
NLite
WinRAR

Can you point out any particular program that you think cannot be installed on a different partition?

You'll have a better chance with games in this area, but even then it seems most games need to be reinstalled.
I currently have these games installed in a partition other than the OS. I never have to re-install them.
Steam (including Half-Life, HL2, Portal, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Far Cry 2, STALKER 2, ...), Call of duty World at War, Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Fallout 3, FEAR, FEAR 2, The Witcher, Tomb Raider Anniversary

Even if you had 60 GB of data on your primary volume, your resulting image wouldn't be 60 GB.
I never said it did! Imaging programs compress the data. As I pointed out in my example, a partition that contains 120GB of used space will result in a 60GB image. Acronis True Image halves the size on average.

Is an hour to reimage your system really that big of a deal?
I don't re-image my system. I re-image my OS.
One hour to re-image an OS is unacceptable to me. But, how I spend my time should not concern anyone else.

One hour for a drive restore isn't that big of a deal,
May be it is not for you, and it makes no difference to me how you spend your time.


and would likely take less time than that, even with a 35 to 40 GB image.
Absolutely. But, I have about 110GB of used space in my "Programs" partition. I know people who have 400GB of installed applications and games. If I install all my apps in the same partition as my OS, all of the 110GB will move to the OS partition. Then, the OS partition will have about 120GB of used space. How is that going to be only 35GB?


You aren't doing it that often,
How do you know?


and once again, if you are there's an even better way to approach this. If you reimage often enough to be testing, where you might be switch OSes everyday, several times a day, or even every couple of days, then you shouldn't even be bothering with an imaging program. You should be using an internal SATA drive cage, with removeable drive carriers.
Thanks for the advice. I am happy with what I use.

I've been using the Vantec model on a test system, and it works great. I have as much going on in my day as anyone else, so, like everyone else, I try to be as efficient as possible.
That is wonderful. I have no intention of convincing you to do anything differently.
 

DeaconFrost

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I'll let the comments stand for themselves, but I'll stick to one comment that's been said over and over on here. When you give advice to people, you often need to separate your own personal preferences from what is best for the person asking the question. Anyone doing IT Support could tell you this. Advising someone to move their games off their primary drive, when you know these forums are littered with people listing games that do not function this way, is not a good idea. When you give advice to someone, you do it using best, common practices. In short, what you do on your own computer doesn't necessarily translate into the best possible advice for others. Too often, that is forgotten.

You don't seem to take feedback or a critique very well, so I'll leave it at this. Very often on these boards, you'll find people swearing by a process that can be enhanced or altered to be better or more efficient. The moment you close your mind and assume you do everything the best way, is the moment you stop learning. That's why so many debates get ugly, because of so many closed minds.

As for the amount of games you have installed, I'll just say this. I truly wish I had that kind of time to piss away playing that many games. Honestly, I do. I'll be happy to try CoD:WaW in this method to see if it will still run, but I believe that was a game listed several times over as not functioning. I'd be very skeptical of Office 2007 working this way, considering how deep it digs into the registry. If it does, great for you, indeed.
 

Vermillion

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I've been installing my games on a separate HDD for years (since at least Windows 98SE) and I have NEVER had a problem due to that.
 

Azhar

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There isn't an advantage. Even if you come across a few games that don't need to be reinstalled when you reinstall the OS, it still isn't much of a reason. Installing a game and restoring saved game files isn't a big deal at all, especially if you use something like SyncToy to keep those files backed up anyway. If a person is that concerned with time when they reinstall the OS, they either are reinstalling too often, or they have WAY too much free time to be playing THAT many games.

WoW takes about a half a day to install :p

I loathe reinstalling my computer specifically because of that game. You'd think it's an operating system.

Thank goodness though I have no reason to reinstall. I'm still on the same Vista64 install since day one a couple months after Vista launch.
 
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ehhhhh

i agree with Mr F. i run separate partitions each for programs, games, My documents, music, and a large media/dump drive. i install all non-system critical/specific apps to my programs drive and all games to my Games drive.

the only games that need reinstalling after a format arent even games: 3DMark 2006/Vantage. im sure there are some that have to be installed fresh but i dont remember any specifically and ive played most major titles over the last 7 years. also, every steam game is self-isolated inside it's steam folder. if you format to a different version of Windows, you may need to reinstall Steam and all games. Vista to W7 forced me to wipe out all my game installs for the 3rd time ever. previously the last time i'd touched my steam directory was going from XP to Vista almost 2 years ago, and before that going from XP32 to XP x64 and spanned at least 20 formats. you can copy your /Steam folder to another PC and all the games will work.

the only apps i need to freshly install after a format are Office, codecs, drivers, and utilities like ATI tray tools and logitech LCD manager. apps like firefox, thunderbird, Winamp, UltraVNC, winrar, ccleaner, IM apps like pidgin and digsby...pretty much all generic apps run fine and dont even need to be reinstalled going across different versions of windows (unless there are different installs for 32 and 64bit). i have apps running now in windows 7 that were originally installed 2 years ago on XP x64. Office always needs to be reinstalled b/c it puts a good 500MB on your Windows drive regardless of where you install the program itself.

i did have to wipe out firefox and thunderbird when i put W7 7068 on because it gave me a ton of weird issues. it's a beta tho so i cant say where the problems lay.

the purpose of formatting is to fix all weird issues and slowdowns that come from actively using Windows over months or years even with proper maintenance. making images of freshly installed Windows doesnt really help. it takes an hr or so to restore a 5+ GB image which probably has old drivers and system utilities. by the time you restore the image and update the outdated drivers, you could have done a format and installed the new drivers anyway. it takes about the same amt of time as restoring an image and when you install apps and games to a different partition you dont even have to install much.
 

Archer75

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I don't do partitions. I find most stuff would have to be reinstalled anyways after a OS format. Too much relies on the registry.

All of my data, music, videos, pictures, etc. are on my server. So I can always access that no matter what OS I run.
All of the apps I run are either imaged and on the server for quick install later or are apps I download. So I can install an OS and all my apps quickly and easily.

Everything gets installed on one drive.

I do copy my WoW folder over to my server before a format as it doesn't need to be reinstalled. And I don't want to download all the patches and reconfigure my add ons. I just copy it back over after the OS install is complete.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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To answer the original question, my second hard drive is slightly faster than my primary. I can also put the swap file on a seperate drive from the games that load. They're both minor optimizations, but potentially prevents stutters in some games.
.

This is true...I've been building gaming systems this way for years. Having the pagefile.sys, as well as games with large files (such as maps/levels)...having them on separate drives can give a little nudge in smoother and faster performance (level loading).
 

MrF

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I only stated what I was doing and why. I never suggested that anyone else should do the same.

I install Office (and any other program I need) on a different partition than my OS. My objective is to keep the used space size on my OS partition as small as possible (10GB for Windows 7).
Then, I create an image of my OS partition (5GB True Image size).
Now, if I need to restore my OS image, it will be fast, and Office still works.

I am trying Windows 7 now. But, my official OS right now is Vista since Windows 7 is still beta.
If I want to go back to Vista for any reason, I don't need to re-install all my applications. I only restore my 5GB Vista image and I am done. If I need to re-install a few programs, I will. But, not all of them.

If I need to restore the same OS as I currently have, I won't need to re-install anything.

Again, this is not an advice. I never presumed that I was giving anybody any advice.

Finally, if someone tells me that I have a closed mind (or any other personal/character comment like that), I don't respond because I am not here for that.
 

DeaconFrost

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Again, this is not an advice. I never presumed that I was giving anybody any advice.
That's what this forum is all about. That's why people come here from other forums when they have questions.

As for my other comments, not one thing was a personal attack. I was suggesting better or more efficient ways to accomplish the same goal. Again, I'm not one to make assumptions, but if you don't like hearing that you could do something better or more efficiently, don't plan on getting married!
 

madh83

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Deacon, I was saying you were skynet in an attempt to derail this thread from becoming a flamefest, also I had just finished watching the season finale of Sarah Connor chronicles. Continuing that train of thought, Skynet is an unreasonable AI that has decided to kill all humans because of its own faulty logic, weird that you take that as a compliment. Kind of like a schizophrenic who thinks everyone's out to get him so he'll put a stop to it by killing everyone else. It's logical within his own set of rules, but it ignores a lot of things.

At this point it's obvious you're not really understanding anything that's being said, if you were you would understand your advice doesn't apply to my situation. What I have done has fixed the problem I set out to fix, that's all there is to it.
 
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If you like to/need to format/reinstall often, you don't have to re-install your games as well. I've had mixed luck as some games use registry settings.

I'll use one game as an example that DOES require registry settings... yet benefits timewise from being installed on a seperate drive.

Medieval Total War 2 + Kingdoms. For me this game takes about an hour to install from scratch, longer if I want to install the stainless steel mod. However I discovered that reinstalling to the same directory where its already located, it sees that the files are already there and ignores them, it works more like a repair install and takes about 10 minutes (checks files, adds registry entries, wishes me a nice day).

This is also one of my least favourite installers... simply because it slows my system to a crawl (most don't, this one and the odd other one do). So an hour of no access to emails, IMs (my primary communication tool with friends), music, tv, or movies.

No thanks.


That is why I install my programs (and games), and locate all my documents and emails and pictures, on a different partition than my OS. It has nothing to do with the computer performance, and everything to do with my convenience.

I have about 6000 CDs in my collection, all ripped to mp3 and sorted by genre, etc. Waiting on foobar to rebuild its DB every install would simply be frustrating.

As for the amount of games you have installed, I'll just say this. I truly wish I had that kind of time to piss away playing that many games.

I currently have 10 games installed on my computer. I actively play at most 3-4 of them, depending upon my mood and available free time.

If I sit down with 3-4 hours to play, I'll probably play empire total war, or Stalker Clear Sky or Medieval 2. If I have 30-45 mins to kill, I'll play a mission or 2 in GTA 4, or a level in Braid.
Sometimes I want a brain challenge, then depending upon which settings sounds good: Galactic Civ 2, Colonization or Civ 4.
And sometimes I have tons of time and play an RPG. (Witcher). I also still have WAR installed, but don't really play anymore.

Oh btw, out of that list, the only game I had to reinstall was GTA 4.
 

Zepher

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what is the advantage of installing programs like this?

Steam games don't need to be reinstalled if they are on another drive.
I just installed Vista and when I installed steam, I just pointed the steam install to the drive where my steam games where and they were all good to go.
All 32gigs of my steam games came up in the list and play just fine.

Other games i have need to be reinstalled though.
 

dr.stevil

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I've been installing my games on a separate HDD for years (since at least Windows 98SE) and I have NEVER had a problem due to that.

same here :) It makes keeping track of software easier if you're into either modding or just anal about keeping your stuff organized (I fall more into the later).

It's a major plus with steam too... just re-install the client (in the same partition/directory) and you're good to go. Beats downloading 40GB of data over again (or backing them up individuly), plus everything will run fine without being registered into the windows registry which is another nice feature... you don't have all that stuff clogging up your 'remove programs' utility.

I run 1 drive for the OS, 1 for my projects/documents/virtual machines and 1 for games. Wouldn't have it any other way :)
 
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That could be roughly 60,000 songs. What kind of space does that take up?

I have a few albums that contain 3 songs, but are over an hour in length, and a napalm death album with a lot of songs that comes in under 50 mins... (and kinda sucks)

But its the vast majority of a 500GB HD, though some of the CDs are the woman's and I don't listen to them, so they're on her comp and vice versa. (which is around the same space usage). and I think we have around 500 duplicates which we're simply too lazy to ebay, but often give away to friends.

just anal about keeping your stuff organized (I fall more into the later).
This was the cause of my slow slow slow adoption of the searchable start menu in Vista/Windows 7.
Now I really need to sort my HD, so I can find stuff when I don't remember what its called anymore.
 

Bcc335

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I also have all my games installed on a second data drive for many of the same reasons listed above. Any time I do an OS install I dont have to reinstall my games. Certain games do require an install but many dont. In the meantime I have a complete gaming libary at my disposal with virtually no maintenance.
 
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