Installing games on an USB flash drive to move between machines

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by jyggalagga, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. jyggalagga

    jyggalagga Newbie

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    I have a laptop with only one small SSD. I also happen to have a (comparatively) large and very fast USB flash drive (reading speed 300+ MB/s). I also have a PC and in the future maybe another laptop.

    So I thought why not install some larger games (Ghost Recon Wildlands, Fallout 4 with mods, Mass Effect: Andromeda, ...) on the flash drive, rather than on each omputer separately. Since game files are written only once, this shouldn't even impact the life expectancy of the USB drive much.

    The main problem I see is the actual install process, since I'd need to install all games on each computer. The solution I came up with (but haven't done yet) is to install games on a different USB drive with the same drive letter, and then swap out the drives (and delete the game files on the wrong drive).

    Does any of this make sense? Is there a better way to go about this? Why isn't everyone with an SSD-only laptop already doing this?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  2. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Give it a shot, the one hiccup will be if you change settings on a game that doesnt sync those files on their cloud service then you will have to make sure those settings are in place on each machine (typically in the documents folder)

    You would also need to make sure the default installation path is set for both machines as well.

    Give it a try and let us know how it behaves for you, its interesting at the very least...
     
  3. Grant B Gibson

    Grant B Gibson Notebook Deity

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    Not going to lie, you contradict yourself quite alot. If you have a 300MB/s thumb drive, well hot diggity damn. The solution to your problem would just be installing the games on the thumb drive, and then reassigning steam library folder every time, and the reason no one does this is because it is cheaper to get a big internal dri
     
  4. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Your second point is moot when he already has the drive though.

    He wouldnt need to reassign the drive in steam "every time" unless for some reason the OS gives a different drive letter every time it's plugged in and even then that's a minor inconvenience.
     
  5. Grant B Gibson

    Grant B Gibson Notebook Deity

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    Hmm, thats what it did with my HDD's
     
  6. hfm

    hfm Notebook Virtuoso

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    You can definitely add multiple steam library locations in the Steam settings. If your removable HD always gets the same drive letter mapping when you plug it into the PC it should theoretically just work. This is the main reason I have a 2nd SSD in my notebook.
    1. I can backup the entire windows drive and partitions with Macrium Reflect without worrying about my games.. they get their own 512GB SSD. I don't need game installs backed up..
    2. If I blow away OS and reinstall I just point steam at the directory on the "Game" SSD after reinstalling it and everything is back without downloading 450GB..
     
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