Steam & SSD

Steam & SSD

So I have a SSD now, about a decade after some others, but still not a bad time now that the Vertex2 offers great performance at a reasonable price. Vertex3 is out but requires new motherboards for support and is also a lot less inexpensive. : )

I want to utilise the power of the SSD even for games, however there’s not enough room to store everything. From this point of view, I want to start the core Steam app from the SSD, make it download all games to the hard drive, but then move selected games back to the SSD. This is doable by way of running symlinks, which is supported in Vista -> Win7.

Here’s the steps I’ve taken to get BFBC2 on the SSD as per the above. C:\ is SSD, d:\ is spinner (HDD). If you don’t like the directory naming then substitute your own. I made the spinner directory generic enough to capture any future symlinks, but the SSD one is a bit more specific to steamapps folder.

  1. Install steam as per default to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam (64 bit windows)
  2. Create folders c:\steamapps , c:\steamapps\common, d:\steam
  3. Start steam, initiate download of BFBC2 (or whatever game).
  4. Wait a minute or so until $steam\steamapps\common has a folder for your game. Then exit steam.
  5. Move the folder c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps to d:\steam\steamapps
  6. Move the folder “D:\Steam\steamapps\common\battlefield bad company 2” to “c:\SteamApps\common\”
  7. Then rename it to “bfbc2”, just for fun.
  8. Open a command prompt with admin privs (Press start, type CMD, hit shift+ctrl+enter, accept UAC prompt.).
  9. Execute the following commands … (also showing results):
    C:\Windows\system32>mklink /d "c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps" 
    "d:\steam\steamapps" (HIT ENTER!)
    symbolic link created for c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps ===>>d:\steam\steamapps
    C:\Windows\system32>mklink /d "D:\Steam\steamapps\common\battlefield bad company 2"
    "c:\SteamApps\common\bfbc2" (HIT ENTER!)
    symbolic link created for D:\Steam\steamapps\common\battlefield bad company 2 ===>> c:\SteamApps\common\bfbc2
  1. Restart steam, resume download, observe that bfbc2 folder on SSD drive is filling up now.


That’s it, I’ll have Steam starting instantly from the SSD, games that I download will automatically be saved to the HDD, however I can then move them to the SSD for performance on an as needed basis … and then back again when I am having a break from it or don’t need the performance (BFBC2 would seem to benefit greatly from SSD, as it is).

It’s probably worth checking from time to time if certain other files could benefit from being moved to / from the SSD.