Steam Powered SSD

Anyone who owns a solid state hard drive and has a steam account can know how frustrating it may be running low on hard disk and not being able to split up your steam games.

Today I’ve come up with a solution for this. While it may not be a very elegant one, it still allows me to solve one of my biggest issues: being able to move steam games I do not play often to a mechanical drive.

First thing you’ll need for this is a shell extension called Link Shell Extension, it essentially allows us to create symbolic links on windows. Grab the prerequisit VC++ Redistributable Package and Link Shell Extension installer from their site. Install Link Shell Extension following the instructions on their site.

The reason we need this symlink functionality is because according to the Steam support team:

Steam installs to the following folder by default:

C:\Program Files\Steam

Files for games installed on Steam are stored in the following folder:

C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\

During the installation of Steam, you have the option to install Steam to a location other than the default. Since Steam relies on the game files residing in the SteamApps folder, your game files will go to whatever folder you have Steam installed in. The game files must be in the SteamApps folder in order to function.

Steam suggests you move the entire directory to a new drive. I suggest moving only the games you want to. You may be limited in that some of the valve games all share a common directory but I’m not too sure since I haven’t played around with this too much as of yet.

#Let’s Do It Here’s the process in a nutshell

##Moving the game

  1. Open Windows Explorer up to your steamapps directory (should be something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps). Pick a folder for a game you want to move. In my test case I used Magicka since it was a relatively small game.
  2. **Right click > Cut **
  3. Open your mechanical drive or partition where you are going to dump it and **Right Click > Paste **

##Creating a Symlink Here’s where the magic happens:

  1. In your mechanical location, right click the newly pasted directory and click Pick Link Source
  2. Go back to your steamapps directory and right click then click Drop As… > Symbolic Link

If everything went well you should be able to launch the game through steam.

I found the tool from a howtogeek article that came up in a google search for symlink on windows 7.

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