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I have had my PC since 2010 and am still running on the same Windows install. But now it's time to replace the old SSD with a bigger and faster one. In the process, I will get a fresh Windows install, which is always nice. But I have a Ubuntu install and a bunch of installed software I'm unaware of how to handle.

The drives in question:

A, 80GB (Windows 7 install, documents, core software)
B, 3000GB (Various downloaded material, Steam directory with hundreds of installed games)
C, 1000GB (Ubuntu install, and one storage partition that is unused)
D, 240GB (New drive, will hold Windows. Though not necessarily Windows 7)

Windows was installed first and currently, when booting I am shown with a Ubuntu boot meny that defaults into Ubuntu unless I actively choose Windows 7.

So, my thinking is something like the following:

1) Back up crucial information from A.

2) Back up savegame files from B. As I figure I will have to remove the installed games (seeing how they will be tied to a Windows install that no longer exists). But is there a way around this?

3) Download Windows install files and mount onto usb stick.

4) Unplug A and plug in D. Install Windows onto D.

5) Remove all Steam data from B (sob sob)

6) Begin to re-download and install software and games.

But is this thinking flawed somehow? And also, how (if at all) will the Ubuntu install feel about all of this? If necessary, I'm not against removing it alltogether as I only use it to dick around and indulge myself.

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Why would you need to reinstall the game? The data is already there. Steam does not modify the register when it installs a Game. –  Ramhound May 27 '14 at 13:34
Oh. So if I just run the Steam.exe from drive B from within my new install, it's all good? –  Christofer Ohlsson May 27 '14 at 15:51
But why don't you just duplicate the SSD then extend the partition, that way you don't have to worry about it? –  Ramhound May 27 '14 at 16:00
I really, really, really want to start with a fresh Windows install. –  Christofer Ohlsson May 27 '14 at 16:08
Well you can try my solution about keeping the Steam data but it might not work. –  Ramhound May 27 '14 at 16:56

1 Answer 1

Steam doesn't always have to be migrated


If you're using Steam for social networking aspects and actively purchasing addons you can kneecap that pesky error "you're using a different computer [to play the games you paid for but we're insidiously latched into you] by disabling SteamGuard Next, any game you don't need constant updates, place a steam.cfg file inside the root of those games such as in your profile\steamapps\GAME with the offline flags to keep those games from getting online.

BootStrapperInhibitAll=enable ForceOfflineMode=enable

But, you're still well served by configuring the menu options for those games typically "hell no never go online for updates".

Years, Steam's instructions to migrate was just unceremoniously "copy the directory to the new computer" and this held true even in 2013. The DRM and other "protections" protected them but just made it harder to play games you bought harder without online access while laying the false patina thieves are roving around just waiting to steal your games. It's dubious and clearly a sensitive subject with me.

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Wait, what. I will have to force my games in offline mode to not have a pesky Steam experience from now on? That sounds awful. –  Christofer Ohlsson May 27 '14 at 15:52
This seems just to be a rant against Steam and DRM. I don't really see any helpful information. –  Ramhound May 27 '14 at 15:59

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