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Thread: Virtualize Steam/TF2 installation to keep Windows Clean?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf View Post
    My install uses a mite more than that...

    Even so, it isn't Steam making this system slow to get going, it's all the other stuff. I don't mind as long as it stays speedy when it gets to the desktop - this rig runs 24/7.

    2500K with 16GB DDR3.
    Holy wee, 220 MB svchost? Which particular service does that? :s

  2. #12
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    Superfetch. It was pushing 300MB as of a few minutes ago.

  3. #13
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    I think I've got it: Sandboxie allows data to pass out of sandboxes via folder junctions, so:

    1) copy Steam/steamapps to [D:]
    2) sandbox Steam install on [C:]
    3) junction the sandboxed steamapps folder with the real one on [D:]

    that way the Steam client itself runs off the SSD, only takes up ~140mb, doesn't make any changes to Windows, and forwards all updates to the big mama game folder on HDD [D:]

  4. #14
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    You don't HAVE to install Steam on C: in the first place.

    Just move the folder Steamapps outside Steam so you won't have to download the content again.
    Uninstall Steam
    Install Steam on another drive
    Move Steamapps folder inside the new install folder.

    In the worst case, you're just going to have to go to each game in the library, right click on it , Properties, and click there the "verify integrity".

    The only thing that Steam is going to install in Windows is probably some libraries used by the internal browser (it uses a stripped down Safari browser engine to show the content inside itself)

    If you want to be sure, you can check using Process Explorer from SysInternals Suite - you can find it on Microsoft's site.

  5. #15
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    If Windows is on C:, then yes you do.

    I understand you can host the files on a different drive, but once it makes registry entries, it begins the slow and painful process of win rot.

    Better to use portable apps where possible, and sandbox the rest.

  6. #16
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    How did I install Steam on K: on my computer then ? My whole C: partition is 230 GB and my Steam folder is about 182 GB... it would be crazy to install Steam on C: in the first place.

    Surely it must be possible to install it on any drive. If not....

    Copy the Steam folder into another partition...

    Start the registry editor by typing regedit in Run/Search and pressing Ctrl+Shift+ Enter (to start it in elevated mode/admin rights). If you don't use Ctrl+Shift+Enter, you might find the keys read only and you may not be able to edit them.

    Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Valve\Steam



    Edit SteamExe and SteamPath to point to where steam.exe is on the new drive and where the Steam folder is (keep the / in the paths) ... also change the ModInstallPath and SourceInstallPath

    Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Run

    Find Steam in the list, change it to the new path. The value is "K:\Steam\steam.exe" -silent on my computer. This will only be here if you've configured Steam to automatically start when you log in.

    Restart the computer, and Steam should start from the new drive and run everything from the new drive. If you want to make sure, rename Steam in Program files to Steam2 and see if everything still runs. It will run.

    If there's something wrong, revert the changes back to the original ones and reboot and everything will work as before.

  7. #17
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    You're missing the point.

    You may be moving the files that Steam uses to run onto another drive, but Windows makes sense of the installation through the registry... where is the registry again?

    But the main point is not to make sure that nothing gets written to C:. Rather, the point is that when programs make changes to the registry, it mucks up Windows. The effect is cumulative when lots of keys are being entered and changes made, and in general, I agree that Steam itself is not as bad, say, as Norton or AIM, but I do think it's an offender.

  8. #18
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    It seems that you have this stubborn idea in your head that steam is responsible for screwing Windows
    Steam actually behaves quite well as far as the Registry is concerned. Esspecially compared to others, where M$ itself is its worst offender. Steam installs, writes stuff in registry and thats it, it doesn't rewrite in registry ever 5 minutes.

    Yes, portable apps (eg ccleaner, and others) are a lot better; i would even argue that batch-files are even better; but it is what it is... and as i said, there are far worse offenders.

    I would not worry toomuch about what steam does in the registry; what it does to (video)memorywith its overlay is far , far worse.

    As for registry,... there are tools for cleaning/maintaining the registry.


    As for steam, it has been pointed out that you can install it anywhere, preferably on another drive.

    However, since you have SSD, this nifty little app "steam mover" allows you to put individual games onto your C: drive.
    In most cases that is not needed, but there are a few games **cough**rage**cough** that benefit from launching off an SSD.

    http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover


    As for Virtualisation.... Win7 comes with XP emulation (M$ VirtualPC) out of the box for Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate. But you could install Virtual PC and make your own XP image in it.

    Unfortunately.. VPC emulates an SVGA (S3 Trio) card... which is not exactly well suited to play anything more complex as solitare.

    There are other VM emulators, but the ones that can actually use the underlaying GPU to its fullest are rare, and not free.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Virtual_PC
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...rtual_machines


    Now, if you want a "clean" Windows... just install a 2nd copy , either on the same partition, or second partition, or on your "D:\" drive... and dual boot
    Reality is futile; you will be assimilated by (your) perception.

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