Moving from a PC laptop to a desktop, the file transfers -
February 7, 2013 7:41 PM   Subscribe

Moving games and files from a working laptop to a new desktop. Both will be WIN 7...

I'm debating buying a desktop as a primary replacement for my laptop, which is mainly used for gaming and internet browsing. What is the most efficient way of getting many games from the laptop to the desktop. Most are steam games (Skyrim etc) and I'd really love to avoid hours of downloading if possible.
posted by efalk to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Honestly, just redownloading from steam is the answer. You can't generally just copy games over, for DRM and other reasons. Also, you can just download games as you want to play them, you don't need to do them all at once. When I do it, I download one game, start playing it and download the others in the background.
posted by empath at 7:47 PM on February 7, 2013

For Steam, you can do a Steam backup to an external drive then restore the games from that. Right click an installed Steam game and choose Backup Game Files.
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:48 PM on February 7, 2013

OH wow, I had no idea that this existed. Seems like backup is the right answer.
posted by empath at 7:50 PM on February 7, 2013

I just did this, and it took awhile. I didn't move any games, but I did move files. My problem was programs I didn't have the CD for and software incompatibilities that made some equipment not work between Windows XP and Windows 7. Everything else I moved w/no problem w/the help of a 1TB Harddrive. I just copied and moved them. But I moved carefully (and slowly) b/c I'm not a whiz at this like a lot of others. But, no disasters either. Good Luck.
posted by CollectiveMind at 1:01 AM on February 8, 2013

Backup makes sense but the instructions you really want are the ones for moving a steam installation. You'll also want to make sure you copy your Documents directory where any 3rd party saves will live.
posted by TimeDoctor at 1:54 AM on February 8, 2013

I've moved Steam games around a coupl eof times - just copy the whole dirtectory over. You might have to reset Steam (procedure is something like delete .blob file and when you start Steam it does a fix thing). The problems I've had have been with third part games running under Steam, where they have DLLs hidden away in a system folder. Make sure you drop the Steam folder where it was ion the original directory tree.

Apart from games, you might have to recreate desktop shortcuts, bookmarks etc.

Just do one thing at a time, test it, and restore if it doesn't look right.
posted by arzakh at 5:29 AM on February 8, 2013

You don't have to use the internal backup tool, just shut down Steam cleanly on the old PC and then copy the entire "steamapps" folder (found inside the "Steam" folder within your "Program Files" folder) to the new computer.

I've done this when I've replaced the hard drive in my computer and its far quicker than re-downloading all the game data again.
posted by mr_silver at 8:33 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

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