Steam and Save Games

My E drive is failing and that’s the drive I have all my steam games installed on. Is there any way to ensure when i remove the drive I will still be able to reinstall steam and access my games.

The main ones are Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, Kingdoms of Amalur and Lego Batman 1 and 2.

Are the saved in to the steam directory or my c drive etc etc.

Any advice would be great.

At least two of those games use the Steam Cloud to maintain your saves (BL2, Torchlight 2), so that will help.

I just went through this. Basically I had to find each specific directory in which games are saved for each specific game, which are sadly all over the place. I saved those to a backup drive, and when I reinstalled the games, I copied back the save games from the backup drive. Worked fine, thankfully.

The PITA is finding where the games are saved. I suggest when you copy them, you mirror the file path so that you can easily find them again.

Good luck!

One location that’s often overlooked is the ‘userdata’ directory under the Steam directory, which can contain config files and save games for Steam games. A bunch of these are probably also already covered by Steam Cloud, but it couldn’t hurt to grab a copy of this directory just in case.

Would it work if I uninstalled everything from Steam except the few game sI want to keep and then use one of the move directory tricks for steam and move it to a new standalone drive?

Scrap that, probably some corruption in there as well

The problem is a lot of the saves AREN’T in the Steam directory. I found them in different directories within user -> appdata (i.e. roaming and shit), different directories within my documents (i.e. my games, etc) and so on. Each game puts save files wherever the hell it wants. :/

Well I have narrowed it down to 4 games.

Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2 are in the my documents/my games folder so they should be no problem.

Just need to find Lego Batman 1 and 2 for my son they rest is no issue.

It’s probably in C:\Users(username)\AppData\Roaming

(The AppData folder is hidden.)

OK thanks for all the help, deleted all games through steam except 12, moved the steamapps folder to another drive reinstalled steam and then it updated the games list and they all work.

Then removed the dodgy drive.


This kind of thing would not be a problem if developers gave you the option to decide where you would like your savegames located, like they do with the core game files.

Is there any particular reason they don’t/can’t? Windows certification?

It would help if developers just followed some standard, instead of spreading save games across a vast number of potential locations including your documents folder, the “Saved Games” folder they added to windows, and any number of hidden app data folders. Valve could probably enforce such a standard that would become the industry default if they wanted, but they take a pretty hands off approach.

As the old joke goes, the great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from!

Valve does kind of have their own standard already, the ‘userdata’ directory and some games do use that for saves, but that only applies to Steam games.

As of Vista, the official Microsoft standard is the special FOLDERID_SavedGames path, which usually resolves to %USERPROFILE%\Saved Games, but apparently it was not part of some versions of .NET.

But that special directory only exists in Vista and above, so any game that wanted to retain XP compatibility would either have to have more complicated code to dynamically determine what directory to use (and introduce other complications, like migrated user data), or they could keep things simple and just code one case that worked fine on XP. The vast majority of games went with the latter.

So what do you do on XP? Well, there wasn’t really any standard at all, so they wound up in various spots, from %AppData% to Documents<game> to their own Saves<game>, or even back under the game’s install directory, if they were older games or the devs just didn’t care about the new VirtualStore protection. And thus the mess we have now.

Why don’t they just prompt you for the location? Well I can’t really speak for their thinking, but I suspect that since they believed that they were following some kind of standard, there really wasn’t any choice to it in their mind, that was just where it had to go. Either that or that 99.9% of people would just stick with the default option anyway, so it just wasn’t worth the bother to even ask.

I think it would be simpler to just have the default save game folder in the main installation folder for every game borderland2/saves and so on. Nothing simpler and easy to find

AFAIR it used to be that way. I think Win XP was the first OS to mess with save game locations.

That’s because XP was the first to require administrator privileges to change things in the program files directory. Plus it was Microsoft’s first consumer-oriented OS that dealt with multiple users decently.

This also has the advantage, when dealing with multiple drives, of having all of the data for a game placed on the drive that you installed the game on. Which in my case is typically because that’s where I had the most room at the time, so I’m not real excited about games deciding to dump several hundred megabytes (or even gigabytes) of saved games onto my C: drive. But there’s a sizable contingent that insist that’s absolutely the wrong behavior and everything should go in a C: user directory because of permissions and multiple users.

Wow, that is really cool. Gonna have to try that next time I upgrade computers. Thanks!

That reminds me, I have to get over my habit of archiving old savegames. I mean, if I ever go back to play old games again, I’m probably going to want to start again from the beginning. The only exception might be unlocks, because “game tax” is annoying.