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Windows 7: Saving games with clean install?


18 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Saving games with clean install?

I currently have two hard-drives with one of them being solely for Windows. My second hard-drive contains all my games and such. If I were to do a clean install on my OS hard-drive, can I retain my games?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2010   #2

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

Typically Windows-based games write to the registry. Even if your games are on your secondary drive, information is written to your primary drive. You will most likely need to reinstall all games.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
Typically Windows-based games write to the registry. Even if your games are on your secondary drive, information is written to your primary drive. You will most likely need to reinstall all games.
That would suck since I have over 500 GB of games that took a good amount of time to install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

There may be a handful that can repair install themselves, or run from its folder, but I wouldnt count on it.
I think the large majority will give a error of some form "such & such is missing, please re-install"

Just as Lemur said.


It does suck a bit but, look at this way.
With a clean install you'd be better off re-installing everything clean anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Would backing up the registry work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Omlet View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
Typically Windows-based games write to the registry. Even if your games are on your secondary drive, information is written to your primary drive. You will most likely need to reinstall all games.
That would suck since I have over 500 GB of games that took a good amount of time to install.
Ain't that the truth! The only real advice that I can give would be to find out how and where each specific game saves it's character and/or level data, and how to make backups.

For example, with Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction, if I go to the install folder (default "C:\Program Files\Diablo II"), there is another folder inside called "save". I backup that folder, and then if I reinstall Diablo II later for whatever reason, then I can restore all my characters and maps by restoring that folder.

Each game would be different, but at least you won't loose your progress because of a reinstall, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dzomlija View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Omlet View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
Typically Windows-based games write to the registry. Even if your games are on your secondary drive, information is written to your primary drive. You will most likely need to reinstall all games.
That would suck since I have over 500 GB of games that took a good amount of time to install.
Ain't that the truth! The only real advice that I can give would be to find out how and where each specific game saves it's character and/or level data, and how to make backups.

For example, with Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction, if I go to the install folder (default "C:\Program Files\Diablo II"), there is another folder inside called "save". I backup that folder, and then if I reinstall Diablo II later for whatever reason, then I can restore all my characters and maps by restoring that folder.

Each game would be different, but at least you won't loose your progress because of a reinstall, right?
The thing is I have a a separate hard-drive just for games and nothing else. If I were to do a clean install, I would think the games would still work considering no files were altered (the config and save files are usually located in the documents folder, but I can just back that up). The only thing I can see going wrong is a missing registry entry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

A complete registry back up and restore would defeat the entire purpose of a clean install though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post
A complete registry back up and restore would defeat the entire purpose of a clean install though.
You indeed have a point. I would do a normal upgrade but I like to start fresh and clean to avoid any issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Omlet View Post
The thing is I have a a separate hard-drive just for games and nothing else. If I were to do a clean install, I would think the games would still work considering no files were altered (the config and save files are usually located in the documents folder, but I can just back that up). The only thing I can see going wrong is a missing registry entry.
That may work, but at the end of the day, a game is nothing more than just another program on the system, and these are never easy to back, if at all possible. There are always registry entries that need replacing, and what about other files that may be required and are located in folders other than the primary install folder? These are all factors that need to be taken into account.

In the rare cases where the registry is easy to find, and all required files are in the same place, like Diablo 2, then your idea of exporting the registry may help, but then only if you restrict yourself to the relevant keys.

For example, if I want to backup the entire Diablo 2 game folder, I need to export the registry key shown in the following screenshot:

Saving games with clean install?-image1.jpg
Diablo 2 Registry Keys

From there, I only need to backup the main install folder and all it's contents. I can actually away with this, because several months ago, Blizzard Entertainment release the 1.13 patch for Diablo 2, which allow the game to be played without requiring the CD to be present. Their motivation was that most people will want to protect their game discs from damage, and with Diablo 2 being a 10 year old game, will be hard to replace. So they allow the game to be played without the disc. This has the advantage of also making the game easy to backup.

Perhaps if you go to the manufacturers website for any of your games, you can find a similar facility. Possibly even more information on how to properly backup each game?


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 Saving games with clean install?




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