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Windows 7: Playing game on external hard drive failed

30 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Playing game on external hard drive failed

I installed The Sims 3 onto an external hard drive. Albeit slow, it worked fine for weeks. Unplugged it, plugged it back in, all was well. One day I plugged it in and it wouldn't start up. Saying the game could not be located. I chucked to make sure the drive letter had not changed, and it hadn't. But it randomly stopped working. Tried accessing the game through the drive, and still no luck. I had to uninstall everything and then install it all on my baby hdd in my laptop. Any idea what went wrong?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jul 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home premium

One possibility is that it got corrupted somehow on your drive for some reason. It's not unheard of for games to behave that way because of lost or corrupted data. It doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the drive either. It just happens sometimes.

Another possibility is that you don't have it installed on the same drive as the DRM check program. Probably Origin with Sims 3. Is it installed on the same drive as Origin is? That makes a difference.

Sometimes games will work on an external and different drive for a bit, but when the DRM is checked by Origin or Steam and it's not on the same drive it will start failing to launch because it can't be verified or it thinks it's pirated because it's on a different drive.

One possible cause of this is that you accessed Origin without the drive plugged in and it tried to verify your game only to find it gone. Thus it assumed it was deleted and that you needed to DL it again. Another is simply that it tried to check the default location where it would have installed it, found it wasn't there and assumed the same thing.

I keep all my games on a separate drive from my OS, but I also install Steam, Origin, and Uplay to that same drive as well. I've not had an issue with anything like this since I did it.

I suggest backing up your save games and moving Origin, Steam, and any other DL or DRM service to the same drive that you keep your games on. It should do away with issues like this. You may have to redownload some games, but the games aren't as prone to suddenly not working if they're on the same drive as their DRM checking programs.

Steam isn't that hard to relocate. I'm not sure about Origin or Uplay as I've had those on a separate drive since I downloaded them and have never tried moving them.

Anyway, here's how to move Steam:

First, make sure the client is closed. Go to the little arrow on the right hand side of your taskbar and close it from the window. It's defaulted to load on startup so if you haven't changed that setting it should be there. Go to the folder where you installed Steam and delete all the folders inside except SteamApps and the Steam.exe file. Once you do that, move the folder to the new drive, for example if you put it in C:\program files and want it moved to D:\ just cut and paste the Steam folder to D:\. Let it load all the way, it may take a while depending on how many games you have. Once done, run the Steam.exe and it should perform an update after you log into your account. Once it's done restart and Steam will now be in it's new location along with your games and should work fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I didn't even think that Origin being on my laptop hard drive could be the problem. I will definitely try that. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Playing game on external hard drive failed

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