Steam Games over USB 2.0 is painful

450GB of games Somehow I have over 450GB of games installed. I went a little mad installing them when I bought this PC last year but now that I need the space I don’t really want to download them again. Luckily I have a number of external USB drives so I started copying games over yesterday evening.

Out of curiosity I used Steam Mover to copy and symlink the games back to the C: as I wondered how well games would play over and old USB 2.0. It didn’t work well. It was very painful. Assassin’s Creed wouldn’t even load but crashed on the Ubisoft logo. Arkham Asylum loaded but the graphics of the main menu moved like molasses. I think I’ll use Steam’s backup system to make archived copies of the games as that will compress the files too saving a bit more space.

External drives are simply enclosures with real disks in them so I opened up one of my external drives to see if I could hook it directly to my PC internally but the disk in it is using a different interface to the one in my PC. The last time I went diving into a PC was when IDE was the standard and SATA was only just becoming mainstream!

144KB seemed so big back then

So, I’m going to backup games to the drive instead of copying them. I’ll also dump another copy of my photos there too as I started using Backblaze (aff) to do remote backups. It may take some time to squirt 681GB of data into the cloud though. Eventually I’ll have to buy a second drive for my PC but that’s something I’ll look at in the future.


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2 thoughts on “Steam Games over USB 2.0 is painful


  1. Is there an alternative in which you can offload most of the less intensive games onto the USB drive by creating a new Steam library folder on it? Specifically less intensive and maybe even older games, I was always able to run most of the Command and Conquer series off of a USB2 drive a few years ago.


  2. I could do that but I was hoping to free up space so that required me to move the biggest games off!

    I’ve since moved my photos on to that disk, so I have 3 copies of every photo now on 3 separate disks. I’m slowly uploading them to Backblaze too but there’s 757GB of data left to upload. It’ll take a few months to upload that lot methinks.

    It’s nice to see the space left not be red again when I look at Windows Explorer..

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