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Old 08-06-2005, 02:10 PM   #1
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Running Steam off a Thumb Drive

WARNING: TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK. I DO NOT KNOW HOW THIS MAY EFFECT YOUR COMPUTER(S) AND/OR YOUR USB THUMB DRIVE AND/OR YOUR MP3 PLAYER AND/OR ANYTHING ELSE USED FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS MAY EVEN BRAKE SOME VALVE RULE, I REALLY DON'T KNOW. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT MAY HAPPEN TO THE THINGS LISTED ABOVE.

Does anyone know if it would be posible to run steam off a USB Thumb Drive?

I have a 1gb thumbdrive and it would be very cool if I could boot TFC off of it from any computer I use. In the past I have downloaded steam onto other computers and log in but it take FOREVER to update steam and then update TFC and then download other stuff needed for the server.

Has anyone tried this or know someone who has?
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:16 PM   #2
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You could probably put the GCF files on the drive. Downlead Steam, put them in the SteamApps folder, ta-da. No need to update (and even if it does have to update it'll take a few seconds instead of half an hour).
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:16 PM   #3
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hah, my valve directory's 10 times the size. maybe an ipod, but i dunno how those work
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mervaka
hah, my valve directory's 10 times the size.
Yeah, my Steam's got 11 GB. But there are three users on it.
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mervaka
hah, my valve directory's 10 times the size. maybe an ipod, but i dunno how those work
An iPod would work as well. It may even work better because it's a hard drive. But Thumb Drive are soooo much cooler...
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:23 PM   #6
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i remember my tfc foldier hitting 8gig, there were a few thousand end game bmps in there :P
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
An iPod would work as well. It may even work better because it's a hard drive. But Thumb Drive are soooo much cooler...
They also aren't propiatary and require expensive battery replacements.


I don't know why Mac when that way. Seriously.

Anyway, long as you got enough room it'll fit just fine. You should defanately do it. It would be badass.
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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Well don't include the tfc folder then. Just download some of your fav custom maps instead and what else is needed (CFG files, customizations).

You don't need all GCFs either, only about four of them, and they can be compressed 2:1. Or use the old Steam TFC installer.
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Old 08-06-2005, 05:00 PM   #9
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Late tonight after work I'll try to see if you can install steam off a thumb drive. I'll report back tonight

If I pull this off this could make some major news on the web
(Hackaday anyone?)
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Old 08-06-2005, 07:23 PM   #10
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I found some free time.
I'm going ot start by simply copying the whole valve folder onto the drive and put the dirve into a computer without steam and seeing if it will boot off the drive.

If that doesn't work, I'll try to install steam onto the drive from scratch.
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Old 08-06-2005, 07:53 PM   #11
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WARNING: TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK. I DO NOT KNOW HOW THIS MAY EFFECT YOUR COMPUTER(S) AND/OR YOUR USB THUMB DRIVE AND/OR YOUR MP3 PLAYER AND/OR ANYTHING ELSE USED FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS MAY EVEN BRAKE SOME VALVE RULE, I REALLY DON'T KNOW. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT MAY HAPPEN TO THE THINGS LISTED ABOVE.

Alright.
So I copyed the whole Vavle folder onto my 1 gig thumbdrive.
Now all I had installed under valve was HL and TFC. I beleve both were fully installed and ready to play off line.
I plugged the card into a USB 2.0 port on the sony computer downstairs.
I opened the card, Valve --> Steam --> Steam.exe
I opened steam and it had the old setting which were set to the computer I draged it from. Since my friend was using it, it had his name. Now it had lower setting BC my laptop can't handle the ones I normaly play with. So I turned up the settings and found a server I like (-=Mr=- or something ike that is tag. It's a dust bowl server.)
But apon entering you have to install their anoying wavs :P
Having not been on that server using the copy of steam I copied, it downloaded the wavs to the card
When I finaly got in, I jumped around for a second, took a few shoots and sure enough, it was working. I didn't try mic speackign BC I didn't have a mic with me. But it works at %100.

I would post some pics and stuff but there really isn't anythign to take pics of. If you have any ideas, post in here.

Anyone else want to give it a try?

WARNING: TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK. I DO NOT KNOW HOW THIS MAY EFFECT YOUR COMPUTER(S) AND/OR YOUR USB THUMB DRIVE AND/OR YOUR MP3 PLAYER AND/OR ANYTHING ELSE USED FOR THIS PROJECT. THIS MAY EVEN BRAKE SOME VALVE RULE, I REALLY DON'T KNOW. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT MAY HAPPEN TO THE THINGS LISTED ABOVE.
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:19 PM   #12
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Very cool Mooga. Big props.
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:23 PM   #13
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Thanks AK.
Later tonight (if I have time) I'll give it a try on the O-T servers.

It'll be cool to see what this turns into, if anything...
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:32 PM   #14
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Were there any performance hits due to the USB bottleneck?
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Old 08-06-2005, 10:45 PM   #15
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the OS will load the game intpo RAM/Virtual memory on the main Hard Drive so i don't think there would be, apart from on map changes perhaps.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BinaryLife
They also aren't propiatary and require expensive battery replacements.
Thumb drives, aka pen drives, don't require batteries. These items are simply made with flash memory and the only thing keeping you from installing HL to it would be it's capacity. Also, keep in mind that original registry entries will not know to look to the pen drive and that changes will need to be made there unless you are installing it initially to the pen drive. The computer itself simply sees it as another drive. Almost forgot, not all flash devices are created equal. There are speed differences in flash memory just like there is in standard memory. Don't pay attention to the name that's given to the drive, pay attention to its specs. The high end drives will show a read speed of up to 24+MB/sec and a write speed of up to 19+MB/sec. Obviously, these speeds effect the drives performance. Also keep in mind that older versions of Windows will not support USB drives.
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:34 AM   #17
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Downloading the security stuff took about 18 seconds which seemed longer.
Downloading the WAV sounds for the server also took slightly longer because it had to copy it to the thumb drive instead to the hard drive.

I really only jumped in to prove that it worked, I'm going to try it now on my main computer. Now my main computer has Steam installed under the "Game" user which means if I use my main user, it doesn't have steam thus I can be sure that it boots off the drive. The only problem is that my main computer only has USB 1.1 so it's posible that loading will take much longer.

I'll report after a few min. of gaming. O-T server, here I come! (This will also be interesting BC O-T is a NEOTF server)

-I would also like to thank eliot from hackaday for posting a link to my thread here. Awesome site, keep it up!-
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:51 AM   #18
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Alright, it's took forever to boot steam off the USB 1.1
A few minets atleast. It may have been becuase of an update but it's connection to steam as I type.

I should also note that it asks you for you r password every time but it remember your account name.

The speed is definetly down because of the USB 1.1. But the drive is still working. the light at the end keeps beating away proving that it's got to be doing something.

And NO GO!

I got this message:
"Steam - Error
Could not connect to Steam network.
This could be due to a problem with your Internet Connection, or with the Steam network. Please visit www.steampowered.com for more info."

I'll try the other computer with USB 2.0 again...
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:30 AM   #19
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Tried with the computer with USB 2.0 again and it worked.
I went onto the O-T server and played maybe 20 min of NEOTF.
The only thing I noticed besides a extended loading time was that if you opened Options, it lags for a few seconds and the sound studers before the menu opens up.
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Old 08-07-2005, 04:38 PM   #20
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but only the first time you click options right? subsequent clicks are faster?
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