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Running Games off an external hard drive

by da newb / August 10, 2007 7:27 AM PDT

I am going to be running Boot Camp on my Mac and I am running out of space on my hard drive. I don't want to partition too much or too little space (and I'm running out of storage in general) so I decided that it would be nice to run games off an external hard drive.

I plan on using an ESATA drive and I plan on running games such as Left 4 Dead, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Half Life 2, UT3. Essentially, the newest games (except Half Life 2). Would an ESATA drive be fast enough? Would I need to modify the external hard drive in any way? Is it even possible to run games of and external HD?

Thanks in advance.

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Maybe. . .
by Coryphaeus / August 10, 2007 9:06 AM PDT

Some games will only install on the C: drive to prevent piracy. Some older games do not care. Try it. It'll either work or it won't.

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I don't want to waste money
by da newb / August 10, 2007 10:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Maybe. . .

I don't want to have to spend extra money to get something that doesn't work. And normally when you partition a hard drive it creates drives other than C: so it wouldn't work on that either?

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Honestly don't know. . .
by Coryphaeus / August 10, 2007 11:33 AM PDT

It totally depends on the game and what the built in code is. As I said, I've installed older games on an internal partitioned drive D: with no problems. Some other games will not install if you try to change the target to anything other than C:. Who knows what the newer games will or will not do? Here is a popular gaming site, maybe you could join the forum and get some information there

Why not go ahead and get the new external drive, move all your other "stuff" to that drive to free up space on the C:?

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Which Games?
by Dahlgren / August 17, 2007 6:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Maybe. . .

I"ve had my hard drives divided into primary (C:) partitions (active and inactive) and extended partitions containing logical drives (D:,E:,etc.) since the days of the 386's and MS-DOS 3.3 and up through today. I also own hundreds of commercial PC games. In all that time I have only come across maybe one or two games that required installation on the C: drive, and they were very old DOS games from the era when hard drives were not common in home computers. Now, maybe it has something to do with the kinds of PC games that I play that I haven't seen this C: drive-only install phenomenon, but in this day and age of huge hard drives and multi-boot systems it would be insane for a game manufacturer to REQUIRE a C: drive install. So, just so I, and others, can know what to watch out for: Which games require installation only on the C: drive?

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Running Games From External Drive
by coldcraft / August 17, 2007 10:29 AM PDT

Yes this can be done,just open the file and send a shortcut of the game icon to your desktop

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Corupption 101
by xXRob771Xx / February 24, 2011 11:08 AM PST

DONT DO THAT IT CAN CAUSE CORUPPTION! 3rd party software/game add-ons (Patchers/Updaters)in their code by default need the game to stay were it is so it can save data ect. Dont try this unless you know what your doing!

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Why external ? Better off with internal !
by VAPCMD / August 18, 2007 12:19 AM PDT

Too easy to drop, knock over or physically damage inadvertently if external.

There's some good reasons to have externals ... mainly portability, perhaps offsite storage but loading programs on 'em isn't one of them.


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If you're using eSATA, perfect.
by TrackStar1682 / August 18, 2007 2:03 AM PDT

I'd just go for it. Chances are you might not have the speed of a RAID array, but it'll run decently. I use an external drive myself for all my documents and music, but I keep all my programs and games on my RAID.

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Once it is up and running
by da newb / August 18, 2007 2:14 AM PDT

Will an external hard drive make load times longer or actually slow down the frame rate? I don't care if I need to wait longer to load.

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da newb should listen to advice given...otherwise
by VAPCMD / August 18, 2007 9:30 AM PDT

what's the point of asking ?

If you do nothing more than read thru this FORUM and see how many have report problems with external drives should get and idea of the problem(s)you will face ... the only question is when.


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It should work
by froasier / August 23, 2007 4:01 AM PDT

eSATA is just as fast as the SATA your internal drive uses, so there should not be a problem there. Some games may require a C: drive install (not sure how many or if any recent ones do), but other than that it should work fine!

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It works
by KnotTubeRight / August 21, 2011 3:27 PM PDT

I do it all the time. All my games are on an external IDE 300 gig hdd via USB 2.0. No problems at all. Windows Vista. Even Steam app and games. No lag, no high latency, no long load times.
May be different on a Mac, but I doubt it, especially with ESATA. You should be golden.

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re: it words
by cedarz / March 29, 2012 8:53 PM PDT
In reply to: It works

so you say it works? i take you work. i have a 2 t lacie external drive and i was curious if it would be slow off of that. my main computer, new macbookpro works fast.
or should i get an ESATA for games?

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Re: will it work
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 29, 2012 9:00 PM PDT
In reply to: re: it words

What happened when you tried? Just uninstall one of your games, reinstall on that drive and see if you're happy with the result.


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All You Gottas Do :P
by MickeyRusso / April 28, 2013 8:19 AM PDT

All you have to do is put all the files onto your hard drive. Then you find the crack for the game and you add it to the files. Then you just play them directly from the hard drive!

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