I got hit with a virus a while ago and after wiping the computer’s main disk, I also used that as an excuse to stick a bigger second disk in it, which arrived today. The new drive is up and running.
I have a LOT of steam games. I could just install steam and download them all again, but that would probably take me a couple of weeks to do. All of the files are backed up onto an external drive though. What do I have to do (after installing steam, I assume) to copy all of these files onto the new drive and have steam recognize them as being installed?
If I just copy the entire folder over, will that overwrite and destroy anything important from the newly installed version of steam?
FWIW not too long ago I had to wipe my drive and re-install and I had not done a Steam backup. I also have a fair number of games and had to resort to downloading them one-by-one.
It is a daunting task but as it turned out it was not so bad. I am only usually playing 1-3 of them in any given week so I simply installed the ones I most cared about playing right then which, while a bit of a drag, was not too awful.
Then, at night before I would go to bed, I’d tell it to install another game. Before I’d go to work I’d tell it to install another (and so on).
In this manner I got them all back and while it took a week or so I was never put-out by it. I was playing what I wanted to with only a few hour wait for those first few downloads. The rest came when I wasn’t using the PC anyway.
I’ve tried “Steam Backup” three times now, and every time the backup hasn’t worked. It generates a big file, sure, but when I go to reinstall from that file, Steam won’t recognize it and I end up downloading the entire game again. I have no idea why. This is my main and only complaint with Steam.
I had an identical problem recently. Just like you, I had a back-up of my Steam data. I copied the data from my steam apps folder into a new installation of Steam, and then right-clicked on the game I wanted to play once I had opened Steam. I’m unsure of the exact steps I took from there, but from the drop-down menu, I think I navigated to ‘properties,’ and then to the tab that allows you to ‘verify the integrity’ of the game data. This re-installed the system files that were located outside of the main Steam folder and allowed me to play the game. I doubt this was the correct way to go about recovering my games, and I’d definitely recommend using the official instructions linked by Whack-a-mole, if they work for you.