I’ve restored all my data to the new drive, restored the previous backups to a new location, and reconciled what pieces of that to keep and what’s been replaced, so now I can set up backups to run again and everything’s back to normal. I just have to watch how much data I put on this drive since it’s an 8TB drive but I only have a 4TB backup drive for now.
But, since I’ve merged two drives into one, a lot of stuff has moved around, and in particular, a lot of games that were previously installed to D:\Games are now under C:\Games, not where they were originally installed. So, is this a problem? It depends on where they came from…
Steam and any games installed through it are actually pretty easy to move around. Move or restore the entire ‘Steam’ directory to its new location, go to there and run ‘steam.exe’ directly, and it’ll grind away for a while repairing things and then pop up and continue on as normal. Piece of cake, and this alone accounted for around half the games I had.
Games installed from GOG were a bit trickier. The launcher was already installed on C:\, but upon running it, the list of installed games was now empty. Fortunately you can tell it to scan folders for previously installed games, and after selecting the new C:\Games location, it churned away for a while and then most of the games suddenly reappeared in the list and worked fine. There were a couple quirks: We Happy Few didn’t initially get found, but rerunning the scan on just its folder then managed to find it. And Disco Elysium just could not be detected no matter where I tried to scan, so I’ll probably have to reinstall it.
Epic Games Launcher:
Dealing with the Epic launcher was also a bit tricky, but in a different way. The games disappeared from the install list, as expected, but there’s no way to scan for existing installs. Instead, what you have to do is set the default install directory to somewhere on the new drive, go to install a game, find the directory name that it would install to, and move your copy of the game’s files to that same location before starting the install. Then, start the install, and the launcher will recognize that ‘oh, there are some files already here’, and do a verify/repair on them instead of a full install from scratch.
Origin / EA App:
The Origin launcher has been replaced by some new ‘EA App’, and unfortunately it seems to have lost the ability to tell it that a game has moved to a different location, which I think the old one had. Trying to do install swap tricks like with the Epic launcher didn’t work either, so it seems like there isn’t a good way to get it to reuse my existing install files and I’ll have to reinstall all of these from scratch. Not great, EA.
I had good luck with MMOs, though. With every single one I have installed, between Guild Wars 2, EQ, EQ2, Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, and Lord of the Rings Online, all I had to do was run its launcher in its new location and everything worked fine, no repair or reinstallation or anything needed.
There are also a bunch of other games that were installed on their own rather than from a launcher, or were installed from disc, or needed some modding to run on modern systems, and I’m still not sure how many of these are affected by the move. I’ll have to deal with them on a case-by-case basis, whenever I get around to playing them. My modded Minecraft instances are fine, for example, since MultiMC doesn’t really care where it’s installed, and I just had to adjust the path to the Java runtime that I previously had on D:\. I have a heavily-modded Skyrim install and had to change a bunch of drive letters for paths in Mod Organizer 2’s .ini file.
So, there are a small handful of games I’ll have to reinstall from scratch, but otherwise, having to move a whole ton of games from one drive to another hasn’t been too disruptive. Way less of a hassle than I was expecting, at least.