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how to reinstall games from an external HD?

JakdstripperJakdstripper British Columbia, CanadaPosts: 2,208Member Uncommon

bear with me for i'm not all that computer savy.

ok so i bought an external hard drive, for the sole purpouse of being able to store some of the mmos i dont play very often. the idea was that if i one day i get that itch to play one of those game (which happens quite often to me) i dont have to wait 12+ hours to redownload it from the website. i can just take it from the externa hard drive and reinstall it, updated the latest patches and go.


however i haven't been albe to do this. i can copy the games onto the external HD but when i try put them back on my computer it never works. the files do get transfered back onto the computer( i usually just drag n drop in my Program files folder) but i just can't seem to install and run the game. every time i try to launch the launcher it gives some random error.


what am i missing? what exactly am i doing wrong? what are the steps to reinstall the game from the hard drive properly?



PS: what i usually do is open my external HD and drag n drop the game file into my computer's Program Files folder, then i try to launch the game launcher.....which of course doesnt work. is there some sort of instal file i have to look for?




  • BrenelaelBrenelael MainePosts: 3,797Member Uncommon

    A lot of programs (Most in fact) do a lot more to your system during the install procedure than just put the files in the game directory. Most will also make crucial changes to the Windows Registry that the game needs in order to run and they will also copy Dynamic Link Libraries (.DLL) to other places in your Windows Installation folders. These are important changes to your system that the game needs in order for it to mesh better with your particular Windows Installation. Without these system changes you will get errors like "XXXXX.DLL is missing" or other rather cryptic error codes. Unless you can get a rip of an install DVD to back up just copying the files won't do it for you.


    One way around this is when you go to reinstall your files download the current installer and run it. When it comes time to download the actual game files during the install process interupt it and copy your backup over instead. This won't work for all games but should work for a lot of them. Other than that you're just stuck downloading them any time you want to install the game.




  • IlliusIllius Toronto, ONPosts: 4,142Member Uncommon

    For future purposes of storing games on your external HD, I would suggest not copying over the already installed directory but rather taking the initial game file that you grab from the web site, the one you use to actually run and install the game and just save that.

    That way when you feel like braking out some of your other games all you do is run the install files from your hard drive and it will once again install itself onto your computer while making all the proper connections to all the .dll files that may or may not be missing.

    Once it is installed you can then patch the games and play.  This process might even take up less room on your external drive if you happen to have issues with how much room you have left over.

    No required quests! And if I decide I want to be an assassin-cartographer-dancer-pastry chef who lives only to stalk and kill interior decorators, then that's who I want to be, even if it takes me four years to max all the skills and everyone else thinks I'm freaking nuts. -Madimorga-

  • Man1acMan1ac EnglandPosts: 1,428Member

    Yea, it's the initial .exe insall file you need to just put onto your External HDD.

    We're all Geniuses. Most of us just don't know it.

  • Cathleen81Cathleen81 San Francisco, CAPosts: 12Member

    One way around this is when you go to reinstall your files download the current installer and run it.

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