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Urzu 7 2012-01-01 04:39

Backing up PC game saves
I'd like to know how to back up PC game saves to an SD card. I was thinking that it might be as simple as copy and paste a folder, but I don't really know if that is the case, and I figured this part of the forum is a good place to ask.

How do you successfully back up PC game saves for Steam and retail copies of games, and how do you make use of them when reloading a game or reloading a game after reformatting a hard drive.

I'm getting into PC gaming, and I have a habit of backing up most things on my computer from time to time, in case a virus forces me to reinstall Windows, reformat my hard drive, etc.

sa547 2012-01-01 04:58

Most game saves are now located on My Documents, which makes it convenient to back them up. However, certain games (i.e. Starcraft, COD4:MW) have their saves and player data located in the same directory as the game, or (in the case of Need for Speed Underground 2 and some others) within x:\documents and settings\<user>\local settings\application data\.

spikexp 2012-01-01 14:03

A small program I have in my bookmark but never tried.
You might want to take a look, I've heard good thing about it.

Vexx 2012-01-05 05:10

It depends on the game... some games store the saves in their own folders, some store them in My Documents, some store them in "hidden folders" in the Appdata area (which should invoke justifiable homicide). Usually they're titled something that makes sense like "Saves" or "Gamesaves". Just browse around in your steam game folder and in your My Documents area.

Skyrim, for example, stores stuff in the "My Games" subfolder under Documents called the "Skyrim" folder. For Skyrim, I'm actually using a profile game save manager that organizes by character so its much simpler to run several characters in parallel. It's called TES V Save Game Manager and is available on the Nexus site. It has a feature to back up all your profiles (characters and their savegames) anywhere you select. There are a dozen or so others if that one doesn't float your boat.

Urzu 7 2012-01-05 17:39

Thanks for the help, guys. It looks like for many games, backing up saves is easy.

blaze0041 2012-01-07 07:57

Out of curiosity, which games are you backing up your save files for?

Urzu 7 2012-01-07 23:10

First up is Skyrim. I bought a bunch of games from that Steam sale, so there are games I'd want to back up from that, too.

Other games I'd want to back up saves for: Dragon Age Origins, Fallout New Vegas, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City. I own all those games on PC except Batman AC. I don't own it yet. I hear there are some issues to work out on the PC version. Saves getting corrupted and such.

Davkilla101 2012-01-07 23:20

The Mass Effect games are ridiculously easy to back up ( i know that for a fact), As well as the F:NV saves, you'll (usually) find them all in the My Documents folder (If you're using windows), if it's not in the My Documents folder then it's probably in your steam folder under Steamapps/[username]/[game] or something like that, it varies from person to person and from game to game. I can't say anything about the other games you mentioned as i never played them, sorry. Hope this helps.

Edit: You can also get your save files and use a compressor like WinZip, PowerISO, MagicISO, etc. and then click and drag the new .zip or .ISO file into a storage device like the SD card you wanted to store it. Also be aware that some games tend to make huge save files, Like Crysis (I played that game twice and my jaw hit the floor when i saw the size of the folder... A whopping +600MBs)

blaze0041 2012-01-08 00:15

As pointed out by Vexx, Skyrim stores it's save files in "C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\My Games\Skyrim". Fallout: New Vegas is also saved in the My Games folder ("FalloutNV").
Can't say I know where the others are located though. It's a little sad when there are many games that don't take full advantage of Steam Cloud, especially the mostly single-player games (e.g. Serious Sam HD and BFE- whilst it syncs your profile, non-video settings and overall progress, it does not sync quick and auto saves, only manual saves).
In some cases, such as Skyrim, I use Windows Live Mesh to synchronise and back up my save files- it's quite easy to use. It does have the unfortunate limitation of not being to sync any folder in the AppData folder.
You could try Synctoy 2.0 as well, though it only has a manual sync method (though I think you can use the Task Scheduler to automate the process), but it is overall more powerful than Windows Live Mesh.

Urzu 7 2012-01-08 03:18

What are Steam Cloud and Windows Live Mesh?

blaze0041 2012-01-08 04:37


Originally Posted by Urzu 7 (Post 3937858)
What are Steam Cloud and Windows Live Mesh?

Steam Cloud is a part of Steam itself (or to be more precise, Steamworks), which stores user information, preferences and game saves (though some games do not synchronise game saves) on Valve's servers, and synchronises this data to other computers that you log into.
In the picture below, notice the highlighted column to see which games support this function (you can ignore the question mark icon for now):
Below... DEHR is one game that syncs all game saves. Portal 2 as well. RAGE does not. SS3:BFE only syncs manual saves. TF2, as it is multiplayer-only, only syncs user preferences.
You can also check if a game supports Steam Cloud by right-clicking on the game in the list, select "Properties", and select the "Updates" tab. If it does show the Steam Cloud section, then the game supports Steam Cloud. Of course, only games bought from Steam (or games bought at bricks-and-mortar/digital retail that require Steam anyway), and only some games have this feature anyway.

Windows Live Mesh is essentially combination of the older Windows Live Sync and Live Mesh Beta. It allows file sync between computers and Skydrive as well as remote desktop functions (i.e. remote control your PC). It requires a Windows Live ID to function.

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