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View Full Version : Installing a Steam Game whilst offline



Danny252
25-11-2012, 11:09 PM
To set the scene, the internet companies in this country are all useless and, despite endless attempts by me, can't get around to glue two wires together and connect me up for another few weeks.

So, I'm stuck with mobile broadband on my laptop and nothing for my desktop PC. As an added advantage, Steam is specifically blocked by the provider there (yay!).

Now, I can get around this with the laptop by taking it into Uni and stealing "all the bandwidth!" and downloading things there, but the desktop can do magic things like "run games at more than 2 fps".

I can't use the normal trick of copying /steamapps/common/<game> across (or whatever flashy in-built backup system Steam supposedly has) if the game is Steamworks-enabled, as this checks to see if the Steam client agrees that the game is installed and that I own it. Steam won't pick up on the files being there until I hit "install", and I can't hit "install" because it's in offline mode, and I can't get the desktop online as it's a bit too heavy to drag to anywhere with internet!

So, is there any way to get steam to recognise that the files are there, and it's installed? As an added complication, if you really want a challenge, how do I get it to do that with a game I've bought after the desktop was last online (i.e. the Steam client doesn't know that I've bought it, as my library list hasn't been updated from the Steam servers since September or something)?

(Yes, I admit this sounds very much like "how do I get around Steamworks DRM?" - probably because I'm trying to do things the DRM was never designed to do. So yes, a crack of the game would probably do the job, but...)

ColOfNature
26-11-2012, 12:13 AM
You might be able to do what you need using the "Backup and Restore Games..." option in the Steam menu: download game using university bandwidth; click "Steam" in top-left corner of Steam window then "Backup etc"; follow simple backup procedure; copy backed up files to desktop; use restore process.

If it still wants to connect before it'll let you start those games you could try copying the winui.cfg from the laptop copy of Steam to the desktop copy (after shutting down Steam on the laptop and making sure it works in offline). Backup the original one before you overwrite it, just in case it does something screwy.

DISCLAIMER: I've never actually tried doing this, although it ought to work. But if you break your computer or burn down your house or something I'll accept no responsibility, and may even laugh at you for taking my advice in the first place.


edit: Alternatively you could just try copying the entire Steam folder over. You'd lose any games that were already there, but at least you'd get your new ones. You could even backup the original Steam folder and switch between them. Or copy the Steam folder from the desktop to the laptop, add some games, then copy it back.

Danny252
26-11-2012, 02:45 AM
edit: Alternatively you could just try copying the entire Steam folder over. You'd lose any games that were already there, but at least you'd get your new ones. You could even backup the original Steam folder and switch between them. Or copy the Steam folder from the desktop to the laptop, add some games, then copy it back.

I tried copying ClientRegistry.blob around, but Steam then started asking to connect to the internet, as some sort of "file's wrong, need to chat with server" response. I'll fiddle around with winui.cfg too, as perhaps you need both together as a pair to do it, but to be honest I don't see plain directory copying as being too viable - otherwise anyone could copy their mate's steam folder and run everything in it, as long as it's offline!

(After a bit more thinking on it, what I'm wanting to do probably isn't possible without ridiculous amounts of in-depth knowledge of Steam and skills with hex editors...)

Feldspar
26-11-2012, 05:22 AM
Can you not use your mobile connection with your desktop PC? At least temporarily, and then use a proxy server to update Steam. No idea if how viable this is. Honestly, I think you'll have to go back to whatever it was folks did before Steam.

Danny252
26-11-2012, 11:32 AM
I've tried using proxifiers on Steam, and it connects (well, stops telling me it can't connect) but then sits there trying to update - Valve don't have any in-built proxy functionality as that would allow you to use a Russian IP and buy at Russian prices.

Aah, those pre-steam days, when you actually had to do something other than click three times in the Steam client to get a game... I can keep going with what I have installed, it's just all getting a bit samey after 2 months with only singleplayer!