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I have a relatively old system and wish to install The Witcher 3 from Steam in my SSD drive in order to get load times down. However, my SSD (D:) has only 37GB total, and the game installation allegedly needs 38GB. I also heard that SSD's need about 10% free space in order to perform well.

So what I am willing to do is split the installation between my SSD and a larger SATA drive using symlinks. i.e.:

  1. Download and install the game in a Steam library in the SATA
  2. Copy most of the files to a Steam library in the SSD
  3. Make symlinks in the SSD pointing to some files in the SATA
  4. Edit the game's manifest file so Steam believes it is installed in the SSD (Boltclock's answer here)

So my questions are:

  1. Will this break some kind of Steam's or in-game checksums?
  2. What kind of files (or which specific files/folders if someone knows) are less frequently used and thus will have less impact on load times if i put them in the SATA drive?
  3. Do I have to keep some free space in the SSD for temporary files and the like?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is the wrong place to post it.

EDIT1: In this question, user Viper_Sb hints at something like this being possible, but it is not clear how.

EDIT2: Actually, the question mentioned in EDIT1 only deals with linking the whole game directory, not splitting it's parts.

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    I asked a question similar to this, but in relation to mods instead of core game files. I feel like splitting core files around would completely bork the game. – Kaizerwolf Aug 15 '16 at 15:43
  • Kaizerwolf, do you still have the link to your question? Maybe the comments will be useful. I feel it would not work straight away too, but i believe there could be a workaround using symlinks or hardlinks. They are commonly used in Unix systems to do similar things, but i've never seen it done on Windows – gabrahao Aug 15 '16 at 16:58
  • Here you go – Kaizerwolf Aug 15 '16 at 17:50
  • I know Steam supports having different games installed on different drives (so installing all of Game 1 on Drive A and all of Game 2 on Drive B), but I've never heard of installing a single game across multiple drives. FWIW, when I read the question you linked in your EDIT 1 note, it reads to me like he's talking about installing 1 whole game in 1 place and another whole game in another - I don't really see anything that suggests you could split a single game across multiple drives. – GeneralMike Aug 15 '16 at 18:17
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    Bear in mind: Today it's The Witcher 3. Tomorrow it's going to be a different game. Instead of MacGyvering a solution for every new toy you get, invest in some cheap-but-effective upgrades that will give you better long-term performance and stability. – Iszi Aug 16 '16 at 17:49
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It will work.

Steam is not going to get low level access to even figure out that you setup your symlinks to connect files together from different drives. It'll simply use standard OS calls to access those files, and it'll run without any issues.

I don't have any source, but if you created your symlinks properly, this is how they are supposed to work. If not, then there's a problem with the symlinks, not Steam.

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