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2 Installations with help of hard or symbolic links to save space

  • Has anyone manage to get two installations of GTA to work with the use of hard of symbolic links? I don't have the room on my SSD to have 2 full GTAV installations. But the files I don't modify don't need to be on two places I thought. So I can hard or symbolic link these files.

    My first try didden't go that well. GTA / RSC give me a error something was wrong. Has someone a good tutorial to do it? I think many people can use that, SSD space is not got it to work this way, can you help?

    I know there are also mod managers, but I don't know which one to choose, most of them are not updated and in theory hardlinking files most work.

  • @Marsmillo The only way I could see this working, is if you installed the game into a location that wasn't on your SSD. That would give you a registry setup pointing to that location. So that might be X:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto V for instance.

    Then you would create a copy of just the Grand Theft Auto V part of that path, onto your SSD and a second one somewhere else.

    Once you had done that, you would delete the Grand Theft Auto V folder from the initial installation location and then replace that with symbolic links to either one of the other two folders, depending on which one you were using. That way, the parent folder remains constant, but the location of the Grand Theft Auto V folder would be switched based on the links... but in theory the game should be happy to think it has all the content inside the original folder.

    I haven't tried that, so I have no idea if that works... but that's how I would imagine you could do it.

    The important thing to remember, is that the game must run from the location it was installed to, because that's where the registry points to. So if your plan was to create a modded version and then hard-link the default game files into that, it wouldn't work because that modded version wouldn't be in the required place.

  • Actually... there might be another way to do this.

    Because you have to rename the folders to get the game to work in two locations, you couldn't hard-link files from one folder to the other, as renaming the folders would break the links.

    However, I wonder if you could hold the files, like the x64a.rpf files in a location outside the game folders, and then create hard-links in both game folders to each file in that shared location. That way, the destination always remains constant, so the links shouldn't break. But you should be free to rename the folders that the files are linked into.

  • @LeeC2202

    I think your right. I did mess around a bit more before I saw you post and I have it working at the moment. I uses hard links instead of symbolic links for most of the files and did use No_GTAVLauncher to start the game.

    What I did at the moment:

    • Have the game installed at ...\games\GTAV
    • Made a new map ...\games\GTAV Mod
    • Did hardlink all files from ...\games\GTAV to ...\games\GTAV Mod
    • Except the .exe and .dll files in the root of the game directory
    • Installed scripthook and Simple Trainer

    Now when I click GTAVLauncher in de modded version, the game starts, but its the non-modded version that starts. Here we have probably the registry that comes intro play. When I use No_GTAVLauncher (from LS-Multiplayer Team) the game also starts, and I have the modded version now (with scripthook and Simple Trainer working).

    So I think I'm on the right way.
    I have two versions, they share the biger files I don't gone edit and the files and the files I want to edit later I can easily overwrite (delete the hardlink and copy - past the real file to the new location when needed, but with the mod-folders I don't think that I will need that). I'm happy at the moment but I think No_GTAVLauncher is messing with my graphic settings (can't use my normal resolution). So time to mess around a but more. Thanks for you're input.

    Have 2 (or 3) options now

    1. Write a .bat file that exicute a .reg edit and starts the GTA version I want
    2. Copy out my GTAV files out of ...\games\GTAV and place symbolic links to the version I need instead
    3. Leave it and use No_GTAVLauncher or a other Launcher

    Thanks for the input.

  • @Marsmillo said in 2 Installations with help of hard or symbolic links to save space:

    Now when I click GTAVLauncher in de modded version, the game starts, but its the non-modded version that starts. Here we have probably the registry that comes intro play.

    That's a problem we deal with on a regular basis with people using two folders and then posting about their mods not working. The indication of this being the problem is when they say that no log files are being generated.

    I have always been wary of going down the registry change with people though, because you have two sets of registry locations to change. One for the Rockstar Social club, which is easy enough to find. But then there's the second location that is stored under a GUID key in the registry. The potential for that to go wrong for people inexperienced with registry modifications is huge, especially when we have people that have problems with much simpler mod installations.

    I can never remember which types of links I use because I have a shell addon that makes the process simple through Windows Explorer. But if linking the main game files works, you could effectively have several installs and only have the overhead of a little more than a single-installation footprint, which would be very useful.

    I'm interested to hear how this works out, so please post back with your progress.... and good luck of course. :slight_smile:

  • @LeeC2202
    @Everyone interested

    I find the easiest solution for now changing names... I know its quick and dirty but it works.

    • My original GTAV installation path was: ...\games\GTAV
    • Did rename GTAV (my original GTAV installation map) to GTAV Vanilla
    • Made a new folder GTAV Mod and hardlinked all files from GTA Vanilla (original files) to that folder except the files I modded, the .exe and .dll files.
    • If I want to play online, I change the name of ** GTAV Vanilla** tot GTAV or if I want to play with mods, I change the name of GTAV Mod to GTAV

    I can also automate the name changing progress easier than changing registry entry's
    Need to find a way to change the name back if I close GTA but that for a other time.

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