10.02.2012

Uninstalled Steam ... Accidentally deleted by my saves ... Restored!


Deus Ex HR has been unavailable for download to me via Steam (I tried for the first time yesteday), so I tried all sort of voodoo fixes as suggested by multiple threads on similar issues of this ilk on Steam Forums. As of this morning, I found a new thread from just yesterday, describing the same issue (unable to download the stupid DEHR game), but from multiple reporters this time, so I can probably assume it's a server issue and not me. One day, I will be able to play that game.

In the meanwhile prior to that discovery, I renamed the steamapp directory and userdata directories, and then proceeded to uninstall/reinstall Steam (one of those voodoo fixes). However, uninstalling Steam deletes the entire directory, and not just the default folders/files like any smart uninstall process ... including my renamed directories. Which meant I ended up deleting any saves on all my games which didn't use C://User/MyDocuments or Steam Cloud save. Doh.

That was just frustratingly unexpected, and I had already resigned myself to my fate (no big deal, all my favorite games thankfully do use MyDocuments). But it sucks to accept something without at least trying, and I quickly discovered that almighty Google had the solution for me right away.

Using this query, https://www.google.com/search?q=restore+steam+saves+uninstall, the first result is decidedly bleak, but the 4th result yielded this nugget, a forum post on Supermeatboy where a user laments uninstalling Steam and losing his SMB save. Well, another user suggests doing a System Restore. While deeply tempting to me, it seemed a little overkill. However, further down, it also suggests using "Restore previous version" on just the folder itself. wtf? I didn't even know such an option existed.

So I opened up the Steam Dir (now re-installed), right clicked the steamapp/common directory, selected "Restore previous version", only too see no option to restore. However, there was an option to "Open", and pow, my directory as it was last week. I then dragged and dropped the files into my current directory and voila, got my games and their saves back (I also had to copy over the ncf files for games I still had installed). Great job, Windows team! I'm actually impressed.

On a corollary, two months ago, after trying to troubleshoot a friend's malware infected computer for an hour (the symptoms were no internet connection) to no avail, I gave up and used a system restore to a point two weeks prior. It just worked, and internet was restored and presumably the infection had not yet occurred.

Lesson is, in Bleach/Accel World, the ability to restore things back to prior states are godlike skills, for Windows machines, it's just standard.

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