Swappable Drives for gaming

Like Manuel in Fawlty Towers, I know nawthing.

I assume this isn't feasible for NVMe drives—they're slotted into mobo, right?—but for standard SSDs and HDs:
Could you have 2+ of 'em set up as say G: drives where you install & run games?

You would setup Steam etc in their own folders as usual—G:\Steam—and then install games onto whichever physical drive you fancied, eg your RPG drive or your Other Games drive. Then when you want to play a different game, you swap the G: drives.

Would this work?
Could it be hot-swappable, or would you have to power off the PC before changing?
Is there some serious disadvantage(s)?
 
Like Manuel in Fawlty Towers, I know nawthing.

I assume this isn't feasible for NVMe drives—they're slotted into mobo, right?—but for standard SSDs and HDs:
Could you have 2+ of 'em set up as say G: drives where you install & run games?

You would setup Steam etc in their own folders as usual—G:\Steam—and then install games onto whichever physical drive you fancied, eg your RPG drive or your Other Games drive. Then when you want to play a different game, you swap the G: drives.

Would this work?
Could it be hot-swappable, or would you have to power off the PC before changing?
Is there some serious disadvantage(s)?
Yeah, you could hot swap them.

External drives would also be a good alternative here.

Were you asking this for me with my Farming Simulator DLC issue? :)
 
May 11, 2022
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Interesting problem. Like Brian I would claim "I know nawthing" or nearly so.

I am trying to visualise what the configuration would look like. Would you have the internal comms/ power wires protruding out of the PC and then attach an internal drive externally to the wires? My gut reaction would be to switch the power off to make sure that the drive has "spun down" and there are no possibility of damage due to sudden power loss. This may be an over-reaction on my part and others on the forum will have a better idea.

Usually the external drive (USB) would be a bit slower than an internal drive or at least that is the conventional wisdom. Something to do with adding another interface between the drive and the motherboard. Also if you are using smaller drives (2.5" compared to 3.5") they are a tad bit slower. [I have an old internal 3.5" HDD with a USB converter which I use for backups which works fine .]

On the USB question the impact would be on load times which may or may not matter - depends on what you play and whether you care about load times.

Is the reason you are looking at this is that you are short of drive bays in your PC? Perhaps a stupid question.
 
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what the configuration would look like
I haven't used but have read about being able to swap drives in and out of a PC at will. I think there's a special 'caddy' or similar involved, which would fit in a drive bay and take care of the internal connections—so no messing with cables.

My gut reaction would be to switch the power off to make sure that the drive has "spun down"
That's the safest for sure, but my guess is the caddy controller software would have an 'Eject drive' function like Windows has for USBs, which takes care of any lingering writes.

external drive (USB) would be a bit slower
Not talking about an external or a USB, this would be in a drive bay in the PC and connected via SATA.

Is the reason you are looking at this is that you are short of drive bays
I don't need this, just wondering due to occasional 'I need more space' threads we get :)
 
My last case had a hot swappable drive bay but to access it I would have had to remove side of case. I believe there was an option to buy more of them in case so all 5 cages were swappable but I didn't ever use it once.

All I had to do was remove the cage, all the cables stay in case, the connection is broken when you remove cage.

Most of the cases I find you can buy with Hot Swap bays now are still made by Silverstone

you can buy convertors to replace CD drive slots, for instance...

the battle you face is fact most cases now don't have space to mount a CD or HDD on the front of case, they have replaced that with fans
the front of my case has no where for the drive to sit. Where the hdd and CD drives on my last 5 PC were, I have my AIO now.

Some cases had hot swap slots in the top of cases but you talking 5 years or so ago.

Storage isn't expensive now, and size of drives is increasing so its just easier to leave drives where they are, less chance of failures.
 
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It's a nice idea. Just been under the desk, with my torch, to look for where my drive bays are. Not at the front or side. :( Looks like they are at the back. Looks like I will be sticking to USB.
 
Jan 29, 2020
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Like Manuel in Fawlty Towers, I know nawthing.

I assume this isn't feasible for NVMe drives—they're slotted into mobo, right?—but for standard SSDs and HDs:
Could you have 2+ of 'em set up as say G: drives where you install & run games?
You can get enclosures for NVMe drives, so you can put them in your USB.

No need to have them share letters. Just add more game directories within Steam.
 
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Buying an enclosure and putting an NVMe in it is far safer than buying a 2tb external ssd online. You get what you pay for if you make it yourself, most external ssd online are fakes now. Same applies to 2tb USB drives.
Don't trust a $15 2tb USB to be anything other than fake... at least for the next few years anyway. the real ones cost about 400USD still

 
Jan 29, 2020
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272
1,970
Buying an enclosure and putting an NVMe in it is far safer than buying a 2tb external ssd online. You get what you pay for if you make it yourself, most external ssd online are fakes now. Same applies to 2tb USB drives.
Don't trust a $15 2tb USB to be anything other than fake... at least for the next few years anyway. the real ones cost about 400USD still
Best case scenario is that you don't get the storage you paid for. Worst case, you get a backdoor for your computer/network.
 

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