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So, the main reason I bought Fallout 3 on GOG was because I didn't want to install Steam on my laptop, which can play Fallout 3 (and Skyrim, but not Fallout 4 or Skyrim SE). But then I got to thinking, Fallout 3 was made for 2008 computers, it should be able to run off a USB 3.x flash drive. While that may or may not be true, what I actually have is a portable SSD. It's kind of like a big flash drive that is faster than any hard drive. So while GOG Galaxy may have cloud saves (I mean, I know it does), what I want is to be able to plug my portable SSD into a computer's USB 3 port, open the GOG Games/Fallout 3 directory I've copied the installation folder to, launch the launcher, quit the launcher, dump my save games in the folder it just made (I've copied them to the SSD as well), relaunch the game, and pick up where I left off. Then, when I quit, just move the saves back and overwrite them, and leave as little trace of Fallout 3 on the host computer as possible (I figure CCleaner will take care of this).

Problem is, when I go to launch fallout3.exe on the host computer (i5 5570, 4GB RAM, onboard graphics), the launcher comes up and wants me to install the game. I think my next step is to find registry entries on the laptop where it's installed, and export those to the SSD, for installation to the host computer, which I can remove with the same file (.reg file).

One of the great things about GOG is the ability to play games without DRM, legally, but how much better would it be if we could put them on a portable drive and play them on whatever computer? My drive is a Samsung T3, but the newer Samsung T5 is like $150 for 500GB. You can save a little by getting the 250GB, but it's an awesome drive. You can get portable 1TB, 2TB hard drives for around $75-100, and they're probably fast enough, but if you want speed and durability (you can shake up an SSD while it's being written to... I would not try that with a hard drive) SSD is the only way to go. Plus, I don't need that much space. 500GB has a bunch of portable apps (PortableApps, Google it, they're awesome) and a bunch of media (okay, anime, I'm a borderline weeb). Plus, I think running games off an SSD will make up for some other performance issues, as loading is nearly instantaneous.

So, just wondering if anyone up here has experience in this.
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I had a problem like this when I had Oblivion installed on a secondary drive. I fixed it by reinstalling.

I think you should be able to use the script extender to launch Fallout 3 directly though. You just can't use the launcher, but you might be able to just bypass the launcher. Launch directly from the script extender, use mod managers to activate/deactivate plugins/mods.
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DarthDaedric: [use the script extender]
Thank you for the reply. Alas, FOSE was my first port of call. It doesn't bypass the launcher. I may need to get into some virtual folder/drive shenanigans... I don't want to copy the GOG folder to the host system's C drive, especially if it's not my computer, but for example the PortableApps .com app launcher can be configured to do things like that, I believe. It's been a long time since I tried configuring it myself. I put a call out to their community for GOG games in general. They used to be very much against anything that wasn't open source, years ago, but now I think they're just interested in staying above board legally, though chances are they'll want Bethesda's permission before proceeding, which we're not likely to get.

I'd love to run Oblivion portably, too. I'll have to see if it's on GOG. ...And, bought. Dammit! LOL. But I love Oblivion, too. Great game. Worth the ten bucks it's on sale for right now. (Just don't tell my wife...)
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DarthDaedric: [use the script extender]
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DarkReality: Thank you for the reply. Alas, FOSE was my first port of call. It doesn't bypass the launcher. I may need to get into some virtual folder/drive shenanigans... I don't want to copy the GOG folder to the host system's C drive, especially if it's not my computer, but for example the PortableApps .com app launcher can be configured to do things like that, I believe. It's been a long time since I tried configuring it myself. I put a call out to their community for GOG games in general. They used to be very much against anything that wasn't open source, years ago, but now I think they're just interested in staying above board legally, though chances are they'll want Bethesda's permission before proceeding, which we're not likely to get.

I'd love to run Oblivion portably, too. I'll have to see if it's on GOG. ...And, bought. Dammit! LOL. But I love Oblivion, too. Great game. Worth the ten bucks it's on sale for right now. (Just don't tell my wife...)
Have you tried using the Fallout Mod Manager (FOMM)? It works for both NV and FO3, and it has a config section that allows you to specify the installation directory.

I don't think you can change where it puts save games though - for that you'd have to get Windows to map your home directory to your removable SSD, or alternatively copy them over after playing.
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DarkReality: So, just wondering if anyone up here has experience in this.
Fallout 3 requires a certain registry entry to run - just create that with the install path pointing to the directory on the USB stick and it should work. Saves will still be stored in the user's My Documents directory though & you'll have to move those around yourself as well. The registry entry you need is (just change the path to match):

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Bethesda Softworks\Fallout3]
"Installed Path"="C:\\Fallout 3\\"

(on a side note, my Wine wrappers make it very easy to do this on Linux :p Just move the wrapper directory to the USB drive and then create a "userdata" directory inside it so the game's settings/saves/etc will be stored there instead of the user's home directory)
Post edited January 04, 2018 by adamhm