How to safely remove 3rd Party Installer Packages and safely disable First Time Installation notices
Steam purchased games are downloaded with 3rd Party Installer Packages (3PIPs); which are steam redistributed programs, then automatically installed during a process called "First Time Installation (FTI)”. Steam gives you two options; either proceed to installation or bypass the installation. Unless user goes through FTI and install everything it requires, Steam will try to run FTI every time when you launch the same game. Even worse, 3PIPs won’t be removed from your system after FTI.
Current Steam setup won't tell customers what 3PIPs will be installed. On the other hand, package games (offline purchase) give you a choice to install 3PIPs or bypass. For instance, a Steam purchased game installs AMD dual core optimizer on Intel PC. Neither steam nor the program warned users.
If you use SSD or 300+ games are already downloaded, the size of Steam folder becomes a small trouble. For instance, Bullet storm (EA) downloads about 330MB of 3PIPs. Most of the games on steam download DXRedist which the size varies from 13MB to 150MB depending on the release date. If you try to find all 3PIPs in 20 game folders, you will end up with about 13MB~1GB of these packages.
3PIPs are located in a folder called "Redist" under each game title folder. There are two types of vdf files, one is used to trigger admin mode (UAC) and the other is to trigger FTI. Once the FTI is finished, Steam creates a new vdf file listing what 3PIPs are installed in the specific game folder. Going through the FTI is the only way to create the file. Although you can create or modify one, deletion is the easiest, the fastest and the safest way this time.
- Use this guide at your own risk!
- Only delete files and folders under "Steam\steamapps\common\" folder.
- Although it's really difficult to messup, but you can always redownload all the files.
- Disabling Steam folder indexing before following this guide will save your time.
A.Find and delete all vdf files found only under "Steam\steamapps\common\" folder.
- Filenames including "inst", "admin", "install", "instscript".
- Only delete files with "vdf" extension.
B.Find and delete all 3PIPs in Steam folder:
- Find folders named "Redist" under "Steam\steamapps\common\"
- Once all "Redist" folders are found, manually check the contents of each folder.
C.If you see one of these files (exact or similar) -Dxsetup.exe, VCRedist.exe, OALInst.exe, NvidiaPhysxDriver.exe- or any other exe files that reads and looks like installation related, delete the entire folder containing the files.
- Never delete folders with names including "Miles" or containing files starting with "Mss"
- Some games: e.g. penumbra series' entire game files are located under "Redist" folder. Once you are familiar with what file or what folder you can safely delete, you can always manually delete the files and/or folders.
- Games with DRMs should just go through the FTI instead. However, If you look into the content of vdf file of a such game, you can find out what program triggers activation process. After, you can manually run these files and skip FTI.
Thank you for your time reading this guide.