1. Post #1
    ~melon~
    AlfieGroove's Avatar
    May 2008
    2,925 Posts
    <if anyone would so kind as to make me a banner, that would be very much appreciated.

    As the old idling thread got locked. I decided to rewrite and make a new thread to discuss idling.

    What you will need
    These requirements are what you will need for the bare essentials of running your idle farm
    1) A full version of Sandboxie. (The trial version will only allow you to have 1 idle account running)
    2) A decent computer. It doesn't have to be amazing. The biggest factor is RAM, 4GB is a good amount.

    Optional Stuff
    These programs help a lot when setting up and utilising your idling farm. If you think any should be added to this list, post in this thread.
    1) Notepad++ - Great program for editing text or batch files
    2) Steam Item Manager - Very useful for automagically crafting all your weapons into scrap
    3) Memory Cleaner - Running all those instances of Steam and TF2 can take up a lot of memory, this program clears that up
    4) idle.cfg - This config will set TF2's settings to a low level and improve load times and performance. Put it in each accounts "steamapps/team fortress 2/tf/cfg" folder
    5) idle_triangle - A small map to maximise performance and minimise memory usage. Put it in each accounts "steamapps/team fortress 2/tf/maps" and change "+map itemtest" to "+map idle_triangle"

    Configuring Sandboxes

    You will need to configure your sandboxes to be able to run Steam and TF2 efficiently. You need to create a sandbox for each account you wish to idle.
    1) Create a new sandbox and name it something relevant, like the account name you will be using to sign into this particular account
    2) Right click the sandbox and go to Sandbox Settings
    3) Navigate to "Restrictions > Drop rights > Drop rights from Administrators and Power User groups" and uncheck the tick box
    4) Navigate to "Resource Access > File Access > Full Access" and add the harddrive or storage device that you will be using to store all the idle accounts data on

    Building the farm
    This is the bulk of guide and where all the magic happens, pay close attention and be sure to replace any words that are underlined with the information that is specific to you
    1) Create a directory on your computer in which you will put all your idle related goodies, I will be using the main directory as "C:/idle"
    2) Create a folder in your main directory for each of your accounts
    3) Put in a copy of Steam.exe in each of your account's folders. You can copy all the files from your current main Steam account folder, but I prefer to do a clean install to avoid problems
    4) Create another folder called steamapps in your main directory, this is where all the other account folders will access and use. This saves LOTS of storage space as having individual installations of TF2 for each account would be a lot of gigabytes
    5) Now you will need the content files for TF2, if you already have these installed on your main account, you can copy and paste them from there. You will need the GCF files detailed below.
    Code:
    multiplayer ob binaries.gcfsource 2007 shared materials.gcf
    source 2007 shared models.gcf
    source 2007 shared sounds.gcf
    team fortress 2 content.gcf
    team fortress 2 materials.gcf
    team fortress 2 client content.gcf
    base source shared materials.gcf
    base source shared models.gcf
    base source shared sounds.gcf
    orangebox media.gcf
    5) Open up the Start Menu and search cmd, right click the program that comes up "Run As Administrator"
    6) Navigate to one of your idle account folders by using "cd C:/idle/accountname"
    7) Execute the command below, this will create a functional shortcut. Do this for each of your account folders.
    Code:
    mklink /D steamapps "C:/idle/steamapps"
    8) For each account you will need a batch file. "Right click > New > Text document" in each of the account folders and enter
    Code:
    start /low C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:accountname Steam.exe -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -nopreload +map itemtest +exec idle -sw -width 640 -height 480
    9) Save it as a bat file and name it "idle.bat"
    10) Now we will make a bat file which will launch all the other bat files. Create a new text file and enter a new line for each account, all in the same batch file
    Code:
    pushd accountname && call "cmd /c ""C:\idle\accountname\idle.bat""" && popd
    11) And you're done! Double click the bat file you made in the main directory and you will be asked to login to all the respective accounts. Using -username and -password in the bats to auto login creates a longer login process, doing it manually the first time, saves loading times in the future. There are some optional steps along with tips and tricks below you can follow.

    Utilising a server
    This section will detail how to create a server for all your accounts to join. This can save load times and system memory.
    1) Decide on an account which will host the server
    2) Edit the accounts bat file and change it to
    Code:
    start /low C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:accountname Steam.exe -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -nopreload +map itemtest +mp_idledealmethod 0 +sv_lan 1 +exec idle -sw -width 640 -height 480
    3) Now you need to find your local IP. To do this, open up cmd and type "ipconfig". Then get the IPv4 or IPv6 address. It will look something like 192.168.0.x
    4) Edit all your account bat files to this
    Code:
    start /low C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:accou​ntname Steam.exe -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -nopreload +connect IPv4/6 +exec idle -sw -width 640 -height 480
    Tips and Tricks
    There are some little things you can do to make your ~~idling experience~~ easier and more efficient. Any tips you guys have, let me know and I'll add them
    1) When a TF2 update is released, launching all your games at the same time can corrupt and mess up the GCF files. To avoid this, simply launch TF2 from one account, and let it update. Then you can run the others at the same time with no problem
    2) Trade all your delicious drops to one account and then use Steam Item Manager to craft them all together and get that lovely refined metal to trade to your main for trading
    3) Make a bookmark folder with all your idle accounts TF2B pages to quickly view their backpacks. You can open a whole bookmark folder by clicking on them with middle mouse button
    4) Read the TF2 wikipage on idling for some useful information on drop rates and such
    5) Disable Steam overlay for all your accounts to shave off a small amount of memory and processes in your task manager
    6) Backup your sentryfile (holds steamguard keys). Save and archive Steam\config\config.vdf and any ssfn************* files in Steam folder.

    Credits
    Gurkenpirate - Created the original thread and gave birth to modern idling
    raBBish - Coming up with the genius idea of using symlinks to save space
    Chris - Created the config idle.cfg uses
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  2. Post #2
    irukandji's Avatar
    August 2011
    628 Posts
    You can also include my code for easier mklinking:

    http://pastebin.com/sxN3uT9n

    Place those into a .bat file and edit accordingly, then launch it and you're set.

  3. Post #3
    nuke4fix's Avatar
    October 2010
    245 Posts
    Or use symlinker.
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  4. Post #4
    Lazlo's Avatar
    November 2012
    537 Posts
    Add this to the list of banners I've made
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    cebceb44's Avatar
    April 2010
    469 Posts
    Guess I'll post this in the new thread

    Idle_triangle.bsp

    A map I've made specifically made for idling. Saves ram when you're not running a map with heavy set details.

    Features include:
    -116kb File Size
    -a single 2x2 flat non-reflective texture covering every wall
    -5-sided map (cutting all the corners by making it a triangular prism instead of a cube) (but with a map that small I doubt it really matters) (but hey it's the thought that counts right)
    -that's about it
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  6. Post #6

    October 2012
    1 Posts
    Is it possible to replace all your different account folders (which are ~2gb since they contain the "team fortress 2" folder) contained within the steamapps folder with mklink shortcuts to a single account folder? I'm worried it might be an issue if all instances of TF2 were trying to access the same "team fortress 2" folder with different accounts, but we're able to access the same "steamapps" folder simultaneously without issue, so maybe this will work too.

    For example, lets say I have 2 steam acounts called "Steam_idle_1" and "Steam_idle_2". Instead of having a folder for each of those accounts in my "steamapps" folder, could I replace "Steam_idle_2" with a mklink shortcut to "Steam_idle_1"?

    The code would be something like this:
    Code:
    cd C:/idle/steamapps
    
    mklink /D Steam_idle_2 "C:/idle/steamapps/Steam_idle_1"
    Thanks.

  7. Post #7
    Smooth Adam's Avatar
    September 2006
    3 Posts
    How should we be closing down each idle accounts?

    I've heard that just terminating the sandboxes can give you problems with validation.

  8. Post #8
    ~melon~
    AlfieGroove's Avatar
    May 2008
    2,925 Posts
    How should we be closing down each idle accounts?

    I've heard that just terminating the sandboxes can give you problems with validation.
    I idle every week and when I want to close them all, I just terminate programs. I've had no problems with it.

    Edited:

    Is it possible to replace all your different account folders (which are ~2gb since they contain the "team fortress 2" folder) contained within the steamapps folder with mklink shortcuts to a single account folder? I'm worried it might be an issue if all instances of TF2 were trying to access the same "team fortress 2" folder with different accounts, but we're able to access the same "steamapps" folder simultaneously without issue, so maybe this will work too.

    For example, lets say I have 2 steam acounts called "Steam_idle_1" and "Steam_idle_2". Instead of having a folder for each of those accounts in my "steamapps" folder, could I replace "Steam_idle_2" with a mklink shortcut to "Steam_idle_1"?

    The code would be something like this:
    Code:
    cd C:/idle/steamapps
    
    mklink /D Steam_idle_2 "C:/idle/steamapps/Steam_idle_1"
    Thanks.
    You'll have to go ahead and try it, I would recommend mklinking the "tf/media" folder. That is the biggest folder and I don't really foresee any problems that could occur from sharing media files. But I would think sharing binary/dll files would cause problems.
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  9. Post #9

    January 2013
    52 Posts
    the memory cleaner does reduce memory consumption to 12 mb, but it seems like it is still using quite a big memory despite what it showed. Any idea about this?

  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    radek's Avatar
    July 2012
    349 Posts
    the memory cleaner does reduce memory consumption to 12 mb, but it seems like it is still using quite a big memory despite what it showed. Any idea about this?
    don't use memory cleaner, doesn't help

  11. Post #11

    January 2013
    52 Posts
    btw how do you use the steamitemmanager? i launch it, select tf2, but nothing happens

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    May 2009
    15,440 Posts
    I thought idling stopped being a useful thing to do.

    i might start doing it just in case i find a fancy hat.

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Metaru's Avatar
    June 2012
    4,353 Posts
    aparently, refined loses its value as we speak. unless somehow keys started to drop(wich is highly unlikely that such thing would ever happen) either you set up an idling farm to get a rare salvage crate drop/hat.

    anything else its pretty much useless.

  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    May 2009
    15,440 Posts
    I knew the market would fuck itself eventually

  15. Post #15
    I'M AN AUSSIE FAGGOT
    HyperTails's Avatar
    December 2008
    26,012 Posts
    aparently, refined loses its value as we speak. unless somehow keys started to drop(wich is highly unlikely that such thing would ever happen) either you set up an idling farm to get a rare salvage crate drop/hat.

    anything else its pretty much useless.
    True, but you can still use a good week's worth of alt refined to buy keys with.
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  16. Post #16

    August 2012
    217 Posts
    True, but you can still use a good week's worth of alt refined to buy keys with.
    Which screws over the market and keeps keys rising till you cant buy jacksh*t with your refined.

    All we gotta do is stop selling refined for keys,wich will drop key prices when sellers cant sell at current price/higher prices then when prices are settled to better,we can buy keys with our stock.
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  17. Post #17
    I regularly throw pity parties.
    A B.A. Survivor's Avatar
    August 2010
    12,209 Posts
    Add this to the list of banners I've made
    Them Jags is comin' up real good this season.
    Maybe we'll drop enough to get a new Strange Part for lil' Jimmy.
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  18. Post #18
    ~melon~
    AlfieGroove's Avatar
    May 2008
    2,925 Posts
    btw how do you use the steamitemmanager? i launch it, select tf2, but nothing happens
    You need to use it outside a sandboxxie. I'm pretty sure it will only work on a non sandboxxied steam instance.

    Edited:

    Which screws over the market and keeps keys rising till you cant buy jacksh*t with your refined.

    All we gotta do is stop selling refined for keys,wich will drop key prices when sellers cant sell at current price/higher prices then when prices are settled to better,we can buy keys with our stock.
    it's not gonna happen, prices of metal will never go down at this stage.

  19. Post #19
    Uesrname's Avatar
    November 2011
    3,160 Posts
    Can you not idle in command line mode anymore?

  20. Post #20
    ~melon~
    AlfieGroove's Avatar
    May 2008
    2,925 Posts
    Can you not idle in command line mode anymore?
    You mean textmode? This guide is for idling in textmode.

  21. Post #21
    Uesrname's Avatar
    November 2011
    3,160 Posts
    You mean textmode? This guide is for idling in textmode.
    Yeah, that's why I meant. Don't mind me, I just looked over the guide earlier and misread some stuff.

    Edited:

    Now that I've had time to set this up, the steam install is hanging after clicking the start all .bat.

    Edited:

    And now that has fixed itself and everything seems to be working fine. Thanks for the guide!

  22. Post #22

    January 2013
    52 Posts
    You need to use it outside a sandboxxie. I'm pretty sure it will only work on a non sandboxxied steam instance.
    that was what i was doing, no sandboxxie opened and only 1 steam running, hence i asked how to use it since double-clicking it does nothing

  23. Post #23
    What Up's Avatar
    February 2012
    502 Posts
    How are those Russians creating so many alt accounts for people for dirt cheap?

    I trusted one and have had no problems so far, but when I checked the receipt all he purchased was a rocket jumper.

  24. Post #24
    ~melon~
    AlfieGroove's Avatar
    May 2008
    2,925 Posts
    How are those Russians creating so many alt accounts for people for dirt cheap?

    I trusted one and have had no problems so far, but when I checked the receipt all he purchased was a rocket jumper.
    There's a payment services in Russia in which you can deposit any amount into Steam Wallet. So they can buy the cheapest thing on the market and not have to pay the minimum deposit. 4/$5
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  25. Post #25
    ASIC's security and investment consultation.
    ASIC's Avatar
    March 2013
    3,834 Posts
    Thanks this thread helped

  26. Post #26
    Uesrname's Avatar
    November 2011
    3,160 Posts
    Might want to turn off the Steam Overlay in each instance of TF2 as well, saves a bit or Ram.
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  27. Post #27

    March 2013
    2 Posts
    Hello.
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  28. Post #28

    May 2008
    4 Posts
    that was what i was doing, no sandboxxie opened and only 1 steam running, hence i asked how to use it since double-clicking it does nothing
    i think its broken now? :(

    I can't use it even with my own normal non sandbox account.

  29. Post #29
    DrAkcel's Avatar
    June 2010
    792 Posts
    50 cents for a key...
    You know that this is a rip-off?
    2 refined for 15 RUB is already a big value, I say.
    Hmm... might as well start my own business like this.

  30. Post #30

    January 2012
    243 Posts
    50 cents for a key...
    You know that this is a rip-off?
    2 refined for 15 RUB is already a big value, I say.
    Hmm... might as well start my own business like this.
    Schoolboys doesnt count "time" price in their business. I wont even move my ass for 2 ref to make more new idlers, who will demping with PP and buying keys for 4.66 to rid off their weekly 10 refined.

  31. Post #31

    March 2013
    2 Posts
    50 cents for a key...
    You know that this is a rip-off?
    2 refined for 15 RUB is already a big value, I say.
    Hmm... might as well start my own business like this.
    You are wrong. Price is fair. I wish i knew enough number of english words to expalin it to you.

    BTW i got my first customer already.

  32. Post #32
    DrAkcel's Avatar
    June 2010
    792 Posts
    You are wrong. Price is fair. I wish i knew enough number of english words to expalin it to you.

    BTW i got my first customer already.
    Well, I still got ya

    P.S.: if someone is need, i can help too. Sometimes being Russian is good...

  33. Post #33

    January 2013
    52 Posts
    anyone knows any craftable hats that has a value of a key or something? i think it's better to make hats rather buying keys with refs, though i don't know any craftable hats that has a good price (only knows hats = 1.33)

  34. Post #34

    August 2012
    217 Posts
    anyone knows any craftable hats that has a value of a key or something? i think it's better to make hats rather buying keys with refs, though i don't know any craftable hats that has a good price (only knows hats = 1.33)
    Here is what i do instead of buying keys constantly and screwing where i eat.

    1- Wait till update,collect your metal
    2- Craft Craft Craft,get some 1-2 digit and <100 craft numbers as much as you can
    3- PROFIT!?
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  35. Post #35

    May 2008
    4 Posts
    Has anyone successfully used the autocraft feature in sim in the past couple of days?

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    radek's Avatar
    July 2012
    349 Posts
    Has anyone successfully used the autocraft feature in sim in the past couple of days?
    I did 2 days ago
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  37. Post #37
    Smooth Adam's Avatar
    September 2006
    3 Posts
    Has anyone successfully used the autocraft feature in sim in the past couple of days?
    I've used it yesterday.

  38. Post #38

    January 2013
    52 Posts
    just wondering, how many GB you guys used for idling folders?

  39. Post #39

    January 2012
    243 Posts
    Has anyone successfully used the autocraft feature in sim in the past couple of days?
    Some weapons not showed up for some reason. Buff bunner, axtinguisher and few more.


  40. Post #40

    July 2012
    9 Posts
    just wondering, how many GB you guys used for idling folders?
    I use about 450 gb, really depends on your number of accounts.

    btw I am looking for somebody to trade ref/keys/paypal for qiwi (directly to qiwi wallet so its not very time consuming for you) so that I can fund my accs. Saw that some people might be interested in this thread. Send me a pm if you are interested, thanks.
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