How to get Guild Wars 2 to use files on DVD for initial installation

GW2_Logo_2cAfter a few months/weeks of indecision (and playing Star Wars: The Old Republic), I bought Guild Wars 2 today. Physical box copy. Excitedly I popped the first DVD in the drive, ran the setup, and was rather taken aback by the game installer completely ignoring the +-14GB worth of data on the DVDs, and simply starting to download the full game client. All 233000 files of it. Yuck. I tried several things but eventually managed to get the game to agree to use the files from the DVDs as at least a starting point, and then patching the +-6 months worth of patches, bringing the download count down to only about 80000 files. Here’s how:

  • Start up the DVD installer and let it download the first bit, restart itself, and allow you to choose where to install the game to.  You’ve probably gotten this far already.
  • Exit the installer.
  • Use explorer to browse to the first DVD and copy the Gw2.js0 and Gw2.js1 into a temporary folder.
  • Do the same for Gw2.js2 and Gw2.js3 on the second DVD.
  • I did the following on an Ubuntu server to combine these 4 files into a single file:
    • cat Gw2.js* > Gw2.dat
    • If you’re a Linux user, you’ll know how/what to do to get the files to your server in the first place, I won’t go into that here.
  • The equivalent steps in Windows would be:
    • Use Explorer to navigate to the folder where you copied the files to.
    • Keep the SHIFT key on your keyboard in and right-click anywhere on the white part of this window
    • On the resulting popup menu, choose “Open command window here
    • Type the following command and press ENTER.
    • copy /b Gw2.js* Gw2.dat
  • I tried the above COPY command on my Windows machine, but it took forever, hence doing it on the Ubuntu server. I cannot confirm 100% that this “cp /b” command works for this purpose, but I’m fairly sure it should.  Can anybody confirm?
  • The point is, what I’m doing above is combining the 4 DVD install files into a single Gw2.dat file, and “seeding” the installation process with those files.  Like the installer should have done in the first place.
  • Now, you need to copy the resulting Gw2.dat file into your C:\Program Files\Guild Wars 2\ folder – you can just open a second Explorer window, and drag and drop the file into the Guild Wars 2 folder.  Windows will probably complain about administrator rights, agree to let the file copy, and overwrite the silly temporary file that was there.

That’s it.  When you run Guild Wars 2 now, the game will notice that it already has a large percentage of the game files already, and only download the differences.  Which from what I can tell, at time of writing this, is about 7GB worth of data.  That’s a little better than the full 16GB of data. Please feel free to let me know if this worked for you? PS.  I suspect the game installation might “work correctly” if you’re not connected to the internet when you start the installer up, as it won’t know that there’s a newer version out there, so will just use the DVDs in the first place.  I might be wrong though, I didn’t try this.


  1. The better working method for Windows was already posted in the GW2 forums. Start the installer let it start downloading the main game (not the little installer download).
    When it starts downloading the main game, cancel the download and delete the install folder. Then restart the installer.

    This method is confirmed working on Windows XP Pro (32 bit) and on Windows 8 (64 bit)

    Saves about 17.5GB worth of download.

  2. Stepping in to confirm that the windows version of the command works, after the above anon’s method failed me.

  3. I have just tried the windows command is there a delay for a copy as I get a .dat but its 0kb is the command copy/b Gw2.js *Gw2.dat or is my spaces inncorrect

  4. correction this worked beautifully just had to wait couldn’t tell if it was working but it is command works (copy /b Gw2.js* Gw2.dat) and creates a .dat the compiles it copy into can file and only 130,000 files to download better than 270,000 thanks for this

  5. Ist jemand deutsches hier und weiß, wie das geht? Ich versteh das nicht! 🙁
    Bitte antworten, oder bei skype: chantibabex3

  6. Hallo Marie,

    Leider ist mein Deutsch ziemlich schlecht. Ich weiß nicht, wie man besser erklären, ich habe Angst. Ich hoffe, Sie kommen direkt.


  7. Oh my god. i bought this game like a year ago and when i went to install i had this problem. so i just said nup and threw it to the side like trash. i found it on my games shelf today and went ill give it another try. And im following your steps now will let you know if it works.

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