1. Post #1
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    Because of (somewhat) high demand I decided to make this guide to show you how to idle with multiple accounts at the same time and trade between them. If you are new to idling read this first!

    [h2]Basic requirements:[/h2]
    -A decent computer: If you can't run a single instance of TF2 with low settings properly then this isn't for you. Just for reference I can idle with 7 accounts at the same time while playing other games like Resident Evil 5 or WoW with high settings on my 4GB RAM, GTX260 and Core2Quad Q9300 PC (before upgrade).

    -2 or more (premium) TF2 accounts.

    -The most important part: A trial or full version of Sandboxie. Warning: The trial only allows 1 sandbox. 1 sandbox+main=max 2 accounts at the same time.

    [h2]Getting started:[/h2]
    1.Download and install Sandboxie.

    2.Delete the default sandbox and create a new one. Name it as you wish.

    3.Right-click the sandbox and go to settings.

    -Restrictions->Drop rights->Drop rights from Administrators and Power User groups must be unchecked.

    -Resource Access->File Access->Full Access and add the HDD Steam is installed on or add specific Steam folder. <--VERY important step.

    4.Right-click on your sandbox and Run Sandboxed->Run Windows Explorer and navigate to Steam and log on to your alt.

    5.Apply your idling settings and run TF2. Then run Steam normally and idle with you main. If you get an error you have to wait until the first instance of TF2 finished loading.

    Congratulations. You are now idling with 2 accounts simultaneously. If you want to trade between accounts just remove the idle settings and run TF2 normally add your idle account as friend and use the Steam trading feature. It lets you trade more than 8 items at once.


    This is basically how multi-account idling works but there are a few problems. It's tedious to start TF2 by hand every time especially if you have more than 2 accounts and you have to wait until the first instance of TF2 finished loading until you can start a second one. If you already started multi-accounting then you might just go all the way and set up a farm!

    [h2]Advanced Idling[/h2]
    How can we turn into ?

    [h2]Advanced Idling requirements:[/h2]
    -A good computer with at least 4GB RAM

    -Lots of HDD space (peferably on another physical HDD than you OS).

    -A full version of Sandboxie because the trial version only allows 1 sandbox.

    [h2]Building the Farm[/h2]
    1.Make a copy of Steam+TF2 files for each account and name the folders after your account or user name to avoid the loading issue.

    Better method by raBBish, slightly modified by me. The old method involved copies of TF2 files which consumed a lot of HDD space. The new method uses links to one shared steamapps folder for all accounts and requires Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

    1.Make a copy of Steam without the steamapps folder for each account.
    a.Decide your main steamapps folder. Generally it should be the one with most games.
    b.If you want, you can move the steamapps folder somewhere else and rename it (mine is D:\Games\Steam for example).
    c.Remove all the other steamapps folders.
    d.Open cmd.exe as an administrator.
    e.Navigate into each Steam folder without steamapps and run the following:
    Code:
    mklink /D steamapps <main steamapps path>
    For example:
    Code:
    cd C:\"Program Files (x86)"\Steam
    mklink /D steamapps "D:\Games\Steam"
    Or if you didn't move steamapps:
    Code:
    cd C:\Idle\Steam1
    mklink /D steamapps "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps"
    f.A shortcut should appear, named steamapps. Double-clicking it should show you the contents of the main steamapps folder.

    You should now have one main steamapps folder and one shortcut to it for each alt. Now you can run all the idle accounts while only maintaining a single steamapps folder.

    2.Create a sandbox for each account, name them after the account it belongs to and apply the settings mentioned above to every sandbox.

    3.Using batch files for easy startup: We need 2 batch files per account. Idle and Login.
    -Create a .txt file with
    Code:
    start /low H:\"STEAMFOLDER"\Steam.exe -login ACCOUNT YOURPASSWORD -applaunch 440 -textmode -novid -nosound -noipx -nojoy -nopreload -sw -width 640 -height 480 +map itemtest
    and make it a .bat file. This will will be needed later for launching TF2 for a specific account directly in idle mode.

    4.Create a .txt file with
    Code:
    start /low H:\"YOURSTEAMFOLDER"\Steam.exe -login ACCOUNT PASSWORD
    and make it a .bat file again. This will be needed for trading and everything besides idling.

    5.Create a batch file with:
    Code:
    start C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:BOXNAME "H:\batch\ACCOUNTIDLE.bat"
    This will run the idle batch files we made before in their respective sandboxes. It should like this whe it's done:


    6.Make another batch with the Login Batches.
    Code:
    C:\"Program Files"\Sandboxie\Start.exe /box:BOXNAME "H:\batch\ACCOUNTLOGIN.bat"
    Of course you have to replace the placeholders with you own names and directories.

    If you run Idle.bat from step 5 it will launch TF2 instances in idle mode for every account you made batches for. It takes 14 minutes for me until all 8 accounts are fully loaded and idling. You may get freezes or slowdowns if your computer is too weak. The Login.bat from step 6 logs on your accounts and lets you start TF2 in normal mode for trading or whatever you want.

    You are now set for advanced TF2 idling. Tweak around the batches and settings to get used to it and make your own modifications and/or improvements. Additional information for idling settings can be found here. I recommend using an idle config even with textmode because it lowers memory use even further. Here is what I use. Put it in each Steam folder Steam\steamapps\ACCOUNT\team fortress 2\tf\cfg and add +exec idle.cfg to every copy of step 3. Don't use it with your main account because it will mess with your video settings.

    [h2]FAQ[/h2]
    (WIP)

    Q: One of my accounts lost connection while idling (NO STEAM LOGON). Do I have to restart the whole thing?
    A: No. Right-click on the sandbox with the disconnected account and terminate programs. Open the Idle.bat and copy the line with the disconnected account. Paste the line into a new .bat file and run it.

    Q: How can I idle or login to specific accounts?
    A: Look above.

    Q: What can I do about instance/blob error?
    A: Make a copy of your Steam+TF2 files and run the copy in the sandbox.

    Q: Is this bannable?
    A: No.

    Q: How can I tell if it's working?
    A: By checking if it says X connected.


    Q: I don't get any items. What's wrong?
    A: Learn some patience. In most cases you're just unlucky or Valve item servers are down (most likely after updates). But just to be sure check your internet and Steam connection. Maybe you are drop capped.

    Q: Does Steam block my IP if I run it multiple times?
    A: Hell no. Why should it? I run 8 accounts from the same IP without problems. And what if your brother/sister/dog next door wants to play Steam games at the same time? Blocking IPs is a stupid thing to do for Steam.

    Q: How can I prevent random people from joining my server?
    A: Use a password by adding +sv_password xxx to the batches from step 3.

    Q: Why does Steam validate/verify my files all the time?
    A: If you use the mklink method only update TF2 with one account or you enter an endless update cycle. If you get this all the time even when running Steam normally consider redownloading.

    Q: I get "Could not connect to Steam network" while login / "File is too large to copy into sandbox". What's wrong?
    A: Check your resource access rights from step 3.

    Q: TF2 updated and now HL2.exe crashes all the time. Any help?
    A: Delete following bin folders: Steam/steamapps/ACCOUNT/team fortress 2/bin and Steam/steamapps/ACCOUNT/team fortress 2/tf/bin .

    Q: "Failed to update item schema". What does this mean?
    A: Nothing. Ignore it . It doesn't affect drops in any way.

    [h2]Additional information on idling and other stuff:[/h2]
    This section will contain extra info and interesting stuff on idling for those who don't just want to idle and forget.

    DeltaEcho made an interface for the batch files.



    This is an early version which still needs tweaking. Advanced users ONLY.

    Download M.A.I.D 2.21
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  2. Post #2
    Never send a boy to fuck a MAN!
    coverop's Avatar
    February 2010
    7,015 Posts
    Holy shit. I didn't even imagine to Idle on many accounts at the same time
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  3. Post #3
    Judging people just because of their avatars/titles is RETARDED
    Bryceanater's Avatar
    March 2011
    8,564 Posts
    I Only have one account. And now with F2P, i really don't wanna buy premium TF. :smith:
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  4. Post #4
    Dennab
    October 2010
    12,254 Posts
    And I thought idling with one account was bad enough.
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  5. Post #5
    wtf am i reading
    Blueplastic's Avatar
    June 2010
    15,848 Posts
    I Only have one account. And now with F2P, i really don't wanna buy premium TF. :smith:
    You can buy a €0.99 item
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  6. Post #6
    Benvil's Avatar
    November 2010
    2,754 Posts
    I remember trying the trial to Sandboxie, but the trial only allowed me to run 2 Steam's at once. Was this changed or is there some way to bypass that?
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  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    MILKE's Avatar
    April 2007
    3,505 Posts
    ... or we can just play the game?
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  8. Post #8
    Valor
    Novangel's Avatar
    September 2008
    19,093 Posts
    Reminds me of those people who have 40 EVE accounts.
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  9. Post #9
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    I remember trying the trial to Sandboxie, but the trial only allowed me to run 2 Steam's at once. Was this changed or is there some way to bypass that?
    Get the full version. How is up to you.

    Reading my post helps.
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  10. Post #10
    Dennab
    October 2010
    12,254 Posts
    ... or we can just play the game? Just saying
    Word, though the people around here don't care about the gameplay as much as hats and shit so what can you do.
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  11. Post #11
    Look at me I paid $5 for a title
    Flisk's Avatar
    April 2011
    204 Posts
    I can't load up steam in Sandboxie.

    Steam.exe (main exception): Cannot open blob archive file:
    CMUltiFieldBlob(mem-mapped file): Failed to open existing file, Win32 Error 32
    "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process."

    I have steam running, is that the problem?
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  12. Post #12
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    I can't load up steam in Sandboxie.

    Steam.exe (main exception): Cannot open blob archive file:
    CMUltiFieldBlob(mem-mapped file): Failed to open existing file, Win32 Error 32
    "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process."

    I have steam running, is that the problem?
    It is. Looks like you have to make a copy.
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  13. Post #13
    pureparanoid's Avatar
    October 2007
    847 Posts
    You can buy a €0.99 item
    Technically you have to add funds to your wallet to be able to buy something from the store and the minimum it allows you to add is $5 so its $5 for a premium account, which in my opinion isn't a bad deal if you do want some extra items to turn into metal and all that jazz.

    Edit:

    Thinking about it, I might just spend $10 on two new accounts once summer crates start dropping and buying two summer keys on each account to make them premium. Seems like a good idea.

    Edit:

    Oh, and thanks for the guide OP! I tried using a guide from SPUF but it ended up not working.. I'll see if this one works!
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    Psycho_Shadow's Avatar
    July 2010
    4,748 Posts
    I have four accounts right now, but what I do is just idle one at a time.

    This method will make it much easier
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  15. Post #15
    Marc Laidlaw's Avatar
    March 2011
    180 Posts
    This game really is turning into an MMORPG.
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  16. Post #16
    Silly men accomplish magnificant tasks, the current ammount of womens rear exits that have surrounded my penis makes me confident I will accomplish, shit.
    Joppari's Avatar
    July 2008
    3,412 Posts
    Might do this. I have 2 accounts with tf2
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  17. Post #17
    Benvil's Avatar
    November 2010
    2,754 Posts
    Get the full version. How is up to you.

       Reading my post helps.   
    That's what I thought, but in the case you shouldn't put a trial version as a requirement. Well, only if people only got 2 accounts... But, you need to imply more strongly they'll be needing the full version. Of course without implying black buisness is required too much ;)

    Considering that, the majority of people who care about idle accounts got more than one.
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  18. Post #18
    Gold Member

    August 2010
    5,708 Posts
    I find it sad that people idle when you can JUST PLAY THE GAME
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  19. Post #19
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    That's what I thought, but in the case you shouldn't put a trial version as a requirement. Well, only if people only got 2 accounts... But, you need to imply more strongly they'll be needing the full version. Of course without implying black buisness is required too much ;)

    Considering that, the majority of people who care about idle accounts got more than one.
    You got a point there. Edited.


    I find it sad that people idle when you can JUST PLAY THE GAME
    Because I'm idling means that I don't play the game amirite?
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  20. Post #20
    Benvil's Avatar
    November 2010
    2,754 Posts
    I find it sad that people idle when you can JUST PLAY THE GAME
    That's what I do on my main. I always hit the drop cap just from playing.

    However, considering how cheap idle accounts are these day, I'd highly suggest getting some. They will have made their own value back in 1-3 weeks(New accounts got much better Hat drop rates) if you like selling items. If not, and you want to get the most fun out of TF2, I'd STILL suggest it.

    I for example, thanks to my idle accounts, was able to craft ALL the new Über update weapons right away after the update. That means I don't have to bend down to people overcharging, I can have fun before weapons become nerfed, and I even end up getting some extras I can give to friends(FHAIT too) so they can take part in the fun too.

    I don't regret purchasing my idle accounts, they've been totally worth it, and I even paid 7.50 Euro for each of them(I got 3).
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  21. Post #21
    I DRAW SEALS
    xxfalconxx's Avatar
    March 2009
    5,993 Posts
    Oh no. I learned my lesson from the great halocaust.

    i'm good.
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  22. Post #22
    Gold Member
    macdoo999's Avatar
    September 2009
    3,250 Posts
    I tried running two accounts (Mine and an alt) with the alt boxed and I get this whenever I try to run TF2 from my account:

    I managed to get it to work once during the last double drop week but I have completely forgotten how. Can anybody help?
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  23. Post #23
    Gold Member
    Exilion06's Avatar
    March 2006
    1,686 Posts
    Oh no. I learned my lesson from the great halocaust.

    i'm good.
    I didn't get a halo, but one dropped for me anyway.
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  24. Post #24

    August 2010
    1,489 Posts
    Is there any chance that there's another alternative for sandboxie on mac?
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  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    Doomish's Avatar
    June 2009
    14,794 Posts
    How can I tell when it's working? Like, what should I be seeing in the cmd boxes while they're all doing their thing?
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  26. Post #26
    mike55's Avatar
    December 2009
    710 Posts
    How can I tell when it's working? Like, what should I be seeing in the cmd boxes while they're all doing their thing?
    It should say "<Your name> has connected"
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  27. Post #27
    Gold Member
    Doomish's Avatar
    June 2009
    14,794 Posts
    EDIT: Ninja'd by an answer to my own question. Sweet!

    Edited:

    Do I have to go in and suicide or something to get the items or will the game take care of that next time I log on?
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  28. Post #28
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    I tried running two accounts (Mine and an alt) with the alt boxed and I get this whenever I try to run TF2 from my account:

    I managed to get it to work once during the last double drop week but I have completely forgotten how. Can anybody help?
    Make a copy of your Steam folder and run from the copy.

    EDIT: Ninja'd by an answer to my own question. Sweet!

    Edited:

    Do I have to go in and suicide or something to get the items or will the game take care of that next time I log on?
    Just log on and you will get a message.
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  29. Post #29
    Roxerg's Avatar
    June 2011
    2,941 Posts
    This game really is turning into an MMORPG.
    it's turning into something worse.
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  30. Post #30
    Bort's Avatar
    June 2007
    234 Posts
    Is there any chance that there's another alternative for sandboxie on mac?
    Virtual Machines, that's the way I idle 10 accounts each night for 14 hours until I get back from work at the afternoon
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  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    Doomish's Avatar
    June 2009
    14,794 Posts
    Tested it for about two hours, didn't find anything on any of the accounts I used. I followed all of the directions and the textmode idle itself worked properly. I started each account normally and did not receive a single item. Did I do something wrong?
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  32. Post #32
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    Tested it for about two hours, didn't find anything on any of the accounts I used. I followed all of the directions and the textmode idle itself worked properly. I started each account normally and did not receive a single item. Did I do something wrong?
    Unlucky? Drop cap? Did it say X connected?

    Also I like it how people PM me about my avatar.
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  33. Post #33
    Gold Member
    Doomish's Avatar
    June 2009
    14,794 Posts
    I can't hit the drop cap on accounts I just created. :geno:

    It DID say (username) connected the whole time, yes.

    So I guess I'm just extremely unlucky. Oh well, I'll leave it on the rest of the day regardless.
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  34. Post #34
    Barobax's Avatar
    February 2011
    2,738 Posts
    A very useful tutorial but its much more complicated (to me anyway but thats because I am horrible with things like this) than my method of idling on my main the first two days, idling on my alt the next two days then transferring them using two computers. But this is very helpful to those with only 1 account.
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  35. Post #35
    Yukinari's Avatar
    April 2010
    3,151 Posts
    I got my second steam account running, but i cant play TF2, i get that error where it says i cant run the same instance twice, since im already running TF2 on my main account.
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  36. Post #36
    -IAW-duton1's Avatar
    June 2010
    869 Posts
    Isn't this considered vac bannable? (Out of my own curiosity)
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  37. Post #37
    ☆STARGAZER☆
    Gurkenpirat's Avatar
    May 2011
    476 Posts
    I got my second steam account running, but i cant play TF2, i get that error where it says i cant run the same instance twice, since im already running TF2 on my main account.
    Try making a copy of Steam with TF2 files and run from the copy. Looks like some people have problems with that so I'm adding it to the FAQ.

    Isn't this considered vac bannable? (Out of my own curiosity)
    No.
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  38. Post #38
    -IAW-duton1's Avatar
    June 2010
    869 Posts
    Try making a copy of Steam with TF2 files and run from the copy. Looks like some people have problems with that so I'm adding it to the FAQ.



    No.
    Danke.
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  39. Post #39
    Alfie's Avatar
    August 2010
    1,152 Posts
    Isn't this considered vac bannable? (Out of my own curiosity)
    Why would it be? We're running TF2, not through an external program. Someone should ask Robin just in case, I doubt it is vac bannable.
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  40. Post #40
    Yukinari's Avatar
    April 2010
    3,151 Posts
    Why would it be? We're running TF2, not through an external program. Someone should ask Robin just in case, I doubt it is vac bannable.
    I dont see how you can get vac banned for idling, in a non-vac secured server, on two seperate accounts.
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