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How to Fix Steam Disk Write Error on Multiple Games

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Steam is a popular social gaming website where you can buy, play, and discuss games. But have you ever received Steam disk write error while installing or updating games? Did you find the effective solution finally? If you have no idea, this post should be helpful to you.

Update & Installation Issues

While installing or updating a game like Dota 2, Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Steam sometimes displays an error message:

"An error occurred while installing/updating [game title] (disk write error)". See image below.

disk write error steam

Commonly known as Steam disk write error, this issue can occur anytime when a game is updated or installed on Steam, leading to Steam unable to complete the installation. And disk write error shown in the parenthesis is the specific reason responsible for the error.

If you are having troubles updating a game or installing a game on Steam due to a disk write error now, try the following solutions out.

Solutions Provided by Users

1. Run as Administrator

Go to the location of Steam (default location is C:/program files[86]/Steam). Right-click on the steam.exe and go to properties. Head to the Compatibility tab in properties and make sure "run this program as an administrator" is ticked. Click Apply and run Steam again. Check if the Steam disk write error fixed.

2. Delete the 0KB File

This solution is provided by a Reddit user and many users rate it useful. In short, he just solved this issue by going into Program Files (x86)/Steam/steamapps/common and simply deleting a file titled Fallout that was 0KB in size. When he re-launches the game, Fallout 4 loads up perfectly. Guess this solution might be also useful to the similar games updating. See the original post here.

3. Remove Write Protection

When a disk is write-protected, you're unable to modify it like formatting and writing. This is another possible reason for the Steam disk write error. Please make sure the directory of Steam is NOT read-only. Then right click your Steam launch icon and click "Run as administrator".

But if the disk is already write protected, you can simply clear write protection and remove the error using diskpart command. Take Windows 10 for instance.

Run Command Prompt as Administrator.

Type these commands one by one and press Enter key after each:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk # (# is the number of the hard drive with which you're getting disk error)
  • attributes disk clear readonly

remove write protection

You may now close Command Prompt, repeat the downloading/upgrading process and check if the Steam disk write error Windows 10 disappeared.

4. Delete Corrupted Files in Log

Go to Steam/logs/content_log. Scroll to the bottom of the log file, and look for a "failed to write" error, which will list the file name & path of the issue. Please follow the path to delete the corrupted file, and then repeat the downloading/upgrading.

5. Check Hard Drive for Errors

All storage drives/devices can be affected by file corruption, especially if it has run for years or running under a heavy load. You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to investigate possible issues with your Steam hard drive.

For Windows: My PC -> Right Click on Drive -> Properties -> Tools -> Error checking

If you are not specialized but want to do it by yourself, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free is a good recommendation. Its "Check File System" and "Surface Test" feature can lead you through the disk check process easily and quickly. Applies to Windows 7/8/8.1/10.

Download this freeware, install it on computer and follow the guide below:

Step 1. Launch this free partition magic to the main interface. At the disk map area, select the partition that has Steam installed and choose "Check File System" from the Check Partition group.

check file system

Step 2. In the new emerging window, select "Check & fix detected errors" and click Start button. Please wait patiently until it finishes the job. If any error is found, Partition Wizard will try its best to fix it.

check fix error

Now it is time to test whether there are bad sectors on the drive bringing Steam disk write error Windows 10/8/7.

Step 3. Select the disk that has Steam installed and reports Steam disk write error and then choose "Surface Test" from the Check Disk group.

check bad sector

Step 4. In the new emerging window, click Start Now on the top right corner to begin the check. Note that if there are errors found, they will be marked with red color. On the contrary, if no bad sector is found, all will be marked with green.

start

Tip: this feature is also useful for you to Quick Fix Windows Detected a Hard Disk Problem in Windows 10.

If no error is found, go back to Steam and see if Steam game update stuck still.

Note that if a lot of errors are found, your drive looks like a failing disk, which may be an issue with the downloading/upgrading. In this case, it is better for you to back up data on the drive as soon as possible and then replace the drive. Luckily, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free is also capable of doing this work.

At the disk map error, select the hard drive which has Steam installed and choose "Copy Disk" from the left action panel.

copy disk

Select a target disk to save all data on the source disk. Be aware that all data on the selected target disk will be cleaned for a successful clone. Thus, it is necessary to transfer important data to a safe place.

Review the changes to be made or change the copy options according to your preference.

Read how to boot from the target disk if you have such an intention.

Click Apply to put the pending operations into effect and wait patiently until MiniTool Partition Wizard finishes.

Tip: for a more detailed guidance, read How Do I Clone Hard Drive in Windows 7 32/64 Bit.

But if the above user experience does not help, you may continue reading the solutions put forward by Steam.

Official Steam Troubleshooting

1. Restart Steam and Computer

Needless to say, restarting is always the first trying. Please restart Steam and then repeat the downloading/upgrading. If the Steam disk write error persists, restart your computer then.

2. Clear Download Cache

Clearing the download cache of Steam will force the Steam client to flush locally cached configuration data and acquire it from the Steam server again.
Navigate to your Steam -> Settings -> Downloads -> Clear Download Cache

3. Reinstall Steam

Reinstalling Steam may fix potential issues with Steam client and service files while preserving all installed games. Remember: DO NOT uninstall (this may delete all game content), just reinstall Steam to the same location.

4. Repair Library Folder

The Steam library contains all your installed games which should be writable by all users so as to download or update properly. However, sometimes Steam game update stuck because the user permissions changed and need to be refreshed.
Navigate to your Steam -> Settings -> Downloads -> Steam Library Folders -> Right click on folder -> Repair Folder

5. Verify Local Files

Bad hardware, software crashes, and power surges can corrupt the game folders. You can use Steam to verify the integrity of these files and fix them if necessary.

Find Game in Library -> Right click on Properties -> Local Files -> Verify Integrity of Game Files

validate game file

6. Change Download Region

The Steam content system is divided into geographical regions. The Steam client automatically detects its current region and uses content servers located in that region. Sometimes, servers in a specific region may be slow or overloaded, leading to Steam disk write error while downloading. You can switch to a different download region, using another set of content servers to have a try.
Steam -> Settings -> Downloads -> Download Region. You may need to test several regions other than your own.

change download region

7. Move Game Folder

It is worth trying installing the game on another hard drive in case it is the hard drive failure. If this works, you can then create a new Steam library folder on this drive and install new games or move the already installed games into this Steam library folder.
Steam -> Settings -> Downloads -> Steam Library Folders -> Add New Library Folder

8. Refresh Local Network Hardware

Network hardware can get into slow/broken state after running for a long time. Restarting all modems & routers might be helpful to fix Steam disk write error.

9. Update System & Drivers

Make sure your operating system and hardware drivers are all up to date and repeat the downloading/upgrading.
For Windows: Start -> Search "update" -> Run "Check for Updates"

check for updates

For Mac: drivers cannot be updated separately; you can only update the operating system to the latest.

10. Investigate Firewalls

Certain firewalls may prevent Steam from talking to its servers. You can temporarily disable it for testing purposes. If that’s the reason, it may be necessary to add exceptions in your firewalls for Steam.

11. Investigate Anti-Virus

Anti-Virus hooks deep into the operating system and can affect disk and network operations, further leading to issues with Steam. Besides, some games use copy protection technology which may appear as malicious software to antivirus scanner, resulting in Steam disk write error. You can completely disable the Anti-Virus and check if the disk write error stopped.

Tip: investigating Firewalls and Anti-Virus is also useful if Windows Backup Stuck at Creating System Image.

12. Investigate Other Programs & Services

Software that modifies or monitors system, disk or network activity can cause issues while downloading or running a game. These programs and services can run in the background and are typically associated with software like Anti-Virus, ad-blockers, web-optimizers, firewalls, system cleaners, etc.

You may work with a tech support specialist to ensure that these services & programs are not interfering with Steam. You may even need to temporarily disable them for testing purposes.

13. Disable Overclocking

Some users overclock their hardware to gain the best performance without accepting manufacturers’ recommended settings. This can cause memory and file corruption and should be disabled (usually you can do this in the computer BIOS).

14. Test Online Connection

Some Internet providers cache or compress online data to save bandwidth. This can cause issues with Steam. It is a nice trying connecting your PC to an entirely different network from a different service provider to fix disk write error Steam.

15. Check RAM for Errors

Memory errors can cause issues with the Steam installation process, as well as gameplay. You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to investigate possible issues with your system memory.
For Windows: Start -> Find "mdsched" and run Windows Memory Diagnostic

check memory problem

Bottom Line

Here comes to the end of this post. Now you know what Steam disk write error is and how to resolve it with multiple methods. Hope you will never take the last one. If you have any suggestions on the subject of how to remove disk write error on Steam, let us know by typing your suggestions in the comment section below. If you have any difficulty in using MiniTool software, send email to [email protected].