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? Were you ever able to find an effective solution? If you had a difficult time, this post should be helpful to you.
Steam Disk Write Error While Downloading/Installing
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 which reads, “An error occurred while installing/updating [game title] (disk write error)“.
See image below.
Commonly known as Steam disk write error, this issue can occur anytime when a game is updated or installed on Steam, leading to Steam being unable to complete the installation. Disk write error shown in the parenthesis is the specific reason responsible for the error.
How to fix disk write error Steam? 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.
Steam Disk Write Error Fix Provided by Users
1. Run as Administrator
Go to the file location of Steam (default location is C:/program files/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 has been solved.
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-launched the game, Fallout 4 loaded up perfectly. This solution might also be useful when updating similar games. See the original post here.
3. Remove Write Protection
When a disk is write-protected, you’re unable to modify the 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 written protected, you can simply clear write protection and remove the error using command.
Take Windows 10 for instance.
Run Command Prompt as an Administrator. Then type these commands one by one and press the Enter key after each:
- list disk
- select disk # (# is the number of the hard drive with which you’re getting the disk error)
- attributes disk clear readonly
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 and open it. 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 the drive for Steam -> 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 all Windows 7/8/8.1/10 editions.
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.
Step 2. In the new emerging window, select Check & fix detected errors and click the Start button. Please wait patiently until it finishes the job. If any error is found, Partition Wizard will try its best to fix it.
Now it is time to test whether there are bad sectors on the drive bringing Steam disk write error to 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 Partition group.
Step 4. In the new emerging window, click Start Now on the top right corner to begin the check. Note that if there are read errors found, they will be marked with red color. On the contrary, if no bad sector is found, all will be marked with green.
If no error is found, go back to Steam and see if the Steam game update is stuck still.
If a lot of errors are found and your drive looks like a failing disk, this may be responsible for the Steam downloading/upgrading error. 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.
Follow the simple guide below:
Step 1. At the disk map error, select the hard drive which has Steam installed and choose Copy Disk from the left action panel.
Step 2. 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.
Step 3. Review the changes to be made or change the copy options according to your preference.
Step 4. Read how to boot from the target disk if you have such an intention.
Step 5. Click Apply to put the pending operations into effect and wait patiently until MiniTool Partition Wizard finishes.
For a more detailed guidance, read How Do I Clone Hard Drive in Windows 7 32/64 Bit.
But if the above user’s 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 thing to try. Please restart Steam and then repeat the downloading/upgrading. If the Steam disk write error persists, restart your computer.
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.
Please follow this path to do the clean: 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.
Please follow this path to do the repair: 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
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.
Please go to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Download Region. You may need to test several regions other than your own.
7. Move Game Folder
It is worth trying to install 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.
Please go to Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders > Add New Library Folder
8. Refresh Local Network Hardware
Network hardware can get into a 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”
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 purpose. 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 an antivirus scanner, resulting in Steam disk write error. You can completely disable the Anti-Virus and check if the disk write error stopped.
12. Investigate Other Programs & Services
Software that modifies or monitors systems and 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 good to try 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
Here we come to the end of this post. Now you know what Steam disk write error installing/updating is and how to resolve it with multiple methods. Hopefully some of our suggestions help you solve any issues early on.
If you have any other tried and true strategies on the subject of how to remove the 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, you can send email to [email protected].