Steam is the most popular digital video game and software distribution platform. To access all the content offered by this platform, you need a Steam account and a desktop application that will be in charge of installing all the products that you have purchased through the platform, but what happens when the application fails? The Steam “disk write error” is one of the most common errors that may arise but it is also easy to fix. In this post, I will show you how to identify the origin of the problem and how to solve it effectively.
Many users have reported that after cloning their operating systems from one disk to another, as in this case, from an HDD to an SDD, the steam “disk write error” error does not allow them to install or update their games and although this problem may seem complex to solve, it is not. This error can be caused by several reasons, the vast majority are related to an erroneous configuration generated by the cloning of the operating system and therefore, the most important thing is to identify the source of this problem. In this post, I will talk about all the possible causes of this problem and I highly recommend that you have patience since it is likely that there are more than one or two problems that are generating this error in your system.
The Steam “Disk write error” error occurs when, during the installation or update process of a game, the Steam application is unable to find, write or edit the game files in their original location. As you can imagine, this can be due to multiple reasons ranging from a problem during the installation of Steam, the game, update or even your operating system and added to all of the above, you must take into account that if you recently restored your operating system to a new disk, it is very likely that there are discrepancies in the paths and names of the folders.
As I mentioned before, the most important thing is to identify the source of the problem, however, in most cases, 4 methods can solve this problem. Below I will show you what they are.
Sometimes, it will be enough to run the application in administrator mode, in this way, you would solve any problem that was caused by some restriction of user access. You can also go to the file location of Steam (the default location is at C: / program files (x86) / Steam). Right-click on steam.exe and go to properties, head to the “Compatibility” tab and make sure that the "run this program as an administrator" option, is ticked
There is a file into the Steam folder whose purpose is to store diagnostic data regarding errors. This file is called ".crash". It is not very common but sometimes, the ".crash" file can prevent the application from working properly.
You must bear in mind that for Steam to function properly it must have read and write permissions to add, delete or edit files. Below I will show you how to fix this problem.
Step 1: Make sure the “Read-only” option is enabled
Right-click on the Steam shortcut and select the "Properties" option. Now you should go to the "General" section and make sure that at the bottom of the window, the "Read-only" option is disabled.
Step 2: Run Command Prompt as Administrator
First, you will need to run the Command Prompt as an Administrator. To do this, you can go to the start menu and type “command prompt”, then right-click on its shortcut and select “Run as administrator”.
Step 3: Use Command Prompt to disable the “read-only” attribute
Enter the following commands one by one and press the Enter key after each:
Go to Steam/logs/content_log and open the text file. Scroll to the bottom of the log file, and look for a "failed to write" error, which will lead you to the file name and path of the corrupted file.
If with the previous methods you did not manage to solve the problem, the internal files of Steam may have been corrupted and this causes all kinds of errors, luckily you can use data recovery software like Recoverit, this software will take care of rebuilding and repairing any corrupted file, thus restoring the proper functioning of Steam. You can download this software for free from its official website https://recoverit.wondershare.com/.
Below I will show you how to use it.
Step 1: Choose a drive to scan
Once you’ve installed and opened the software, select the drive where steam data is located.
Step 2: Select the files to recover/restore
Now all you have to do is select the folder or folders you want to recover/restore and click on “Recover”.
Sometimes, as the Occam’s razor principle indicates; the simplest answer may be the correct one. Try restarting Steam and your computer, sometimes this is probably enough to solve the problem.
Clearing the Steam cache is usually very useful when Steam does not work correctly, and it is an extremely simple process to carry out. Below I will show you how to do it.
First of all, you need to open Steam and click on the “Steam” section, a menu will be displayed and there you must click on “Settings”. Now, go to the “Downloads” section and click on “CLEAR DOWNLOAD CACHE”
Reinstalling Steam can solve the problem; however, you will have to use the installer to overwrite the files in the Steam folder without uninstalling it since doing this would delete the games and save files from your computer.
Sometimes Steam game update fails because the user permissions have changed and need to be updated. Below I’ll show you how to repair the library folder.
Step 1: Open Steam library folders manager
First of all, you need to open Steam and click on the “Steam” section, a menu will be displayed and there you must click on “Settings”. Now, go to the “Downloads” section and click on “STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS”
Step 2: Run “Repair Library Folder” utility
Once the Steam Library Folders utility has opened, Right-click on the “Steam” folder and click on “Repair Library Folder”
It is important to remember that games, like any other type of digital information, are vulnerable to corruption for various reasons, however, Steam can analyze the integrity of game files and correct them.
Below I will show you how to do it.
Step 1: Go to “Local Files” section
In your Steam game library, right-click on the game that has the installation or update error and then go to the "LOCAL FILES" section. Once there, click on “VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES...”
Step 2: Wait until the process finishes
This process may take a few minutes, Steam will analyze all the game files to find files that are damaged and once it has finished, just click on "Close".
As you can imagine, Steam divides the downloadable content by regions, in this way Steam can adapt the downloads so that the languages and settings adjust to the user's needs, however, there is the possibility that you have installed Steam in a different language and for this reason, you are assigned a different download region than yours and this, in turn, can cause compatibility problems.
To solve this problem, you must open Steam. Once opened, click on the "Steam" section and select the "Settings" option. Now go to the "Downloads" section. There you can change the "Download Region".
One method that can fix the Steam “disk write error” is to change the folder where the games are stored. This process is fairly straightforward but can be time-consuming depending on the weight of the games you have stored in the folder.
Below I will show you how to do it.
Step 1: Open Steam library folders manager
First of all, you need to Open Steam and click on the “Steam” section, a menu will be displayed and there you must click on “Settings”. Now, into the “Downloads” section click on “STEAM LIBRARY FOLDERS”
Step 2: Click on “ADD LIBRARY FOLDER”
Once the Steam Library Folders manager has opened, select a different drive and click on “ADD LIBRARY FOLDER”
It is important to remember that any type of installation or update that you make through Steam will need you to have a stable internet connection. To solve this problem, simply restart your modem or router.
Keep in mind that the correct operation of any software and hardware that you have installed on your computer depends on the system updates and drivers. To update the drivers on your computer, you must go to the Windows menu, type "Update" and click on its shortcut.
A window like this will be displayed. Once there, click on “Check for updates”.
Windows Firewall can block Steam's access to the network service, so it is important to confirm that Steam has permission to access the network in the Windows Firewall settings. To add or remove permissions, click on the “Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall” option and check the Steam box in both sections (private and public).
If your computer is infected with a virus, you are likely to experience all kinds of problems, including writing or reading data problems. Try to run a "Quick Scan" from your Antivirus or Windows Defender.
The problems may be caused by the intervention of some software that you have installed, it does not necessarily have to be a virus. Check the programs that are active from the Task Manager. To open task manager you can right-click on the taskbar and select the option “Task Manager.”
If you have overclocked your hardware, the high-frequency rates are likely incompatible with the drivers on your computer and this in turn can generate all kinds of operating problems. Try to revert the parameters to their original settings through BIOS or UEFI.
If you have already tried restarting your modem or router and the problem still seems to be related to your internet connection, you should consider that there are other possible problems related to the internet connection, such as bandwidth. You should know that both the network administrator and the service provider can adjust the bandwidth values and this in turn can cause problems with the management of Steam downloads.
RAM is essential for the correct operation of any computer and it is important to know that RAM, like the rest of the hardware that makes up your PC, has a limited lifetime and is equally vulnerable to sudden variations in voltage or power outages. Windows has a diagnostic tool that allows you to know the health status of RAM. To use it you must open the Windows menu, type "matched" and run "Windows Memory Diagnostic"
Steam is an excellent platform for downloading games but it can fail. As you may have noticed, there are many reasons why the "disk writes error" can appear and you can solve it with patience and dedication, however, there is a much more practical alternative to restore the proper functioning of Steam. Using Recoverit you will be able to recover and restore the information of any device even if it has been corrupted with just a couple of clicks.