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How to Fix a Disk Write Error in Steam

Disk Write Error in Steam

For many of the PC gamers, Steam is effectively the whole platform. Almost all the PC games are sold on its storefront and the Steam client are the ones to handle all of the boring stuff such as game updates and installations. 


Steam is a very solid piece of software and most gamers will never have any issue whatsoever with it. However, sometimes it can go wrong in the most frustrating of ways as it is not inevitable to software failure. 


What Is the Disk Write Error in Steam Anyway?


As a case in point, the dreaded “disk write error” in Steam can throw a big wrench in the works of your gaming time. So to help you get back into the game, let’s look at some common ways to fix this issues.


As the name suggests, Steam sends out a “disk write error” when it can’t write game data to your hard drive. That’s just straightforward, but the real problem is that you do not have a clue as to why Steam can’t write to disk. Causes can vary from an actual problem that affects the Steam file structure to problems with the data download.


1. Run a Disk Scan


Before we even look at Steam itself, we need to make sure that the problem is with Steam and not the actual hard drive you’re trying to install a game to. 


First, just run the Windows disk error checker to see if there is any issue with your drive. If the drive has a problem, the checker should fix it. Although a serious problem affecting the drive might require a drive replacement. You can find the disk checking tool under the Tools tab in the drive’s properties.


2. Restart Your Computer


Before you get frustrated trying all sorts of different solutions, just take a deep breath and simply reboot your computer. This also obviously restarts Steam, which you can do without you rebooting totally. However, even when you have close Steam it tends to leave processes running in the background. 


So unless you want to kill every Steam process manually in task manager, it’s just faster to reboot the PC.


3. Run Steam as Admin


Sometimes Steam cannot write to the disk because the software is lacking a high-enough permission level to make those changes. By running the client as an administrator, you’ll eliminate those issues.


This isn’t a permanent solution however, since Steam does not need admin privileges to work. It’s just a way to get the write operation done and confirm that the cause of the issue is related to file permissions. By default the Steam executable should be under Program Files(x86) > Steam.


4. Change Your Download Region


Majority of the time it seems that a disk write error is sometimes the result of Steam’s inability to pull data from the server. 


Some Steam users have reported success in changing the default download region from within Steam’s settings. Steam has multiple servers that is spread across the world. By default, it will choose the server that will offer you the best speeds, but be as it may things can go wrong between you and that location. So simply changing to the next best server or the one after that can resolve the write error problem in some cases.


5. Verify Game Files


Atimes Steam can’t write to a game’s folder cos of the incomplete or corrupted files. In this case what you should do is to try and verify the game installation. 


This is an in-built function in the client that checks the game files on your computer against the error checksum for the files on the server. If they don’t match, Steam will then assume the file on your drive is corrupt and will replace it with the one on the server. 


Just be warned that this process will remove any mods you’ve made to the game folder. You can run the integrity check from the Local Files section of a given game’s properties page.


6. Reinstall Steam


If nothing seems to be working and you’re still seeing the disk write error in Steam, you are free to always download the latest Steam installer and reinstall the whole client. You shouldn’t lose any game data and the Steam installer will help check your current files and will verify them properly.

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