Steam disk write error

Steam is a popular digital gaming platform that allows users to download and play a wide range of games. However, sometimes users may encounter an annoying issue known as the “Steam disk write error.” This error message typically appears when Steam is unable to write or update game files on the hard drive. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this error and provide you with effective solutions to fix it. By following the step-by-step procedures outlined below, you’ll be able to resolve the disk write error and get back to enjoying your gaming experience hassle-free.

Steam disk write error

Reasons for Steam Disk Write Error 

  • Insufficient Disk Space: One of the primary reasons for encountering the Steam disk write error is insufficient disk space on the drive where your games are installed. When there is not enough free space, Steam is unable to write or update the necessary files, leading to the error message.
  • File System Issues: Corrupted or incompatible file systems can also trigger the disk write error in Steam. If the file system of the drive where your games are stored is damaged or formatted in a way that Steam cannot recognize, the error may occur.
  • Anti-virus or Firewall Interference: Sometimes, your antivirus software or firewall settings can interfere with Steam’s file writing process. Overzealous security measures may mistakenly identify Steam’s activities as potential threats, leading to the disk write error.
  • Read-Only Permissions: If the game files or the directory in which they are stored are set to read-only, Steam will be unable to write or update those files, resulting in the disk write error. This can happen due to incorrect permissions or settings on your system.

How to Fix Steam Disk Write Error?

Fix 1: Free Up Disk Space

Insufficient disk space is a common cause of the Steam disk write error. To fix this issue, follow these detailed steps to free up disk space:

  • Step 1: Open the Steam Client: Launch the Steam client on your computer by double-clicking on its icon.
  • Step 2: Go to Settings: Click on the “Steam” menu located at the top left corner of the client’s interface. From the dropdown menu, select “Settings.”
  • Step 3: Access Downloads: In the settings window, locate and click on the “Downloads” tab on the left-hand side.
  • Step 4: Select Steam Library Folders: Within the Downloads settings, find and click on the “Steam Library Folders” button.
  • Step 5: Check Available Space: A new window will appear displaying the different library folders where your games are installed. Look for the drive where you encounter the disk write error and note the amount of available space next to it.
  • Step 6: Free Up Space: If the available space on the drive is low, it’s time to clear some space. Here are a few ways to do it:
    • a) Delete Unnecessary Files:
      • Identify and delete any unnecessary files, such as old screenshots, videos, or game mods that you no longer use.
    • b) Uninstall Unwanted Games:
      • If you have games installed that you rarely play or no longer enjoy, consider uninstalling them to free up space.
    • c) Move Games to Another Drive:
      • If you have multiple drives on your computer, you can transfer some games to a drive with more free space. To do this, right-click on the game in your Steam library, select “Properties,” go to the “Local Files” tab, and click on “Move Install Folder.” Choose the destination drive with sufficient space and follow the prompts to complete the process.
    • d) Clear Temporary Files:
      • Use disk cleanup tools or manually delete temporary files, such as those in the Windows Temp folder, to reclaim additional space.
  • Step 7: Restart Steam: After freeing up disk space, close the Steam client completely and restart it. This step ensures that the changes take effect.
  • Step 8: Check for Error Resolution: Launch the game that was previously encountering the disk write error and check if the issue has been resolved. If the error persists, proceed to the next fix.

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the Steam disk write error caused by insufficient disk space. However, if the issue persists, proceed to the next fix for further troubleshooting.

Fix 2: Verify Game Files

Corrupted or missing game files can trigger the Steam disk write error. Verifying the integrity of game files can help fix this issue. Follow these detailed steps to verify game files:

  • Step 1: Open the Steam Client: Launch the Steam client on your computer by double-clicking on its icon.
  • Step 2: Go to Library: Click on the “Library” tab located at the top of the client’s interface. This will display all the games in your Steam library.
  • Step 3: Right-click on the Game: Locate the game that is experiencing the disk write error in the list of games. Right-click on the game’s name to open a dropdown menu.
  • Step 4: Select Properties: From the dropdown menu, select “Properties” at the bottom. A new window will appear with various options.
  • Step 5: Navigate to the Local Files Tab: In the properties window, navigate to the “Local Files” tab. This tab contains options related to the game’s local files.
  • Step 6: Verify Game Files: Within the “Local Files” tab, click on the “Verify Integrity of Game Files” button. Steam will initiate a process to verify the integrity of the game files associated with the selected game.
  • Step 7: Wait for the Verification Process: Allow Steam some time to verify the game files. This process may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the game and the speed of your computer.
  • Step 8: Check for Error Resolution: Once the verification process is complete, Steam will automatically compare the game files on your system with its database. It will identify and replace any corrupted or missing files. After the process finishes, launch the game and check if the disk write error has been resolved.

Verifying the integrity of game files helps ensure that your game is complete and free of any corruption. If the disk write error persists, proceed to the next fix for further troubleshooting.

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Fix 3: Adjust File Permissions

If the game files or the directory in which they are stored have incorrect or restrictive permissions, it can lead to the Steam disk write error. Follow these detailed steps to adjust file permissions:

  • Step 1: Locate the Game Dire ctory: Navigate to the directory where the game files are located. By default, Steam installs games in the following directory: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common”. Find the folder corresponding to the game that is encountering the disk write error.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the Game Folder: Right-click on the game folder and select “Properties” from the context menu.
  • Step 3: Go to the “Security” Tab: In the properties window, navigate to the “Security” tab. This tab displays the security settings and permissions for the selected folder.
  • Step 4: Click on Edit: Click on the “Edit” button to modify the permissions for the game folder.
  • Step 5: Grant Full Control: In the “Permissions for [Game Folder]” window, select your user account or the “Users” group from the list of users and groups.
  • Step 6: Enable Full Control: Check the box next to “Full Control” to grant yourself full control over the folder and its contents. This ensures that you have the necessary permissions to read, write, and modify the game files.
  • Step 7: Apply the Changes: Click on the “Apply” button to apply the changes to the permissions.
  • Step 8: Confirm Permission Changes: If a confirmation dialog appears, click on “Yes” or “OK” to confirm the permission changes.
  • Step 9: Check for Error Resolution: Launch the game and check if the disk write error has been resolved. If the error persists, try running Steam and the game as an administrator. Right-click on the Steam shortcut or executable, select “Run as administrator,” and repeat the above steps to adjust file permissions again.

By adjusting the file permissions, you ensure that Steam has the necessary rights to read from and write to the game files. If the disk write error still persists, continue to the next fix for further troubleshooting.

Fix 4: Disable Anti-virus and Firewall Temporarily

Sometimes, antivirus software or firewall settings can interfere with Steam’s file writing process, triggering the disk write error. Temporarily disabling these security measures can help resolve the issue. Follow these detailed steps to disable your antivirus and firewall:

  • Step 1: Open your Antivirus Software: Locate the icon of your antivirus software in the system tray or on the taskbar. Double-click on the icon to open the anti-virus program.
  • Step 2: Find the Settings or Options: Look for settings or options within the anti-virus software’s interface. These settings may be labelled as “Preferences,” “Options,” “Settings,” or something similar.
  • Step 3: Disable Real-time Protection: In the settings or options, find the section related to real-time protection or active monitoring. Disable this feature temporarily to stop the anti-virus software from actively scanning and interfering with Steam’s file writing process.
  • Step 4: Save and Apply the Changes: After disabling real-time protection, find a “Save” or “Apply” button within the settings or options window. Click on it to save the changes you made.
  • Step 5: Open the Firewall Settings: Open the Control Panel on your computer by searching for it in the Start menu. In the Control Panel, locate and open the “Windows Defender Firewall” or “Windows Firewall” settings.
  • Step 6: Disable the Firewall: Within the firewall settings, find the option to turn off the firewall temporarily. This option may be labelled as “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off” or “Change notification settings.” Select the option to disable the firewall.
  • Step 7: Confirm the Disabling of Firewall: If a confirmation dialog appears, confirm the action to disable the firewall temporarily.
  • Step 8: Launch Steam and Check for Error Resolution: Launch the Steam client and try running the game again. Check if the disk write error has been resolved. If the error no longer occurs, it indicates that the anti-virus or firewall was causing the interference.

Remember to re-enable your anti-virus software and firewall once you have tested Steam without them. If the error persists even after disabling the security measures, it is recommended to contact the software’s support for further assistance.

By temporarily disabling your anti-virus software and firewall, you can determine if they were the cause of the Steam disk write error. If the error continues to persist, proceed to the conclusion for a summary of the key points discussed in this article.

Fix 5: Check and Repair Hard Drive Errors

Hard drive errors can contribute to the Steam disk write error. Running a disk check and repairing any issues can help resolve this problem. Follow these detailed steps to check and repair hard drive errors:

  • Step 1: Open File Explorer: Open the File Explorer on your computer by clicking on the folder icon located on the taskbar or by pressing the Windows key + E.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the Drive: Right-click on the drive where your Steam games are installed. Typically, this is the C: drive, but it may vary depending on your system configuration.
  • Step 3: Select Properties: From the context menu, select “Properties” to open the properties window for the drive.
  • Step 4: Go to the Tools Tab: In the properties window, navigate to the “Tools” tab. This tab contains options to check and repair the drive.
  • Step 5: Click on Check: Under the “Error checking” section, click on the “Check” button. This will initiate a scan for errors on the drive.
  • Step 6: Wait for the Scan to Complete: Allow the scan to run its course. The duration will depend on the size and condition of the drive. During this process, the system will search for and attempt to fix any errors found on the drive.
  • Step 7: Restart Your Computer: If prompted to restart your computer to complete the repair process, save any open files and restart your system.
  • Step 8: Launch Steam and Check for Error Resolution: After your computer restarts, launch the Steam client and try running the game that was encountering the disk write error. Check if the issue has been resolved. If the error persists, consider contacting your hard drive manufacturer or seeking professional assistance to further diagnose and repair any underlying hard drive issues.

By checking and repairing hard drive errors, you ensure that your drive is in good health and can properly read and write the necessary game files. If the disk write error persists, it is recommended to seek advanced technical support for further troubleshooting.

Fix 6: Reinstall Steam

If the previous fixes did not resolve the Steam disk write error, reinstalling the Steam client can help address any underlying issues with the software installation. Follow these detailed steps to reinstall Steam:

Step 1: Uninstall Steam

Go to the Control Panel on your computer by searching for it in the Start menu. In the Control Panel, locate and open the “Programs” or “Programs and Features” option. Look for Steam in the list of installed programs, right-click on it, and select “Uninstall” or “Uninstall/Change.” Follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation process.

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Step 2: Delete Remaining Steam Files

After uninstalling Steam, some files and folders may still remain on your computer. To ensure a clean reinstall, navigate to the following locations and delete any remaining Steam files or folders:

  • a) C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
  • b) C:\Program Files\Steam
  • c) C:\Users[Your Username]\AppData\Local\Steam
  • d) C:\Users[Your Username]\AppData\Roaming\Steam

Step 3: Download and Install Steam

Visit the official Steam website (store.steampowered.com) and click on the “Install Steam” button. Follow the on-screen instructions to download the Steam installation file. Once downloaded, run the installation file and follow the prompts to reinstall Steam on your computer.

Step 4: Launch Steam and Login

After the installation is complete, launch the Steam client and log in using your Steam account credentials.

Step 5: Test the Games

Once you’re logged in, reinstall and test the game that was encountering the disk write error. Download and install the game from your Steam library and check if the issue has been resolved. If the error no longer occurs, it indicates that the reinstallation of Steam resolved the problem.

Step 6: Restore Game Files (Optional)

If you have game files saved on an external drive or a separate folder, you can restore them to their original locations within the new Steam installation. Follow the instructions provided by the game developers or refer to any backup files you may have created.

Reinstalling Steam provides a fresh installation, ensuring that any corrupt or misconfigured files causing the disk write error are eliminated. If the issue persists even after reinstalling Steam, it is recommended to reach out to Steam support or seek advanced technical assistance for further troubleshooting.

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Fix 7: Change Steam Download Region

Sometimes, issues with the download region settings in Steam can cause the disk write error. Changing the download region can help resolve this problem. Follow these detailed steps to change your Steam download region:

  • Step 1: Open the Steam Client: Launch the Steam client on your computer by double-clicking on its icon.
  • Step 2: Go to Settings: Click on the “Steam” menu located at the top left corner of the client’s interface. From the dropdown menu, select “Settings.”
  • Step 3: Access Downloads: In the settings window, locate and click on the “Downloads” tab on the left-hand side.
  • Step 4: Choose a New Download Region: Within the Downloads settings, find the “Download Region” dropdown menu. Click on it and select a different region from the list. Choose a region that is geographically closer to your location.
  • Step 5: Save the Changes: After selecting a new download region, click on the “OK” button or any other applicable option to save the changes.
  • Step 6: Restart Steam: Close the Steam client completely and restart it. This step ensures that the changes in the download region take effect.
  • Step 7: Test the Game Download: Once Steam has restarted, try downloading or updating the game that was encountering the disk write error. Check if the error has been resolved. If the game downloads or updates without any issues, it indicates that the previous download region was causing the problem.

By changing the download region in Steam, you can alleviate any issues related to server congestion or connectivity problems specific to your previous region. If the disk write error persists, you may need to consider additional troubleshooting steps or seek further assistance from Steam support.

Fix 8: Update Device Drivers

Outdated or incompatible device drivers can sometimes contribute to the Steam disk write error. Updating your device drivers can help resolve this issue. Follow these detailed steps to update your device drivers:

  • Step 1: Identify the Device: Identify the device associated with the disk write error. This could be your graphics card, network adapter, or any other hardware device relevant to gaming and Steam.
  • Step 2: Open Device Manager: Open the Device Manager on your computer. You can access it by right-clicking on the Start menu and selecting “Device Manager” from the context menu.
  • Step 3: Locate the Device: In the Device Manager window, expand the relevant category that corresponds to the device causing the disk write error. For example, expand “Display adapters” for your graphics card.
  • Step 4: Right-click and Select Update Driver: Right-click on the specific device and select “Update Driver” from the context menu. This will prompt Windows to search for the latest driver software for the selected device.
  • Step 5: Automatic Driver Update: Choose the option that allows Windows to automatically search for and update the driver software. Windows will connect to the internet and download the latest compatible driver for your device.
  • Step 6: Manual Driver Update: Alternatively, if you have previously downloaded the latest driver software from the device manufacturer’s website, select the option to manually browse your computer for driver software. Locate and select the downloaded driver file to update the device driver manually.
  • Step 7: Repeat for Other Devices: If there are other devices that could potentially contribute to the disk write error, repeat steps 3 to 6 for each relevant device.
  • Step 8: Restart Your Computer: After updating the device drivers, restart your computer to apply the changes.
  • Step 9: Test Steam and Games: Launch the Steam client and test the game that was encountering the disk write error. Check if the issue has been resolved. If the error no longer occurs, it suggests that outdated or incompatible device drivers were causing the problem.

Regularly updating your device drivers ensures that your hardware and software work together seamlessly, reducing the chances of encountering errors such as the disk write error. If the issue persists, you may need to consider other troubleshooting steps or consult with the device manufacturer for further assistance.

Fix 9: Check and Repair Steam Library Folder Permissions

Incorrect or restricted permissions on your Steam library folders can also lead to the disk write error. Verifying and repairing the folder permissions can help resolve this issue. Follow these detailed steps to check and repair the Steam library folder permissions:

  • Step 1: Exit Steam: Make sure that the Steam client is completely closed. Exit the program and ensure that it is not running in the background.
  • Step 2: Locate the Steam Library Folder: Open File Explorer and navigate to the location where your Steam library folders are located. By default, the main library folder is typically found in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common”. However, you may have additional library folders in different locations.
  • Step 3: Right-click on the Library Folder: Right-click on the main Steam library folder or any additional library folders where your games are stored. From the context menu, select “Properties”.
  • Step 4: Go to the Security Tab: In the properties window, click on the “Security” tab. This tab displays the security settings and permissions for the selected folder.
  • Step 5: Click on Advanced: Click on the “Advanced” button to access advanced security settings for the folder.
  • Step 6: Check Permissions: In the advanced security settings window, check if your user account or the “Users” group has the necessary permissions for the folder. Look for the “Full Control” permission and ensure that it is allowed.
  • Step 7: Adjust Permissions: If the necessary permissions are not set, click on the “Change Permissions” or “Edit” button. This allows you to modify the permissions for the folder.
  • Step 8: Grant Full Control: In the permissions window, select your user account or the “Users” group and click on the “Edit” button. Check the box next to “Full Control” to grant yourself full control over the folder and its contents.
  • Step 9: Apply the Changes: Click on the “Apply” button to apply the changes to the folder’s permissions.
  • Step 10: Confirm Permission Changes: If a confirmation dialog appears, click on “Yes” or “OK” to confirm the permission changes.
  • Step 11: Repeat for Other Library Folders (if applicable): If you have additional library folders, repeat steps 3 to 10 for each folder to ensure that the permissions are set correctly.
  • Step 12: Launch Steam and Check for Error Resolution: Launch the Steam client and try running the game that was encountering the disk write error. Check if the issue has been resolved. If the error no longer occurs, it indicates that the folder permissions were causing the problem.
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By checking and repairing the permissions on your Steam library folders, you ensure that Steam has the necessary rights to read from and write to the game files. If the disk write error persists, you may need to consider additional troubleshooting steps or seek further assistance from Steam support or a technical expert.

Preventing the Steam Disk Write Error: Useful Tips

1: Keep Sufficient Disk Space

To prevent encountering the Steam disk write error, it’s essential to ensure that you have sufficient disk space available on the drive where your games are installed. Follow these tips to keep enough disk space:

  • Regularly delete unnecessary files, such as old screenshots, videos, or game mods that you no longer need.
  • Uninstall games that you rarely play or no longer enjoy to free up space.
  • Move games to a different drive with more free space if you have multiple drives on your computer.
  • Use disk cleanup tools or manually delete temporary files, such as those in the Windows Temp folder, to reclaim additional space.

2: Keep your System and Steam Updated

Keeping your system and Steam client updated is crucial for preventing various issues, including the disk write error. Here’s what you can do:

  • Enable automatic updates for your operating system to ensure you receive the latest bug fixes and security patches.
  • Set Steam to update automatically. Open the Steam client, go to “Settings,” select the “Downloads” tab, and make sure the “Allow downloads during gameplay” and “Always keep this game up to date” options are checked.

3: Use Reliable Anti-virus Software

Anti-virus software plays a crucial role in protecting your system, but it can sometimes interfere with Steam’s file writing process. Follow these tips to minimize conflicts:

  • Use a reputable and up-to-date anti-virus software from a trusted provider.
  • Exclude the Steam installation folder and game directories from the antivirus scans to prevent false positives or unnecessary interruptions. Consult the documentation or support website of your anti-virus software for instructions on how to set exclusions.

4: Configure Firewall Settings

Firewall settings can also impact Steam’s functionality. Here’s how you can ensure smooth operation:

  • Allow Steam and its associated processes through your firewall. You may need to create specific rules or exceptions in your firewall settings to grant access to Steam.
  • If you use a third-party firewall, consult its documentation or support website for instructions on how to configure it for Steam.

5: Check for Hard Drive Errors Regularly

Regularly checking for and repairing hard drive errors can help maintain the health and performance of your storage devices. Follow these tips:

  • Run disk check utilities provided by your operating system to scan and fix any errors on your hard drive. For example, you can use the “chkdsk” command on Windows.
  • Consider using third-party disk repair tools if you suspect deeper issues with your hard drive. Consult the documentation or support resources for the specific tool you choose for instructions on how to use it effectively.

By following these preventative tips, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering the Steam disk write error. Remember to keep your system and Steam client updated, maintain sufficient disk space, configure your anti-virus software and firewall correctly, and periodically check for hard drive errors. Taking these precautions will help ensure a smooth gaming experience without disruptions.

Conclusion

The Steam disk write error can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps and preventative measures, you can overcome and prevent this issue. By freeing up disk space, verifying game files, adjusting permissions, disabling security software temporarily, checking and repairing hard drive errors, reinstalling Steam, updating device drivers, and ensuring proper folder permissions, you can resolve the error and enjoy uninterrupted gaming. Remember to keep your system and Steam client updated, use reliable anti-virus software, configure firewall settings, and regularly check for hard drive errors. By following these tips, you’ll enhance your gaming experience and minimize disruptions. So, game on and enjoy!

FAQs

What cuses the Steam disk write error?

Insufficient disk space, file system issues, anti-virus interference, and read-only permissions can cause this error.

How can I free up disk space?

Delete unnecessary files, uninstall unwanted games, and move games to a drive with more space.

How do I verify game files?

Right-click on the game, go to Properties, and click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.

What should I do if my anti-virus causes the error?

Temporarily disable the anti-virus or put it in gaming mode while running Steam.

How do I adjust file permissions?

Right-click on the game folder, go to Properties, and grant yourself full control in the Security tab.

Should I change the download region in Steam?

Changing the download region can help if congestion or connectivity issues are causing the error.

What if updating drivers doesn’t resolve the error?

Contact Steam support or seek advanced technical assistance for further troubleshooting.

Can reinstalling Steam fix the problem?

Reinstalling Steam can resolve issues with software installation and configuration.

How often should I check for hard drive errors?

Regularly run disk check utilities or use third-party tools to maintain hard drive health.

How can I prevent the Steam disk write error?

Keep sufficient disk space, update your system and Steam, use reliable anti-virus software, configure firewalls correctly, and maintain proper permissions.

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