Fix: Steam Disk Write Error

Are you getting the annoying "Disk Write Error" in Steam? You're not alone! Fortunately, we have this simple guide with all the latest and best fixes.

The Disk Write Error on Steam occurs when users try to download and save game data to their storage drive, usually during updating or installing a title. It can, of course, be frustrating to deal with.

It’s not very common for users to experience this on Steam, but that’s what makes the problem slightly more difficult to deal with.

Steam’s “Disk Write Error” which sometimes occurs while installing or updating games.

If you’ve recently run into this problem and don’t know how to fix it, the guide below contains multiple solutions you can try.

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Fix 1: Run Steam With Administrator Privileges

Lack of admin privileges may be the cause of this problem. And, since solving this by launching Steam in Administrator mode is the quickest method, you should try it as a first fix.

Here’s how to run Steam with Administrator Privileges.

  1. Locate the shortcut for Steam on your PC and right-click on it.
  2. Select “Run as Administrator,” and the app will start with administrator privileges.

Now all you have to do is open your library and install or update the game that caused the “Disk Write Error” problem.

Suppose you prefer not to do this manually every time you want to launch Steam, no problem. You can easily follow the steps below to enable Steam launching with administrator privileges permanently.

  1. Navigate to the folder where you have Steam installed on your system.
  2. Find the .exe file and right-click it. The properties window will now open on your screen.
  3. Open the Compatibility tab and find the Settings section on the lower end of the window.
  4. “Tick” the “Run this program as an administrator” box and finish by clicking Apply and OK.

Now Steam will run with administrator privileges when you start it. You can create a shortcut from the .exe file you just modified and replace the one you were already using beforehand.

Start Steam through your new shortcut and see if the problem is gone.

If this doesn’t work, the problem may be related to your Write Protection settings. Take a look at the following section to learn how to change those.  

Fix 2: Ensure Your Steam Directory Doesn’t Have Write Protection

Here’s how you can ensure your Steam directory doesn’t have write protection, as that can cause the Disk Write Error problem.

Follow the steps below.

  1. Locate the folder where Steam is installed on your system.
  2. Right-click and select Properties.
  3. At the bottom, where it says Attributes, “untick” the box next to Read-only.
  4. Click Apply and then OK to complete the process.

This has helped many users, and it might solve your problem too. It’s definitely worth trying as it is one of the simplest solutions.

Fix 3: Remove Corrupted Files Using The Steam Log

There’s a file that Steam creates on your system called “Steam Log,” and you can use it to identify problems easily. Fortunately for all Steam users, we can use this file to solve the “Disk Write Error Steam” issue.

Here’s how you can do that.

  1. Find the folder where Steam is installed on your PC. The default location is Program Files (x86)/Steam, but it might differ for you.
  2. In the Steam folder, find and open the logs folder. Inside, you should find a notepad file called “content_log,” which you’ll need for this method.
  3. Open the file and search for a “failed to write” error. If you manage to find one, next to it, you should see the path for the corrupted file, causing the problem. Locate it and delete it.

Now you should be able to update or install the game without getting the Disk Write Error.  

Fix 4: Delete The 0KB File In Your SteamApps Folder

Not many Steam users knew about this fix until a Reddit user named u/nihilistboi69xoxo pointed it out in this particular thread.

This specific example features Fallout as the game related to the error; however, the same fix can be applied to many other Steam titles.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Navigate to the location where Steam is installed on your PC and access the “common” folder. The default location for most users is Program Files (x86)/Steam/steamapps/common, but this may be different for you.
  2. In the “common” folder, find the file that has the same name as the game you’re trying to install or update but gives you the “Disk Write Error.”
  3. Delete the file and load up your Steam client app again. Try another attempt at installing or updating the game and see if it works. The problem should be gone.

Although this method may seem a bit “risky” for non-tech-savvy users, you can’t go wrong by applying it as a solution to your problem.

Steam will re-download the file you’re deleting, which should be 0KB in size.

Fix 5: Verify Integrity Of Game Cache

Anything can go wrong while installing a game or downloading an update for it. Your internet connection may break, for example, and this can cause some corrupt files to appear.

Steam has a simple “Verify Integrity of Game Cache” function to fix this problem, which is pretty self-explanatory.

This function scans the content and syncs it with Steam’s servers. Then, anything that needs repairing is automatically re-downloaded and fixed.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open your Steam client and log into your account.
  2. On the left side, you’ll see your library of games. Right-click the one you wanted to install or update but couldn’t due to the Disk Write Error.
  3. Select Properties and then Local Files. In the menu that opens, select Verify integrity of game files, and Steam will automatically complete the process for you.

Verifying the integrity of game files on Steam usually helps with many other issues, not just the Disk Write Error problem. So, it’s well worth giving it a try!

Conclusion

One of the key selling points of Steam is the automatic game updating feature. But, it doesn’t always work as flawlessly as users would like.

Although the Steam Disk Write Error is, for the most part, easy to deal with, it often leaves users confused and frustrated.

Now that you know how to solve it, you should enjoy updating and installing the games in your library without any issues.

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Bojan Veselinovikj

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.