Steam: Validating but not launching

I’ve been having some trouble with Steam the last two days. When I try to launch games it tries “validating” the files. It says it gets to 100% but then it doesn’t launch the game. Yesterday I followed a FAQ that had me delete a .blob file which didn’t work, then I deleted all my files except for the game data files and steam.exe which didn’t work.

Then this morning I was able to play without any trouble.

Now I’m back to validating all the time again.

Any ideas?

Improve your karma?

Steam has been the suck for a lot of users lately, me included. They have to get their shit together!

Are you running Vista? If so, do you have UAC on? I found that was a source of problems for me and needed to turn it off.

No idea if it’s related, but recently when trying to launch HL2 it would occasionally open the main Steam window instead of launching the game. Every time this happened we reset the PC and that seemed to fix it. This is under XP.

Well I did the “delete everything but steam.exe and SteamApps folder” again and that seemed to work.

I’m definitely keeping in mind my recent comment that if you look at Steam more as a “software as a service/MMO” type model it’s easier to have “serenity now” about these hiccups.


Yeah. You can also shut down and reboot Steam to fix this.

You’d think with the mountains of money Valve has made from Half-Lives they’d be able to hire decent programmers for their DD/community/etc platform. You’d think WRONG!

I was super-enthusiastic about Steam when it first launched and bought HL2, HL2:Ep1, Sin:Ep1 off it, but now I purposefully avoid it and just buy what few PC games I still buy the old fashioned way even if they are available on Steam at release. The little bit of convenience and time savings you get via ordering a game on Steam and having it directly downloaded is EASILY cancelled out by the sum of all the small little annoyances Steam will constantly throw at you.

More complaints
Even more annoying then Steam’s (prolonged) hiccups is Valve’s abysmal customer support. First of all, its like they purposefully make it hard to open a ticket. You have to open an FAQ question and only then is a submit ticket button become available. This is explained in very small font on the top of the support page. Maybe I’m obtuse - it took me 15 minutes to notice this. Accessing your existing questions is done the same way. Very bad interface design.
After you get the question submitted, expect a 7 to 20 wait days. The response will inevitably be - shut down Steam, delete every thing except steam.exe and restart Steam. Thanks Valve’s support, now I can enjoy Steam installing and updating itself for the next 3 days. After which it will not work just as before.
Just in case there was something wrong with my PC (I don’t really believe that) I reopened my ticket and explained that I am having recurring problems. The support guy would close them writing that he sees that I am accessing my account for game play.
I reopened the ticket and they closed it again advising me to delete you know what. Nobody contacted me in any other way to try and find a particular problem in my system so I guess either:

  1. They don’t care.
  2. They don’t have enough people to handle individual support.
  3. There is no solution.
    Yesterday I uninstalled Steam in a fit of rage. Then I remembered that I bought BTS through it. Now I can’t make up my mind whether to buy it again in a store, or just play vanilla civ4.

The ticket thing isn’t surprising. Most people don’t read shit; they just want to fire off an email. The other stuff is inexcusable, though.

I have been having problems with the Steam community. I can run launch steam and run a game fine, but it won’t refresh servers, log into the community, or register on the forums. I sent them a ticket telling them that “I know and can reset my password without issue, but it will not log into the community” and “when I try to register on the forums, it does not recognize my Steam ID”.

Their response took about a week, and all they did was reset my password, which was exactly what I did not need.