Merry Xmas with crashing Steam

Besides their crazy sales until January 3rd plus new even bigger deals every day Steam gave me one additional experience. It all started in an innocent way – some question about defragmentation. I answered positively and since that moment Steam UI was completely dead for me. After long minutes I killed the client and that was the last time it was alive. From that moment on I saw exemplary showcase “how not to do software that may go wrong and is reportedly aimed for common users too”:

1) Steam started for a short moment, displayed a message for a split of a second (no chance to read it) and failed. Nothing reasonable in log file either (not that normal user would check that). After a few more tries I managed to copy screenshot and I found out that some blob file went wrong. I guess you see my point – how come that there is no normal way to see the error message? How come there is no direct link to knowledge base? Even some hardcore software solutions are more user friendly at this point.

2) I renamed the blob file but the following update went wrong. Funny enough – the error message after 99% of update was on the screen just for a while – not for a split of a second this time, but still… just a few seconds – maybe ten, maybe fifteen. Too little when you’re not a fan of progress bars. Slow progress bars actually in my case. As it turned out, I’m not the fist one with this problem.

3) I tried also to repair the client. For that I downloaded installer, chose Repair (this is not offered when you don’t have Steam client installed – of course) and after some progress it stated magical Error 1334 (I’m surprised it’s not 1337). Strange when the software offers the Repair option but that one doesn’t work.

After a few more futile attempts to resolve the situation I decided to uninstall Steam – that is only possible with all the content. That brought me to one old situation when I moved Steam directory on the same computer – the process is decribed here and – I think – more clearly here. I have the problem spiced up a bit as my steamapps had 80GB. As there was no regular way how to uninstall those games, I decided to remove some game directories in a rather harsh way (deleting from the disk obviously). Now I’m after successfull Steam installation copying the rest of it (still 40 giga or so) and I’m really curious what will happen because I already logged into the client. Why? Because in the first link how to move directory there was no explicit warning not to do so and client prompted me. Well… I thought I’m a computer engineer (and software is my speciality) but I’m failing miserably with Steam – on the Second Christmas day.

I wish you a Merry Christmas without selfdestructing software! 🙂