Steam doing First Time Setup Every time?

All hail GABE NEWELL. Why so? Well he is the co-founder and the Managing Director of Valve. That is the same company which created Steam and allowed me to play DOTA 2 and so many other games online when I only dreamt of Single Player Games in my childhood.

Now, one thing which I really like in various activities is formatting my laptop like every 5-6 months so that it is neat and clean while running at it’s best. But, I hate to move the data back and forth so I have created a separate partition on my laptop for saving the Data. One such folder on that partition is STEAM where most of my games reside. Since, the bandwidth in India is very low, downloading games can be a real pain. So I take extra precaution that my STEAM folder is there always.

So, this one fine day, I formatted my laptop and after the format Steam was there as usual on the partition not formatted. I do not do repeated installations of Steam as it has got the Repair Utility to take care of any missing registry entries or DLL’s after a format. After the necessary installations, I was finally able to play a game of DOTA.

Next day, I immediately fired up Steam after coming home and looking forward to play a game of DOTA, I pressed the PLAY button and to my surprise it began the First Time Installation Setup. I was like You Don’t Say? It was because I had already done that. So, I thought that may it was a one time problem. But, the problem persisted.

Now, since I did not want to reinstall the whole game for this one small thing as it only took around 5 seconds to complete after clicking YES in the UAC Window, I decided to solve the problem.

After watching Mark Russinovich’s ‘The Case Of Unexplained’ and his blog, I was motivated to use the Process Monitor. Process Monitor is basically a tool for advanced monitoring which monitors File System, Registry & Process/Thread activity. The main screen of the tool is like below :-

Loading...WAO!

 

So, I started a trace with Process Monitor and launched DOTA 2 again to capture what was happening. Once closing the game, I stopped the tracing activity of Process Monitor and filtered the events to display only the events related to STEAM. Process Monitor starts/stops capturing trace by clicking the button which looks like a Magnifying Glass located just below the Event Button in the Menu Bar. You can filter the events by right clicking on any Event which you would like to filter like shown below :-

Loading...Filtering the List in Process Monitor is easy but only once you know it ;)

I captured the trace and filtered the list for Steam and below was what I got :-

Loading...Sadly, it doesn’t make any sense to me :(

Now, does this make any sense? Even if it makes sense to you, it did not make any sense for me ^_^. One powerful option in Process Monitor is to Count the Number of Occurrences of different types of Results. This can be opened by going to “Tools -> Count Occurrences” as shown below :-

Loading...Counting Occurrences is easy!

On counting the number of occurrences for “Name Not Found” and double clicking produced something sensible. Now, I started scrounging through each entry and I came up with this entry below :-

Loading...Well that seems weird. Let’s check the installation path of dota now.

I asked myself that why is this not found? Let’s check the installation directory for DOTA 2. On checking, I found that there were two VDF files one of which was the “installscript_575_windows.vdf” (Note that it may be possible that there is a similar file like that but named something else).

Loading...How come?

But, the query was for the “installscript_570_windows.vdf“. I opened the original file and there was some gibberish written inside it.

I simply renamed the “installscript_575_windows.vdf” to “installscript_570_windows.vdf” & VOILA the problem disappeared.

So, moral of the story? Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions to yourself and keep on going!

Furthermore, for anyone who is interested in my articles, I have added a Newsletter Page on the blog which can be accessed by clicking on the word NEWSLETTER in the side Pane. Subscribe yourself and you would receive mail whenever I post a new article ^_^. Don’t worry, I don’t spam.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Any doubts/feedback? Use the Comments Section below ^_^.

Pranav V Jituri

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India

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