I purchased Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as a retail disk, and when I install it from disk, Steam is attempting to download the complete game from the internet. I've 512 kbits/s (64 kBps) network, so it will take me nearly 64 hours to download (1 week to download assuming 9 hours a day).

I've already gone through this support article which suggests to install using the Run command, and I've also tried using the 'restore game' workaround, but I am afraid neither of them worked for me.

So how can I force Steam to install from the disk?

  • Does the game show up in your steam library? Try deleting the content, then disabling the automatic updates in the settings (right click on the game in your libary, then select Properties, Updates tab and change 'automatic updates' setting), then running the command.
    – TZHX
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 11:25
  • 7
    Are you sure that the game data is contained on the disk? Many retail disks only have a steam installer on it that starts the download.
    – Michael K
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 11:28
  • See if these instructions apply to MW3.
    – 3ventic
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 12:50
  • 1
    @3ventic - They're the same instructions the OP linked (from the support article)
    – Robotnik
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 13:54
  • Related question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/21359 Although it looks like you've tried this already.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 14:07

5 Answers 5


Steam will automatically download the game. Here's what you should do:

  1. Close Steam .
  2. Re-run Autorun.exe (the disk autorun).
  3. Choose the "reinstall" option.

Presto... The game installs from the disks.


After struggling with this problem with no prevail whatsoever for months with different games, I finally found the problem: the CD.

Instead, I copied all the files in the retail CDs, Disk1 and Disk2, into a folder then I moved it to the c:/ directory. (could be anywhere else this was just the easiest for me).

I went into Steam into the left corner (which says "Steam") and pressed Backup and Restore games. Pointing the 'backup' to the folder I created worked and now I am installing it.


Unsure if this is 100% the correct way, but have you tried disconnecting from the internet and running the setup.exe as detailed in the support article?

Also please note, If you have purchased the DLC from steam it may be updates that are occuring to patch your install.

When Orange Box came out I had installed using the disk but still required internet connection to snag the extra patches that had occured since the release of HL2, Portal and TF2.


Steam checks the install location before downloading. So if you can install the game without Steam running you can add the game to your library just by "installing" it on the same location.

Steam's default location should be at steam\steamapps\common\*game*

I've used this trick whenever I want to change a game's install location.


Install the game from the disk in your Steam Library. Go to your game list, right click on the name of the game and choose "properties". On the third tab "local files" click the last button called "verify integrity of game cache". It should detect the game files if you have installed from the DVD.

  • I'm sorry but couldn't find the tab! Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 19:46
  • right click on the game from your library on steam amd propdrties it's called local files
    – user69234
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 5:17

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