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Installed Windows 8.1 for the first time after buying a high-end computer. Much to my surprise, steam stops after working flawlessly for a day.

Symptoms:

  • Steam starts (connects and checks for updates) and shows the news, and then hangs.
  • Steam starts and a game is successfully started, however the game lags massively (1-5 FPS for no reason)
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  • Something that will be a factor, I feel, is did you do an upgrade install of windows 8 or did you do a format/install? I suspect if the former, that may be a contributor to the problem.
    – Frank V
    Sep 23, 2014 at 18:53
  • Seeing as this was a brand new PC built from scratch by myself on a Clean drive (which i didn't specify tho), it's the later. Fresh 8.1 install, Clean base, new drivers and nothing old to create any ghost issues.
    – Torxed
    Sep 24, 2014 at 7:52

1 Answer 1

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Some of the obvious solutions are:

  • Trying (not changing permanently) compability mode: Windows 8
  • Updating your AMD or nVidia driver to the latest (or sometimes even Beta).
  • And as always, try disabling all firewalls, anti-virus software and NEVER install "Improve your computer", "Clean your PC", "boost your PC" or "Malware remover" applications, these are 99% of the time viruses in themselves.
  • (as Frank V. pointed out) If multiple applications (not just steam) acts up on you, crashing, hanging, being extremely slow and you've updated from Windows 7 -> 8 -> 8.1 or even just from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.. Consider reinstalling the PC with a Clean fresh install of 8.1 right off the bat, it might solve a lot of funky problems.

Now to the more Steam specifics, I tried to search numerous posts and all of the community posts were inconclusive.
A few things that really worked was:

  • Deleting ..\Steam\appcache - Clears most information that steam knows about your profile, games etc. This might loosen up the pipes. (Don't worry, it won't delete the games themselves)
  • Checking ..\Steam\steam.log might give you a clue of what went wrong.
  • Launching steam with the parameter -console might give some clue of why the game is lagging if it starts.
  • If steam now starts, but the game is still lagging after these steps, try "verify local game cache"
  • If for whatever reason the game still lags but steam itself is working, try right-clicking the game in your library and select "Clear local files" (essentially uninstalling the game) and install the game again.

Again, wrote this because google didn't find any compiled tips about why steam fails on Windows 8.1.

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