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I was downloading Dota 2. I stopped the download at 4 GB but when I tried to restart the download next day it only showed 2.7 GB out of 4 GB. Does anyone know why this happened?

  • Firstly, did you pause the download or cancel it? Secondly, was there an update for Dota 2? Usually those two things would completely restart the update, but I'm just checking. – PlanetAlexanderProjects Sep 15 '17 at 11:45
  • I paused it .even if we don't pause n directly close the steam client it should also pause it automatically .right ? – sankalp chari Sep 15 '17 at 12:49
  • Pausing the download will not typically cause it to restart from the beginning. Additionally, in my experience, when pausing and closing Steam, it should remember the progress of your download. – Kaizerwolf Sep 15 '17 at 13:44
  • I'm a bit confused. You paused it at 4GB, but when you restarted it, it was showing 2.7GB out of 4GB total? Doesn't that mean the total size is 4GB? Why would you pause a download that was that close to being done instead of just waiting a couple more minutes? Are you sure you weren't looking at the total size value when you paused it, rather than the downloaded size, so it was actually at 2.7GB/4GB all along? – Steve-O Sep 15 '17 at 14:02
  • The total size is 8.8 GB n I downloaded 4 GB and paused it next time when I started the download it was showing only 2.7 GB – sankalp chari Sep 15 '17 at 17:10
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@MacMan is correct. I can't suggest edits yet though, and I think this would be multiple comments which I don't want to get in trouble for as I'm still a noob here.

Further explanation:

Steam compresses downloads, which is why the download size of most games is less than the installation size. This also means that Steam has to not only download the data but then also decode it before it can be stored in the Steam/steamapps/common/{game name}folder. Steam also seems to download the data in chunks; this is most easily noticeable when it stops downloading for a while even though it's not finished, but yet it's still writing a lot of data to the disk during that time.

I'm not sure exactly how Steam's internal algorithm works, but I think that if there were any incomplete files they were likely discarded in favor of a fresh copy. It probably compares the local SHA or other message digest algorithm for each file to the known-good values from the server's copy of them and uses that as the deciding factor, as with many other tools meant to download other things including executable binaries which you really do not want to have incorrect data/signature.

As MacMan said though if you pause it but then give Steam time to finish saving what it's already downloaded you should have minimal -- if any -- data loss.

  • No problem; sorry I couldn't edit it in at the time, lol. – l3l_aze Jan 18 '18 at 22:24
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I've noticed this a few times with my own downloads as well, I think it may have something to do with writing the data to the disk. It may have downloaded 4GB at the time but had it written that complete 4GB to the disk? I've checked it a few times when its happened to me and each time the size of the file in the steam folder has always been smaller than the download size for a few minutes and then it catches up.

If you have to pause a download for any reason pause it and then leave the steam client open for a few minutes to allow it to finish writing the downloaded files to the disk properly.

Happy Gaming

  • don't see why this would be down-voted, its a solution that worked for me. – Mac Man Oct 2 '17 at 14:16
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I think the game download glitched and wasn't at 4GB but was at 2.7GB instead, I would say continue downloading it, it might have just been a glitch

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