I'm using Boot Camp to run Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro. I'd like to play Windows only games but my Windows install only has 20GB of space.

I installed Steam and my Steam games on my Mac OSX drive using MacDrive. When I try to run any game it says that it can't run SteamService.exe.

I have no idea what's causing this. Any help?

  • 2
    Probably a permissions issue. Any reason you didn't just resize your partitions? Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 14:52
  • I believe the game files are stored within the steam directory in windows... I doubt you can modify where steam checks for these files. Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 19:36
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but Bootcamp runs Windows in a Virtual Machine, not dual-booted? If so, the paths can get crossed up and sometimes things that require specific paths can't find the proper paths. Games almost always work better outside of VMs or emulators.
    – SSumner
    Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 16:03
  • 2
    @SSumner Boot camp is a tool for booting into Non-Apple operating systems. It is not virtualization.
    – CyberSkull
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 0:15
  • Ahhh I remember now. It's a bootloader, essentially. Is the filesystem mounted in Windows?
    – SSumner
    Commented Nov 2, 2011 at 2:08

5 Answers 5


SteamService.exe is the name of the Windows Service executable, that Steam is trying to launch.

All Windows service executables must reside on an NTFS formatted partition, or else they should be run with elevated rights ("run as administrator" option).


Steam can have problems with Windows 7 and certain antivirus programs. I would recommend turning off your antivirus program and running either of these commands from the administrator command prompt.

C:\Program Files\Steam\bin\Steamservice.exe /Install "C:\Program Files\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe" /repair <--Make sure to include the quotation marks.

(If you have Steam installed on another path, you need to replace C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam with the correct path. Also, 64-bit systems will use Program Files (x86) instead of Program Files.)


I'm (possibly incorrectly) assuming you installed steam and so forth from OS X? If so:

OS X and Windows games are very different beasts. Many things will be different (such as no Direct X on OS X) and therefore the games are compiled and setup differently for each platform and are not binary compatible.

Its quite similar to taking a Xbox 360 copy of a game (that is available for PS3) and expecting it to work in PS3 - not gonna happen.

Therefore you will require 2 installs of a game for it to run on OS X and Windows.

If you map you Mac drive to e.g. D: and install steam and your games (from within windows) it should work.

  • I do believe your assumption is incorrect, MacDrive is Windows software. Steam complains about missing an .exe, as well, which wouldn't happen if it was the Mac version. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 21:47

If I'm reading this correctly you installed steam on your Mac OSX drive partition and are tying to open it from Windows? That won't work because steam can't get permissions from that partition to read/write therefor steam won't open.

You need to re install steam to your windows/bootcamp partition for things to work correctly.

  • Why not? MacDrive lets you read/write to HFS+ / HSFX partitions. Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 21:49

If I'm not mistaken you would have to reinstall steam on the windows partition and then reinstall those games too. I don't think there is anyway to do that.

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