Steam Game “Disk Write Error” Fix Guide

Recently when updating my Star Wars: The Old Republic game through steam, the game would successfully download, but then give me an error called “Disk Write Error” in red without any more details. Here’s how to fix it!

1. Verify Integrity of Games Files

This is likely not the fix, but it’s quick and easy to try repairing your game files through steam. It is likely that the problem is with your computer rather than the game files though.

Right-click your Star Wars: The Old Republic game in the Steam app and choose Properties.

In the popup window, choose Installed Files on the left. Then click the “Verify integrity of game files” button. This will compare the SWTOR files on your computer to the ones on the server – if any got broken, jumbled or missing while your game patched, it will re-download them and replace them. The % percentage of “Verifying integrity of files…” will jump around up and down from 1% to 100% to 12%, just let it run until it says “All xxx files successfully validated”.

You can then try closing the Properties window, and clicking “Resume” or “Download” to try again, the blue button.

If that fixed things, you’re good to go! You do not need to go to Step 2. It likely didn’t fix things though.

2. Repair Library

The second quick thing to check is repairing your Steam library.

Go to the Steam button on the top left of the top menu on Steam, choose Settings, then choose Storage from the menu on the left. There will be a very small “…” dot dot dot symbol to clean beside your drive, which is likely called “C:/Steam”. Press the “…” symbol and choose Repair Library.

If that fixed things, you’re good to go! You do not need to go to Step 3. It likely didn’t fix things though.

3. Create More Free Space on Your Computer

Steam needs a large amount of space to install files – even if you have enough space, Steam may want to require more space than the actual download. I was having issues with the Disk Write Error when my update to download was 20 GB, but I had 85 GB of free space. I have read online Steam wants about 150 GB available at minimum, regardless of the update size. Not having enough space is likely your actual issue, rather than something wrong with the game files.

  1. You can see how much space is on your computer drive by going to the Steam button on the top left of the top menu on Steam, choose Settings, then choose Storage. It’s not very accurate about what takes up space as “Games” or what takes up space as “Other”, but it will easily show you how much space you have “Free”, giving you an idea of how much space you may want to clear up.
  2. Uninstall any old games you are not playing from Steam by right-clicking their name in your Steam Library, and choosing Manage > Uninstall. If that freed up a lot of space, try resuming your download/update.
  3. Download and install WinDirStat – it will show you which folders/directories on your computer are taking up the most space. In my case, I found out another game which I had not played in a long time and had not downloaded through Steam was what was taking up the most space! The colorful boxes at the bottom represent the size of your folders.

    The easiest way to uninstall programs, apps or games that are not on Steam is by typing “Add or remove programs” into your Windows search bar. Then in the “Apps & features” window, type in the name of the game or program you want to remove in the search bar in the center. You can then click the game or program and choose Uninstall.

    You may of course also have some large files like .zip files, .mp4 videos, PDFs, or photos, that you can just delete the normal way to make space too.
  4. Try installing/updating your game again and see if it works after clearing up space! The game may start by re-verifying the files before it starts downloading then installing. If after the Verification step fails, your actual files may have gotten so broken that you will need to re-install the game after making space.

4. Uninstall and Reinstall After Making Space

As a last resort, after you have made space, uninstall the game by right-clicking its name in your Steam Library, and choosing Manage > Uninstall.

Then re-choose it from the list and click Install. At the time of writing this guide, SWTOR is about 50 GB on Steam. With good internet and a decent computer, it took my under half an hour to both download and install.

You should have more space now when you go to re-install.

And then you just have to wait.

After making more space on my computer, and uninstalling and re-installing the game, I was able to play again.

Additional Tips

While clearing up space on my computer fixed things for me, here are some other options you can explore:

  • Use the “Error Checking” Tool on your drive in its Properties under Tools (I did not have any errors)
  • Use the “Optimize and defragment drive” Tool on your drive in its Properties under Tools (does not apply to a SSD type drive)
  • Remove or adjust anti-virus / firewall
  • Remove write protection from the drive
  • Turn off the read-only setting for the Steam folder
  • Run steam as an administrator
  • Delete steam downloading folder contents and retry Steam > Settings > Downloads > Clear Download Cache
  • Post on with what you have tried and any additional details so other players can give advice