OK, so I got a bit obsessed with getting Team Fortress 2 working on my home PC. I admit it, but I absolutely hate it when something doesn’t work correctly on my computers and will mess with it till I get it working right.
This story starts about the time Valve offered Team Fortress 2 for free, through their Steam service. I’ve had TF2 for ages, having bought ‘The Orange Box’ back in the day. I’ve played TF2 from time to time, but mostly I’ve fallen out of FPS games. When TF2 went free to play I noticed that the Steam service wanted to update the game but wouldn’t. It hung, and nothing I did would make the download continue. So in my usual fashion, I deleted all local content and tried re-installing it. This didn’t work, and the process would hang, never even getting to 0%. I messed with the Steam client a bit, and eventually got the very helpful error message that their servers were too busy to do the deed. I figured they were getting hammered, so I let it go for a couple days.
A couple days turned into 2 weeks, when I noticed that the Steam client, STILL,was stuck at ‘downloading’ though no download was actually happening. I tested the whole thing on my laptop while at work. It downloaded just fine from there, so the problem is with either my computer or my router at home. I had NO problems downloading other games and was able to install TF2beta and Half-Life 2 without problems; so the router wasn’t the problem and neither was any firewall. Now it’s on! I go through every search I can think of to figure this out, and find NOTHING! Nothing newer than a year ago. Steam/Valve REALLY needs to get their customer support to be easier to use. I like that they let me easily look shit up, but when I actually need to just open a support ticket, it was nothing but hoops and dead ends for me.
I finally find on one of their forums, a discussion about ‘the game is too big for FAT’, so I check my drive. Nope, it’s NTFS like I thought and I have over 90GB free. I clear out the ClientRegistry.blob file from the “C:\program files\steam” directory to make the Steam client reset itself, but that didn’t do anything for TF2. I changed my location in Steam, thinking maybe it was a problem with being from ‘US – Dallas’, nope that didn’t work. Even set it to China and same problem.(I’m now located at US-Atlanta though I think Houston would be just as good.) Frustrated beyond belief, because I’d been working on this problem for over an hour, for a game I don’t even play very often, I decided to just clean up my hard drive and got rid of some cruft, plus uninstalling HL2 and TF2Beta that I had installed previously during testing. I also got rid of Left for Dead 2 at this point, because I had played it exactly once. (Fun game, none of my friends play though, so bye-bye!) I now had over 100GB free on my hard drive and on the next Steam client restart the damn thing started downloading TF2. The game needs a lot of space, I’ll grant you, but it doesn’t need 100 FUCKING Gigabytes people! I think something is screwed up with the Steam client and it thinks TF2 needs an order of magnitude more space than it really needs.
I did a bunch of shit trying to get that damn game to download, and what seems to have been the answer was having 100+GB free on the hard drive. That is a shitty requirement Valve and your error messages don’t help at all. Maybe that wasn’t the actual problem, and I ‘fixed’ it through some combo of all the other stuff I did, but that was the last thing I did before the download started actually working. NOT HAPPY WITH YOU RIGHT NOW VALVE!
Now for the ‘Post Title” tie in. After spending all that time getting TF2 to download; I immediately decided to play WoW for a couple hours, while TF2 downloaded in the background. Around 11:30PM I get done with WoW, and am ready to head to bed. I was going to let TF2 continue downloading overnight but; HUZZAH! It had already finished. Still not trusting it, I started Team Fortress 2, to make damn sure the thing actually worked. It did! And HERE’S the tie in. I made the mistake of ‘playing’ the training to just ‘check it quickly’. Yeah…I get out of the game around 1:15AM and dammit I am TIRED this morning. Those bots they included in the game are actually fun to play around with.
So I got it to work only 15 minutes late, but now I’m hurting. NEED.SLEEP! (Or more coffee!)
(I’m getting to old for this shit.)