How to solve various Steam issues

I’ve had so much difficulties, errors and strange things happening with Steam that I already gave up twice and just cracked my damn legally bought game to be able to play it. But then yesterday I finally solved it. My Skyrim finally works!

Since I’ve put at least two days full time work into this, I thought I’d share it, and hence this post is in english.

This was my setup to begin with:

  • Windows 7 Professional (legit, no crack)
  • Avast! Anti Virus (legit, no crack)
  • Windows Firewall / Comodo Firewall (freeware)

The issues I’ve had was mainly Steam not being able to connect.

steam.exe (main exception): To run Steam, you must first connect to the Internet

And then after the latest patch (once I could finally connect) I got this message instead:

Preparing to launch The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

But nothing happened. It disappeared just to show up again, this repeating indefinitely.

Setting up Windows Firewall

First off. Get Windows Firewall Online. I tried turning it off and using Comodo Firewall, thinking that would give me better control. But it seems Windows Firewall can’t be entirely shut off. Somehow it managed to cripple my connection no matter what. So I turned in ON and then put in the exception of the Skyrim exe-file, ‘TESV.exe‘ but no exception for Steam.

It sounds odd, but it works for me.

Get a clean startup

I made sure in my startup I had turned off all the stuff that wasn’t Microsoft related.

You do this by putting in:


in the ”Run” window (Windows button + R) and hit Enter.

And then under the ”Services” tab, select ”Hide all Microsoft Services” and uncheck anything but Steam and maybe your Anti-Virus (It works for me having Avast! on, but uTorrent for example can not be turned on. May not work with other software.).

Setting the correct Administrative Rights.

Right click your Steam Icon and click ‘Properties‘.

Click the button ”Change settings for all users” at the very bottom and then in the new window tick the box for ”Run this program as an administrator”.

Turn off UAC

You may also have to turn of UAC in Windows 7, which is the warning that pops up when you’re launching a program with administrative rights.

In the ”Run” window (windows button + R) enter:


And hit the Enter button. In the window that appears lower the slider to the very bottom. This turns off UAC completely.

Fixing the never-ending ”preparing to launch”

Next step is to locate the two files involved in launching Skyrim. They can typically be found in ”C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\SteamApps\Common\Skyrim\”


Delete them fuckers. In Steam (which should be connecting and starting up by now). Right click The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and click ‘Properties‘.

Under ”local files” click the button to verify the integrity of the game. It should establish that some files are missing and re-download them. After this, the game should start.

You might need to reboot during these procedures once or twice.

It works! Or does it?

All being said, the mere fact that you have to jump through all these hoops just to get a legally bought game to work is terrible and I truly hope that Bethesda consider not working with Steam in future projects, unless Steam really step up on the quality of their software.

It’s not supposed to be that you have to set up your entire workstation around Steam just to get a game to start up. That takes really bad programming.

If you’re as upset as me about this, write Bethesta Technical Support and let them know how you feel about them using Steam: