One of the most anticipated PC games of the year, Grand Theft Auto IV did not have a great start: except from the fact that those who opted for digital distribution had no pre-loading options, it appears that those who managed to install the game are constantly suffering from GTA IV crashes, freezings and other performance related issues. Is there a way to fix these problems?

For the moment, Rockstar remain silent – it’s probably still early and they have to analyze the tons of reports regarding poor performance and lock-ups. However, one thing is clear: there are many people having problems and we only have one possible suggestion right now for trying to fix the game: try defragging your hard disk drive after installing GTA IV. It might be a long shot, but it’s worth trying, since a heavily defragged game (and with a 15GB install, Rockstar’s title can do that) can lead to crashes, freezings and other problems.

It’s worth noting that on the official GTA IV forums, at the moment of writing, from the 74 people who took the time to answer a poll asking “how well does the game run?” an incredible 41 people answered that it “runs horribly”, 17 admitted that the game does not run at all and just 16 say that the game runs fine. Is both frightening and unbelievable. But it also appears to be genuine – user AussieDave27 has posted some images to prove the GTA IV lock-ups.

We’ll update the story if Rockstar comes with an answer or an official solution to the problem. If you have found your own fix for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV, please share it with the world!

Update: The crashes might also be problem related to the graphic cards. Website PCGH reports that “neither a HD 4870 with 1,024 MiByte nor a HD 4850 is running. GTA 4 is also denying to run with an HD 3870 or HD 3850.” So now we’ll keep our eyes open and see if AMD brings in any driver updates. Stay tooned!

2nd day Update: Rockstar has released a document summing up the bugs that appear in the game and possible suggestions (where applicable) to solve the problems. You can download the document here. Also, the company hinted that a patch might be on the way.