l4dcrasesfreezesfixEven though criticized at first, Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the best welcomed releases of the year, Valve’s shooter providing tons of quality to the computer gamers. However, not all of us are able to enjoy the game – we’ve heard reports regarding Left 4 Dead 2 freezes, the game being unable to run after installation, Steam-related problems and so on. In this article we’ll try to find out the perfect solution to fix the L4D2 errors and problems.

First thing you should do if you’re experiencing any kind of problem, is to check if your computer meets the minimum system specifications required to run the game (see them listed on Steam, at the bottom of the page). If you meet the specifications, try to update your video and sound drivers. If these things don’t fix the problems, let’s see what we can do in specific cases.

1. Left 4 Dead 2 doesn’t run after the installation
Strangely, this is the most reported problem. It usually affects people running Vista or Windows 7 because the game requires Steam Service to run – and fixing it could fix the problem. Fortunately, a Valve representative teaches us how to fix this problem via the official forums. This is what to do:

a) First fix: Exit Steam and open Command Prompt in windows then run “c:\Program Files\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair. Start Steam and run the game. Hopefully it works.
b) If it doesn’t, try this new trick: Exit Steam and delete the file SteamService.exe (located in the Steam installation folder) then restart Steam.
c) If this doesn’t fix the problem either, you could try a last thing: exit Steam, Head over to Control Panel → Programs and Features, right click on Steam and click Repair. It will take a while but it will probably worth the wait.

2. Can’t install Left 4 Dead 2 (“incomplete installation (35)” error message).
This error message means that either your connection to the internet has gone AWOL or that you have a firewall that’s blocking access of the application. In the second case, make sure your firewall allows outbound TCP connections to port 27019. The server port for this system has been changed to 27031, which is used by other services and should improve the reliability of this connection, as it should already be open in any firewall that supports steam.

3. How to fix random crashes of L4D2 to the desktop.
There are two possible solutions that might do the trick. First one would be to turn off the gore in the game – to do so right click on the Left4Dead2 executable and click properties. Click on Set Launch Options… and add -lv at the end of the line.
Another solution, offered by a moderator on the Steam forums, is to close Steam and go to the steamapps folder in the Steam installation folder. Delete the files “left 4 dead 2 client.ncf” and “left 4 dead 2 common.ncf”, restart Steam, right click on L4D2 and install.

4. Random freezes, stutters and slow frame rate
If you have this problem, try to turn off multicore rendering. If that doesn’t fix the problem and you’re using nVidia drivers, go to their official website and try installing the beta driver version 195.39. If that doesn’t fix the solution either, try using the mat_queue_mode 0 command in the console – users reported great results using this solution.

Hopefully we have here enough to help you fix Left 4 Dead 2 and enjoy it properly. If you have any other problems or solutions, please post them in the comment section below and maybe somebody will help.


  1. thx a lot I was having the effin problem with the game not starting after installation but your solution did the trick for me. Thanx a ton, dude!

  2. A main problem for me is message:
    “Steam has found a problem with your local games file. Game files will now be re-acquired from the Steam servers.” It shows, and do nothing.

    /repair, manual file deletion doesn’t work.

    tried to defrag cache, and get 1232458% of defragmentation, and message to defrag my entire disk (right after disk defragmentation)

    deleting of game contents doesn’t work with message that my disk has not enough space to run(sic!) the game. the same time, both disks have several hundreds GBs free.

    Verifying game cache consistency doesn’t work, it completes immidiately with OK message, even after complete deletion of game files from steamapp folder.


    • Dude i have the exact same problem as you. whenever i try and reinstall the game it finishes immedietly and doesnt install sh*t. im so annoyed right now i just want to play my game :(

  3. I bought L4D2 from steam and at first it all went well, it worked for about 4-5 days then when i try to enter the game after the intro vid it throws me out to the desktop and then begins again to start the game but the same thing happens again and i tried to do the examples u had but it didnt work
    help or ill kill someone…..

  4. I tried everything listed, openned ports on router and firewall, shut down firewall, anti-virus, spyware, etc, even uninstalled and re-installed the game and steam. Nothing fixed the incomplete installation error (2). Steam tech support is non-existent They havent even bothered to respond to my tech help request. Demo worked great for weeks and the Game worked fine until Steam did the update Saturday. Havent been able to run every since. Running Vista Home Premium 64 on an I7 920 machine.

  5. why is it that all these huge, new games always want to be installed on C:\. steam has got to be the worst for this…. every time, install on C:\ …. what happened to the days where you could choose your partition? now i am screwed… my C:\ doesnt have enough space, but my games partition G:\ has over 20 gigs left. god damn steam.

  6. Same problem with loner , after getting to the saferoom and close the metal red door , it crashes . Oh and I am so unlucky to get the rare bug which is ” Kill Witch Means Crash With No Error ” Was that a new attack by witch when it die?

  7. Is there any password during installation for left 4 dead 2?
    Cuz I juz bought the cd, and it says that need password during the installation.

  8. i bought the game…bt during product activation wizard window…i hv key in the product key n click next,another window popped up steam working n waiting for it to load.afta a while it say steam server unavailable, your computer is either currently unable to reach the steam servers, or the service is temporarily unavailable… i kip on trying n trying…it jus kip on sayin the same ting….i nid help!!!

  9. I need help! I bought the CD l4d2. when i put it in it takes me to Steam and everything. when i go to install it get stuck at ” Creating Local Game Cache Files” does this mean i cant install L4D2?? I have Dial-up and do I need to download L4D2 from Steam even tho i have the CD??

  10. i don’t have any product key….so how can i install? anyone knows what is the product key 4 this game?? Or the activation code??

    • If your copy is a pirated copy, then good luck with that. If its a Genuine cd copy then idk what you would do

  11. I have tried all your suggestions and nothing will let me install the game from DVD-ROM. Using Vista 64 SP2 with tons of memory and disk space free. No firewalls or router. Dial-up though. I cannot get through the install without Steam hanging up. (I get a “732897 not responding”). No reply from Valve or Steam “support” (worthless!). I simply want to install for single player from the disk I bought. This is beyond frustrating! So, how do I get my money back?

  12. i have the problem where you cant run the game after you install it and i try to delete “SteamService.exe”, but everytime i re-run steam, “SteamService.exe” is automatically re-installed on my PC wtf???

  13. I have the same issue as Bob try to install for local play single player only tries to download and crashes on creating local game cache. I also want a refund and there seems to be no such thing. I am so sick of these games it is ridiculous.

  14. I’m on Win.XP and after installation, i launch the game, wait a little and a windows message appeared: the program eccounter problem, left4dead2.exe have to close… it don’t say why, so i can’t play. I tried the steamservice reboot issues but it doesnt works :(
    Help me please!

  15. oh man… actually im havn problem wid steam.L4D2 startd nd whil loadn, i gt a msg “steam s nt running”… i gt an idea, but my rite d tim my hard diskdown due 2 sme problm…. cryn crazzzyyy.
    see guys.. juz down load steam v008. L4D2 need diz 2 run sucessfully..

    • Okay, when I start up L4D2 it has the opening cimatics and all, and then it crashes straight to desktop. No errors or anything. It makes the error noise…but no error. It worked fine for about 2 days and it just started doing it yesterday.

  16. hi im currently using a dell desktop monitor and l4d2 says “cannot display this video mode”. i tried to install it in other pc w/ different monitor and it work perfectly. it seems it had problems w/ its resolution. how can i change the resolution setting before i launch the game?

  17. ALRIGHT I was having the prob were i could load in fine and pick the game i wanted to play be right as it finished the level loading boom i was pushed to desktop but after doing number 3 deleting those files and re lding them. it fixed my prob :) hope it helps someone


  18. I wanna play with some cheats and mess around with some freinds… but when i create a local game it stops in middle of loading and then says something about timeou conenction :/ ? please help

  19. THat problem is now fixed XD
    but i still got a problem… i cant activate them local still… i know you gotta load a map by console bu how to make that commant mp ?

  20. After I Click on the game The title screen shows up, but then it crashes and then it says it cant load local contents. How Do i fixed this?

  21. i just got left 4 dead 2 and i downloaded it and it worked fine but laggy screen. so i cleaned my laptop, that didn’t work. so i actually uninstalled it and reinstalled it. but when i was installing it, it said “ready to play in approximately 22 hours”… it took 4 hours for it to go down to 10 hours, the thing is, i have school the next day and im really not trying to download it again some other time… any suggestions?

  22. steam fails really bad. all the installations take like 4 hours and the games have good graphics but not the best but they lag hella. say “I” if you agree and say “nah” if you disagree. thanks

  23. After installing L4D2, I tried rynning it. It kept freezing after the Valve video (even if i skipped it). I tried reinstalling L4D2, but the same problem continues to reoccur. (downloaded from Steam and works on other computers)

    OS: Windows 7 – 64 bit

    Processor: Intel Core 2.8 GHz

    8 gig RAM

  24. i installed mine perfectly then when i start the game it tells me that i need steam to play this game. then i downloaded styeam and istalled it but when i start the game it tells that steam does not approve the game. HELPPPPPPPPPpp

  25. “This game is currently unavailable” . I bought it, it should be available. Steam support is crap. I’ve :
    1. Updated Direct X
    2. Deleted ClientRegistry.blob and all other files except for Steam and Steam apps, and restarted steam .
    3. Made sure everything was not read only
    4. Verified Game Cache files.
    a. This says 1 file is missing, so I download it and it still does not work, and when I re-verify it says one is still missing.I’ve reverified about 3 times
    5. Deleted game files and redownloaded entire game
    a. This did not work either. I Verified Game Cache files after this and it still says one file is missing and it has to download it, it downloads it and still does not work. I verifiy Game cache files several times and it says it downloads and the download is finished but the next Verify says something is still wrong.

    Then I deleted steam completely, redownloaded it and redownloaded the game. I get the same error message. I will try repairing it but after redownloading it i’m not sure why that would help… This is bs. I want my money back. Did i mention steam support is nonexistant?

  26. L4D works perfect at max specs, L4D2 works at max specs then after a while becomes laggy or frame choppy. Then my entire steam collection becomes choppy and laggy, until a system restart. I have tried installing different driver versions for nVIDIA both 195.39 and 197.16, turning of multicore rendering, vsync, even set priorities for the .exe in task mgr. I even tried that mod_queue_mode 0 but that is an unknown command. Even defraged game in steam options.

    Any advice?

    Laptop Model Asus n70 SV
    Geforce GT 130m graphics, Duo 8600 CPU, plenty of Ram

    • Did you find a solution? That is exactly the same problem I am having after I bought my new computer. I think it is the OS, win 7, but cannot be sure.

  27. this game is killing me i cant play strait when you start the game it will work acouple of minutes it goes back on our windows. my question is is there a easy way how to fix this game?

  28. games starts weel but when i click on any option a blank white page appears thou when i click hoping for the option to be there it workinks but not the game soory my english is bad as i speak russian

  29. i also have finish instal L4D2
    but, why the game automatic close when I play the game about 20 second later???
    plz help me..

  30. im getting tired playing the game coz when i’m about to complete it, it automatically close. Does this mean you need to start again the whole game, meaning at the first part (dead center/hotel)? Can someone tell me how to fix it (user-friendly mode) coz im not that good in fixing. I don’t understand some of the fix steps.

  31. When you buy the l4D2 Cd from a retailer do you have to download anything from the Internet? cause mine keeps getting stuck on the “creating local game cache files” Really pissing me off cause it was 110 Dollars

  32. I just got my new computer home today. Everything on it is an upgrade from my old computer, including windows 7/64bit. Not sure if this is the problem or not but i cannot play left for dead one or two now.
    Xp seemed to work fine, with single graphic card.
    Boosted to Dual SLI Nvid gts 250
    dual core I7 2.8
    nothing else interesting as far as hardware goes.

    I can start up the game and at random it will slow down and stutter to maybe 10 fps, but it can be corrected sometimes to run smoothly again.

    I have turned off the multicore rendering, as well as the graphics just to try, for kicks i updated the vid drivers, When i try to input that information into the console it comes up with unknown command, so not sure where to go from here. If anyone has advice please let me know

  33. my problem is steam Error Engine:”the steam is not running. click ok to start the steam. i’m going to click ok then run again the left 4 dead 2. afterwardzz error engine again said. steam Error Engine:”the steam is not running. click ok to start the steam.oh

  34. i need hellllp!!!!!! im currently using a dell desktop monitor with a resolution 1280x 1024. (i install the game perfectly fine). when i open the game, a message would show up saying “unkown video card”, i just ignore it and press the “continue anyway”, then a blank screen would show up(i can here the intro) saying “cannot display this video mode (then under it) optimum resolution 1280x 1024 60Hz”. how can i fix it???????????????????????????????????????????????????

  35. I played L4D2 for a while and then I got windows 7. Ever since then, When I click on “play game” on steam, it doesnt open, but my xfire says that i’m playing it for about 10 seconds before it dissapears… I’ve tried all of the things you said should sort this out but i’ve run out of luck. No idea what to do now!

  36. I bought the game today installs fine, after the opening credits it says loading and crashes. i dont know what to do can someone help please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. when i click to play l4d2 after the clip it said l4d2 has stop working ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELP ME PLZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. just got a new pc and everytime I load up L4D 2 it just freezes and im left with source on the screen and it wont load past this, Im using windows 764bit and it keeps tellin me its incompatible, how do I fix this>.<

  39. Sorry, I’m just not sure what solution to try..but..

    I’m running a Gateway SX2801 computer with

    -64bit Windows 7
    -Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU E5500 @2.80GHz
    -6GB of RAM
    -Intel(R) g45/G43 Express Chipset Videocard
    -Intel (R) 4 series chipset Processor to I/O controller

    I was playing Left for Dead 2 and it worked fine, then I updated the video card driver thing and when I decided to play LFD2 again, where I connected to an online server, after it finished loading to the server, the screen went black, and kinda flashed, but I could still hear the audio..but it was very laggy and staggering audio. I tried reinstalling the game but it still produced the same problem.

    I just finished trying the one solution I found, and that was deleting the .ncf files for LFD2 but I’m still getting the same problems

  40. Hi.
    When i used Windows 7, 32 bits. The game was running just fine no problems at all. But when i updated the OS to Windows 7, 64 bits. When i try to load a map, when i’m at almost at 100% the game crashes to desktop without an error message or any indication that something is wrong…

    – 64 bit Windows 7
    – Intel(R) DualCore Duo E6600 @ 2.40GHz
    – 4 GB Ram
    – SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 1GB GDDR5

  41. My problem seems to be related to sound if i hold down the trigger the sound and game gets glitchy.
    phenom 920 x4 2800
    6 gigs corsair rem
    dual gtx 460’s running in SLI

  42. I am also having a problem where it freezes once it finished prepping for installation. I’l installing via disk.

  43. Hi. I am having the same problem as Kevin. Whenever I try to load a campaign or go to an online server – just about entering any map – the game crashes, flashes, then very laggy audio is played with no video whatsoever. When I try to “End Task” the game, it either flashes and returns to desktop or creates another crash with no error which automatically reboots my computer. I had to wait 3 days just to have this crappy game installed in the first place and it doesn’t even work! I have deleted the .ncf files after seeing the fixes, yet it did not work. Look, I am not going to spend 10 years trying to fix this problem! I demand immediate help ASAP. I just want to play L4D2 as soon as possible, so I don’t care if you don’t want to take this to Steam or VALVe – these problems have got to stop!

  44. got the same problem the game crashes to desktop when playing, i tried to search for the file “left 4 dead 2 client.ncf” cant seem to find it so is their any solution to this problem or we can all just say the game really really sucks!!

    • I would disagree with you. This game actually has a very smooth gameplay, It’s just STEAM that broke it. (refer to my post on my game hours.)

  45. I have problem, when i run the game it says Steam is not running etc.. I have steam running and i tried all the solutions in first step, but none of them worked, pls help me what to do :/

  46. Hey guys I have problem with my game too everything is ok the valve on the man’s head also the start show but when it reach loading it stop working and closed what can I do about it .

    I have Windows vista

  47. If you have the disc version, there should be a series of letters and numbers printed in a white rectangle inside the case on the little info pice of paper. That’s probably the password you need.

  48. For all you people like myself getting stuck installing from disc one, just keep trying and wait it out. It takes a very long while but if you let it sit for a very long time it will install, ohh, and do not download much while installing it might make your steam client crash, ;p

  49. Game installed perfect 4 me, took a long time, but i can play it. Only problem is, while i playin it, the game only lets me play as Nick and none of the other survivors!!! How do i fix this?!?!?

  50. I tried out everything regarding freezes: type command, change viseo settings, change audio settings, update everything

    no solution god damn you Valve

  51. when i install maps and i copy in on adds on and install it it saids your lets buil a rocket was not installed it is possible that the adds on is allready installed and in use

  52. Hey ,what happen to this game??? And why the Maker of this Game is not perfect . why they launch in market if so many cause of problem… its waste of money…

  53. When I try to open L4D It lags then shows the 4 charecters then it goes back to my desktop and says could not load library matchmaking
    and at the top it say Engine Error I don’t know which option I should choose on this website 1 2 3 4 Please Help Or I will be wasting my money and have to go back to minecraft!!

  54. Did not understand a word of this. Tried to find the files/what I was supposed to do with them and could not work out a single step. Thanks a bunch for that user accessibility.

    If ANYone knows how to explain this in a simple way, please, thanks, and I will love you long time.

  55. What if im installing from a cd not on steam and it does not require internet. But it keeps on stopping while installing and then it says error file crashed.


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