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GTA 5 PC crash and launch issues – There are workarounds

GTA 5 is out and as we expected there are a few launch and tech issues causing problems for players.

First of all, anyone who has pre-loaded in the game will know it’s a huge install and because of that there’s a really lengthy unpacking process which needs to happen before even launching the game. So far we’ve noticed it can take up to an hour which to be honest is a little ridiculous but there’s no way around that.

The first issue that Rockstar has picked up on is that your install may have issues if Windows User Accounts contain certain characters. If you’re suffering from this you’ll probably notice the “The Rockstar update service is unavailable (code 1)” error. While there is no permanent solution yet, Rockstar suggest the following:

“You need to create a new Administrator User Account for your Windows system that only includes letters A to Z, a to z or numbers 0-9 from the basic roman alphabet.

“Please note that simply renaming your current User Account will not correct this issue. Once your new account is created (or if you already have an account that only uses these characters) we recommend you restart your PC and log in with that account before starting or continuing with the installation process. To create the account, follow these instructions from Microsoft’s website:”

This will be fixed eventually and the Rockstar support section will be updated as more info is available.

I mentioned the unpacking process above, which can be an issue if you have a small drive. If you have a 120Gb SSD you’re going to need more space to get this unpacked (assuming you are using your SSD for your Steam files).

To get around this, try the following:

  • Create another Steam directory on your larger drive (D: for example)
  • Copy C:[Your dir]SteamSteamAppsdepotcache to the new folder you have created.
  • Restart Steam.
  • Steam should now pick up the new directory and hopefully unpack, continuing where it left off.

If the game is not unlocking on Steam after the preload, the best thing to try first is to restart Steam. Shut it down completely and relaunch it. If there are still problems use the “Verify Game Cache” option in Steam; right-click GTA 5 in your Games Library and click the “Local Files”tab. You’ll find the option in there.

Another workaround has also been found if launching does nothing, and while this looks a little weird, the file is just stored on a Chinese cloud server. Go to this link and use the password n2wf to get the file. This is purportedly the GTAVLauncher.exe from the Rockstar official site and if you replace the one downloaded with Steam with this file the game will apparently work. We’ve not tested this ourselves, so be cautious, but there are plenty of Steam users verifying that this works.

There has been a massive influx of players and it appears a lot of the problems with the game either hanging on menus or simply not starting could be down to the Rockstar Social Club and the sheer amount of players trying to get on. This is of course not unusual on launch day but still it’s a pain in the backside if you’ve been waiting for launch. All you can do is keep trying and hope things settle quickly.

If you spot any other workarounds, feel free to add them in the comments to help other players.

Update: GTA 5 CPU usage reduction solution.



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