Werewolf Jun 19, 2013 @ 2:30am
Possible SOLUTION to: Steam servers are too busy to handle your request... error code 53 (and probably others too)
I was having problems running 2 games from Steam, L4D2 and Portal 2 and managed to resolve my issues with a few steps.

As I started the game Steam showed me a message "Completing installation...", counted to 100% then showed me the following error:

The steam servers are too busy to handle your request for Portal 2. (Error code 53)

Due to security, I am always logged on with a limited rights account. Therefore, I cannot install games / programs without having to provide other credentials. Also, my standard account cannot shut down or modify settings for antivirus or the firewall.

If you are already logged on with an administrator account, skip the first step...

1. Log on with a administrator account (I did it with a local admin, not with a domain admin)
2. Disable antivirus AND firewall
3. Start Steam
4. Start the game (I had to start each game several times until they started)
5. Exit the game
6. Shutdown steam
7. Re-enable antivirus and firewall
8. Start Steam again
9. Start the games again to verify that they are still running
10. Logoff and logon to your normal account

The games started for me after that on my normal, limited access, login.

For sake of completeness, my setup:

Windows 7 Client
McAfee Total Protection 12.1 (Firewall and Antivirus)
CPU: Intel core i7 950 (Quad core 3Ghz)
RAM: 12GB (Physical RAM – Paging disabled - about 3.3 GB used with only a few programs running)
HDD: >500GB free space remaining

My PC is part of a domain and I am always using a standard user account that has insufficient rights to install or modify software. Whenever I install a new game (even with Steam) I need to provide the credentials of another login that has sufficient rights to install and modify software.
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Showing 1-15 of 31 comments
Shujin Jul 8, 2013 @ 5:02pm 
Will this work for Left 4 Dead 2?
Werewolf Jul 11, 2013 @ 6:06am 
yes it should, had myself the problem with L4D2, the above workaround fixed it.
FlockOfNarwhals Jul 16, 2013 @ 4:54am 
This worked for SR3 and Portal 2, thanks a lot!
Killerbean Jul 25, 2013 @ 1:51am 
do you log in as administrator with right mouse buttton or do you make a new steam account
Killerbean Jul 25, 2013 @ 1:57am 
oh sorry stupit question
TRiLiXi Jul 25, 2013 @ 2:15am 
Haha, I bet you're a regular customer at your Office's IT Helpdesk
Werewolf Jul 25, 2013 @ 5:52am 
You need a Windows administrator, the reason being that you otherwise do not have enough rights to install programs or to disable your antivirus.
igorfeiden Jan 1, 2014 @ 5:41am 
It Works!

Fine with Windows 8 and Left4Dead 2

Thanks man!
SirFrill May 16, 2014 @ 9:47pm 
Can i turn my firewall back on afterwards?????
Werewolf May 18, 2014 @ 5:22am 
Yes you can. It only needs to be off for the short time that it takes to update the game. Afterwards you can switch antivirus and firewall back on
kippenpoot Jun 20, 2014 @ 9:55am 
how to disable those ?
Werewolf Jun 20, 2014 @ 12:32pm 
How to disable antivirus and Firewall? Depends on which antivirus and firewall you have.

My reccomendation, do a google search for:

how to disable <antivirus name>
how to disable <firewall name>

So if you use the windows firewallm type:

how to disable windows firewall

If you use mcaffee or kaspersky:

how to disable mcaffee antivirus
how to disable kaspersky antivirus
how to disable mcaffee firewall
how to disable kaspersky firewall

Science Bear Jul 2, 2014 @ 12:49pm 
I have this problem, but it stopped and now l4d2 wont even get to the loading screen before it crashes, does anyone have this problem, and/or fixed it
Hydra_360ci Jul 2, 2014 @ 12:53pm 
I used to just change my download region when I got such errors... haven't gotten any errors like that in years, though.
Werewolf Jul 3, 2014 @ 1:41am 
Originally posted by Pika Jesus:
I have this problem, but it stopped and now l4d2 wont even get to the loading screen before it crashes, does anyone have this problem, and/or fixed it

Pika, did you follow the solution I posted above? Follow steps 1-10 and it should work again.
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Date Posted: Jun 19, 2013 @ 2:30am
Posts: 31