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Steam under Win XP says "content servers unreachable"
Hello Guys :)

First of all sorry for my awful english language knowledge, I don't know if this is the right section for asking help, but im in really troubles and I really need an help.

I picked back one of my old PC's for some retro and semi-modern gaming, of course I installed Windows XP Professional x86 with latest Service Pack installed (SP3). Now, the problem is when I installed Steam (fresh install), I simply cannot download and install ANY of my games I own. When I try to install any game it says "An error occured while installing (gamename) content servers unreachable"

By far I tried almost EVERY simple\noobs solution I could try. I deactivated the firewall, changed the server region under options (I live in Italy but it don't care which region I choose, error will always show), deleted clientregistry thing, reinstalled Steam, reset router (it don't have any websurf protection thing, remember in my main pc with Windows 10 it works flawlessy) I really need my Steam work under this pc as many of games I have here I would like to play them in this pc. There are any solution? I know XP is kinda dead and not supported anymore since 2014, but not for me or real oldschool gamers :P

Anyway any help would be apprecciated, I just need have the possibility to download my games in WinXP in 2018, please :(

PC Specs:

HP Microtower DX2550 (yes is an OEM pc, but I unlocked the BIOS and it works great)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.40Ghz
2048MB DDR2 667Mhz
Gainward Nvdia GeForce 9600GT 1GB DDR2 with 2008 Drivers
Windows XP Professional 32bit version 5.1 build 2600 with Service Pack 3

Then again, thanks for any help or answer. Remember I tried almost the most simple and common solution, without any kind of luck. Plus, is not a connection error as on the same router with my main and modern PC under Win10, I don't have any kind of this issues.
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End of 2018 steam will not work with xp.

Have you updated the xp to latest state? Installed all drivers?

Note: Dont deactivate the firewall.
I didn't know this O.O So are they really cut up the support for XP after this year ending? It's so lame and sad... I hope someone will made a custom workaround or something, I know is a really really old OS but is still the only one perfect for retro gaming.

Anyway we're still into full hot summer of 2018, right? :D Yeah as I wrote this XP build should be the latest one, I also upgraded all drivers for motherboard (it have an ATI Xpress 200 RS480 Chipset, with ATI SB600 Southbridge) but no fortune..

I know I shouldn't deactivate the firewall, but I use this computer only for gaming and not surfing the web, only if I have to download demos, fix for old games on PCGamingWiki or drivers, nothing more.
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από VenomSpark:
I know I shouldn't deactivate the firewall, but I use this computer only for gaming and not surfing the web
You plug the internet cable in your pc. Bots will find it.
Thats why you need a firewall. Especially with xp as its not secure.


I recommend to try your games on your windows 10, with compatibility mode if necessary. Maybe games with old copy protection will not work, but these should not be on steam. If you dont need xp, dont use it.
Τελευταία επεξεργασία από Muppet among Puppets; 23 Ιουλ 2018 στις 1:51
I mean if you want to do 'retro gaming' you can just install windows 10. its not like you need a 'retro OS' just to play retro games.
Okay firstly XP is not the problem. Ican say this as a fellow XP user who has had zero problems installing, updateing or playing games. Just installed a couple to test. SO it maybe your firewall. You can try disabling the windows firewall or creating an exception for steam in your firewall to test.

Otherwise I don't know what else it could be. Honestly.

But as said before XP, still works just finde with the installing of games. Though one potential problem and it could be that the game you're trying to instrally doesn't have a windows XP distro or... may have a fubared one. Though this happening for multiple games is rather unlikely.
Why not just install them on your main PC?
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Start_Running:
Okay firstly XP is not the problem. Ican say this as a fellow XP user who has had zero problems installing, updateing or playing games. Just installed a couple to test. SO it maybe your firewall. You can try disabling the windows firewall or creating an exception for steam in your firewall to test.

Otherwise I don't know what else it could be. Honestly.

But as said before XP, still works just finde with the installing of games. Though one potential problem and it could be that the game you're trying to instrally doesn't have a windows XP distro or... may have a fubared one. Though this happening for multiple games is rather unlikely.

That's an answer i want to hear :) No offence of course, but one thing I always noticed when searching for example on Google for problem on old software, is that people always complain about the age of thing or giving their opinion, not focusing on real problem. I don't get why most people are like "Omg you still use XP wtf? Upgrade LOL!" and not answering and helping on the real problem.

Anyway I need XP because first of all with that specs this PC couldn't not handle well Windows 10 with only 2GB of RAM and a Dual Core processor from 2006... Second, a lot of old games runs way much smoother under XP than any new OS, the most critical example is Far Cry (2004), which is well know that on any new OS beyond XP, water reflections are broken and runs only under XP, that's why I need it for my retro gaming (by this I mean games released from 2003 to 2006\2007, as this PC cannot handle more, it barely runs Fallout 3 smoothly, but for that I use my main PC of course)

Anyway thanks for the answer, so Steam under XP still works, is probably a issue of my firewall settings or something wrong on XP setting, I will try more workarounds but what scared me is that Steam on XP was broken at all, but you just confirmed that is not true, so a big THANK YOU for a truly handy answer, and not complains about why I want to use an old operative system.
A workaround could be to load the game on other pc, and insert it on the xp one.
real problem is that the used Chromium version wont support XP apparently
Τελευταία επεξεργασία από Zetikla; 23 Ιουλ 2018 στις 11:14
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Muppet among Puppets:
A workaround could be to load the game on other pc, and insert it on the xp one.

I did it, and it half worked. I had some HDD with tons of games installed with Steam (SteamLibrary folder), installed on this PC and link them under Steam settings made them appeared installed correctly here, the real problem is on of them is not recognized, or if i want to install any other game that I didn't had on these HDD I cannot, as I always get this content servers unreachable error :( I made exceptions on the firewall but looks like it won't do the trick, sadly.
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από VenomSpark:
That's an answer i want to hear :) No offence of course, but one thing I always noticed when searching for example on Google for problem on old software, is that people always complain about the age of thing or giving their opinion, not focusing on real problem. I don't get why most people are like "Omg you still use XP wtf? Upgrade LOL!" and not answering and helping on the real problem.
I hear ya brah. Most don't seem tor ealize that anyone who's still using XP is doing so because of a lack of alternatives and not considering Windows 10 aan alternative. FUnnily enough your specs are pretty close to mine.

Mines intel based and my gfx card is a Geforce 9600 GSo 512mb. 4gb ram as well so more or less anything I can do or run on my system should be doable on your system.

Anyway thanks for the answer, so Steam under XP still works, is probably a issue of my firewall settings or something wrong on XP setting, I will try more workarounds but what scared me is that Steam on XP was broken at all, but you just confirmed that is not true, so a big THANK YOU for a truly handy answer, and not complains about why I want to use an old operative system.

Yeah but as others have said 2018 is the cut off date but you can upgrade to windows 7. A few places still sell it.




Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από VenomSpark:
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Muppet among Puppets:
A workaround could be to load the game on other pc, and insert it on the xp one.

I did it, and it half worked. I had some HDD with tons of games installed with Steam (SteamLibrary folder), installed on this PC and link them under Steam settings made them appeared installed correctly here, the real problem is on of them is not recognized, or if i want to install any other game that I didn't had on these HDD I cannot, as I always get this content servers unreachable error :( I made exceptions on the firewall but looks like it won't do the trick, sadly.
You might want to drop a support ticket on that. It could also be something between your modem/router an, your ISp and the content servers.
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Start_Running:
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από VenomSpark:
That's an answer i want to hear :) No offence of course, but one thing I always noticed when searching for example on Google for problem on old software, is that people always complain about the age of thing or giving their opinion, not focusing on real problem. I don't get why most people are like "Omg you still use XP wtf? Upgrade LOL!" and not answering and helping on the real problem.
I hear ya brah. Most don't seem tor ealize that anyone who's still using XP is doing so because of a lack of alternatives and not considering Windows 10 aan alternative. FUnnily enough your specs are pretty close to mine.
I dont see this has happened in this topic.
I would be the last who recommends win 10. So i checked what os he has, and recommended to use "your win 10". Maybe that would have fixed the problem.

Xp was fine and i didnt like the new ones. Already for the colors of the windows.
Τελευταία επεξεργασία από Muppet among Puppets; 23 Ιουλ 2018 στις 12:29
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Muppet among Puppets:
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Start_Running:
I hear ya brah. Most don't seem tor ealize that anyone who's still using XP is doing so because of a lack of alternatives and not considering Windows 10 aan alternative. FUnnily enough your specs are pretty close to mine.
I dont see this has happened in this topic.
I would be the last who recommends win 10. So i checked what os he has, and recommended to use "your win 10". Maybe that would have fixed the problem.

Xp was fine and i didnt like the new ones. Already for the colors of the windows.

Of course there is no need or want to make flame, absolutley not! I was just making a point on how sometimes just most of people give their own opinion giving simply and silly answer, and not focusing on what someone asked, and not in this case.

Indeed I would use my main PC but the problem is I don't have much space aviable, as I use my pc for more modern games (GTA V, Fallout 4 ecc.) that my other pc could not of course in any mode handle, but I don't want install all old goodies on my new pc due for space issues. On this PC i have 5 HDD with TONS of games of my favourite era, like Oblivion, F.E.A.R., DOOM 3 and so on. I really like the old feeling (for example I even have the original build of Half-Life 2, the one that came in day one back in November 2004, and it runs more smooth as it still runs on old version of the engine, and not the 2007 Orange Box updated which is a performance killer for older pc, not giving the true original feeling that HL2 had back in the days.) Anyway of course I cannot and don't want to put them on my main pc, I just want to use it on this old XP machine and enjoy some retro gaming, that's all :)

Anyway is so cool to hear you have my similar specs ^^ on my main I got a Core i7 870 (2009 cpu, that is already old...) 12GB DDR3, R9 380X and still rocks on. I never had an AMD Dual Core before, this is a OEM PC my dad gifted me years ago and wanted to put some good oldies to play, for this XP was almost obligatory, and it was (and still be, if you don't consider new DX11\12 games) the best OS ever made, and the longest one, yet that I can't stop myself to use it.

The core of my problem is indeed that most of the games I have in these HDDs were previously installed on Steam with my 3rd PC, who is actually dead as the RAM slots won't work anymore and by now I don't have money to spend on an clone motherboard to buy, so I switched to this PC and wanted use it as substitute, this 9600GT is a Gainward one, i think is a kind of low profile edition as is not a "real" 9600GT but looks more like a de-powered version, it have 1024MB of video RAM, but DDR2, on a slow 128bit. Also it don't have any additional power connector and the clocks are way more low than a "real" 9600GT, but it does the work for the game I want to play. If i start this topic is that I simply cannot install Skyrim, a game that I already owe as Special Edition on main pc, but wanted to play back on "original" vanilla edition of 2011, in this pc. For unknown reasons, I had it installed on my "common" folder of these HDD i was talking about, but didn't recognized it as here still says "Install" rather than "Play". The files are all legit and downloaded, but for run it requires of course Steam running, but when Im going to start it the installing window appears (as the trick is have already all files previously downloaded into common folder, put the same install path and Steam will look and overwrite an existing previously installation, after few secs is already installed and ready to go) and that's where im stuck... It would take few seconds for made aviable and runnable on my Steam list, but I cannot as everytime I try to install\download the content servers unreachable error appears and won't me made it playable in any way. The language on this XP is english and I thought switching the language of Steam in english could made the trick, but with no luck. Not even changing server location download, messing with firewall and other stuff. The fun is I can perfectly surf the net with Firefox here, and all sites works great. Im so sad because I really wanted to play few games that weren't installed on that HDDs here, but im afraid or this build is kinda broken or simply im unlucky enough for not making it work.

Any other help would be really useful, at least before the 2019 support ends. Sorry for long post but I wanted to explain more the problem, and the reason why I don't, want and can't switch to Win10 in this machine, despiting having it on my main PC but can play only modern games on that machine. I guess the only solution would find\buy a retail DVD copy of Skyrim, that should work I guess but I hate to buy another copy of the same game that I already own and bought here on Steam. I wonder what kind of problem this could be, it looks like an issue on my connection but the ethernet is cabled on the same router only the second port, the one that i use on Win10 and works perfectly. Thanks for your support anyway guys :)

EDIT: Another example of people complaining instead helping is also this, like "OMmmG! if you have Special Edition on good pc why u want play the old 2011 release on crappy pc!?!?!" May it be because im a weird guy, and because I simply... want it? :) So please don't give silly and foregone answer, just please help with the trouble. Beside jokes, I don't really like the SE of that game, somehow I feel more enjoyable on good old original release.
Τελευταία επεξεργασία από VenomSpark; 23 Ιουλ 2018 στις 14:29
Even if you install with cd, probably you would have to get the download to function.
Αναρτήθηκε αρχικά από Muppet among Puppets:
Even if you install with cd, probably you would have to get the download to function.

My same late though, If i don't remember wrong I think back in the days It required Steam for activation\always-online play. Oh this sucks, retail copies are kinda dead after internet. No more cool setup with screenshot while installing, no more manuals or actual full content on dvd. I remember the Fallout 4 retail copy was nothing than a single DVD with 4GB of actual files and 20 GB left to download to Steam, what a time to being alive huh? And i talk like a oldman, when Im "only" actually 27...
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