Saturday, December 22, 2012

Running GTA IV on Windows 8

I recently upgraded my main machine to Windows 8. My laptop is a powerful gamer and development machine, an Alienware M15x. Although its main usage is for development and research, I definitely enjoy using its power to play PC games like Diablo III, StartCraft II and Grand Theft Auto IV.
I started playing Grand Theft Auto IV through Steam on Windows 7. Previously, the game was running just fine, but after the Windows 8 upgrade I started to have problems. I was able to run the Steam client, see GTA IV in my games library and even run the game itself. However, after starting the game by clicking the “Play” option in the main menu, a message was being displayed saying that I was not logged in. The options presented where to sign in (Enter) or to skip it (ESC). However, no matter the option I chose, the game got stuck in that screen, not allowing me to go back, play or quit the game.
I was sure that the Games for Windows Marketplace client was running and that I was logged in with the correct account, but the game kept telling me that I was not signed in. After some research online, including Steam and RockStar forums, posting questions and waiting for answers, I found the right answer.
The symptoms
  1. Run Steam
  2. Login into steam
  3. Choose GTA IV from Steam’s Game Library
  4. Run GTA IV
  5. Login into Social Club with your Microsoft Account
  6. GTA IV intro is displayed
  7. GTA IV start screen is displayed (Start, Options, Live, Live Marketplace, etc)
  8. Select Start to run GTA IV Home Screen.
  9. GTA IV home screen is displayed (Play GTA IV, Play GTA: EFLC, Quit)
  10. Click on Play GTA IV
  11. Screen is displayed saying that I'm not logged in into my account
  12. Screen is displayed asking if I want to sign in. Options are "Enter" or "Esc"
  13. Game is stuck on that screen. Only way to quit is to kill it with Task Manager or Restart Computer
Once I detected the problem, I did a few things suggested by the community. O updated my Steam client, I updated my Games for Windows client and I made sure my Windows 8 PRO installation was up to date. None of this fixed the issue.
Then by a lucky chance while trying to run the game, go to my desktop and trying to kill the app, I noticed a short Windows error message that the connection to the Live Services from the Games for Windows Client timed out and provoked a fatal error. I realised that the problem was indeed the Games for Windows client.
The Solution
If you are experiencing the same issue, here is what you need to do:
  1. Run Control Panel and go to Programs and Features
  2. Find and uninstall “Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace” and “Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable”.
  3. Restart your machine when the uninstall process is completed to make sure the programs are completely removed.
  4. Install the updated Games for Windows Marketplace client. You can get the latest version here.
  5. Once the install is done, run the client and login with your Microsoft Account. 
  6. Launch Steam and run GTA IV. This time you will notice the Games for Windows Marketplace client popping a couple of messages at the top of the screen saying that you are indeed logged in. Solved !
Hope this helps you avoid some frustration trying to get your GTA IV game running on your Windows 8 machine. It certainly got me frustrated, but the good news is that there is a solution that it doesn’t involve going back to Windows 7. Happy Gaming!


  1. My problem is that it brings up a steam popup like first time setup but I had already done it when I run the first time setup for the second time it has a pop up saying Securom (1 of 1. Once it finishes that it closes the pop up and nothing opens. No gta no live.

  2. My steam give me popup when running SECUROM (1 of 1) then once it is done it closes and gta never opens. OS: Windows 8

  3. I have been trying for a week to get this running on my new windows 8 install.

    I have given up and am just going to download it from the piratebay. At least I know that I will be able to use what I have paid for.

    Always-on DRM for the win? I think not.