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Common GTA 5 PC Errors, and How to Fix Them

Rockstar outlines solutions and workarounds for some of the errors and problems players are running into.

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Update: Rockstar has released the first and second patches for GTA V, and they resolve a number of problems, including the Windows username and Windows Media Player issues outlined below.

Original Story: Grand Theft Auto V has, at long last, finally been released on PC, but some unfortunate gamers are encountering issues that are preventing them from being able to play. At least a few of those problems have workarounds, which we've outlined below.

How to Avoid Losing Your GTA Online Cars

If you've transferred your GTA Online progress from the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions, you may lose your saved cars if you haven't played since December 2013. Unfortunately, to prevent this from happening, Rockstar says you'll need to log in to your character on console before initiating a transfer on PC.

As explained by Rockstar:

  • Enter GTA Online on your PS3 or Xbox 360. If you have not played in a long time, you will be prompted to accept a Title Update.
  • Pause the game
  • Scroll to the "Online" tab
  • Select the "Leave GTA Online" option
  • The game will not save on the latest Title Update, and your vehicles will now transfer properly to PC.

Once you leave GTA Online, an orange save icon will appear in the bottom right corner. Once that disappears, your progress will be saved, and you're free to initiate the transfer to PC. There's no indication that Rockstar will be able to offer a fix that doesn't involve first saving your progress on console.

If you already transferred your character and have lost vehicles, Rockstar suggests you submit a support request.

Windows Account Names

Your Windows account name could be to blame if the game hangs while downloading an update or is giving you errors like, "The Rockstar update service is unavailable (code 1)." This is because Windows account names that contain characters other than a number (0-9) or letter (uppercase or lowercase A-Z) will prevent GTA V from being able to install and run properly. This has resulted in the bizarre situation of Rockstar's support site hosting a list entitled, "Supported Characters At Launch for Windows Usernames for GTAV PC."

Rockstar is already working on a fix for this issue. In the meantime, you can deal with it by creating a new user account with administrator privileges and a name that consists only of the aforementioned characters. Unfortunately, simply renaming your account won't suffice if you already have an unsupported character in your name.

There's not yet any word on when the fix will be released, but Rockstar's support page will be updated with details when they are available, as well as with instructions on how to transfer your progress from a temporary Windows account to your permanent one.

Unable to Detect Windows Media Player

If you don't have Windows Media Player installed on your computer, you're likely running into an error during GTA V's installation that reads, "Unable to detect Windows Media Player on your system. Please install Windows Media Player, then retry the installation."

You can install it by following these instructions, courtesy of Rockstar:

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Click "Programs"
  3. Click "Turn Windows Features On or Off"
  4. In the resulting popup, make sure "Windows Media Player" is checked under the "Media Features" folder
  5. Click "OK" and wait for Windows Media Player to install

Rockstar Social Club

Another problem brought to light by Rockstar's support site involves Rockstar Social Club. There are multiple error codes produced by the same issue, including the following:

  • "Social Club failed to initialize."
  • "Social Club failed to load due to an incomplete installation. Please exit the game and re-install the latest version of the Social Club."
  • "A newer version of Social Club is required. The updater may have failed. Please exit the game and install the latest version of the Social Club."

If you're receiving any of these, your best bet is to manually reinstall Social Club from right here. It's recommended that you ensure GTA V is not running when you do so--check to make sure that GTA5.exe, PlayGTAV.exe, and GTAVLauncher.exe aren't running in the task manager--and that you have administrator privileges.

Should that not fix the problem, Rockstar outlines some additional steps you can follow:

  • Verify the Steam Cache (Steam version only):
    • Load Steam.
    • From the Library section, right-click on the game and select Properties from the menu.
    • Select the Local files tab and click the Verify integrity of game cache... button.
    • Steam will verify the game's files - this process may take several minutes.
  • Run GTAV as an Administrator
    • Go to the install directory for GTAV PC
    • Right click "PlayGTAV.exe"
    • Click "Run as Administrator"
  • Verify that you have the latest version of DirectX and Visual C++. The latest versions can be downloaded from here.
  • If you are stuck loading, auto-signin may have failed. Press the Home key and see if you can log in manually.
  • Temporarily disable antivirus/security, then uninstall if disabling does not work as a test. Be sure to reinstall and re-enable your antivirus after the test.
  • Make sure that Social Club is installed to the correct directory (by default, this is: Program Files\Rockstar Games\Social Club)

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