Steam randomly tries to install and crashes

I've seen this on the Steam forums, but I have as of yet to find any type of answer to the issue. I'm running on Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and I'm running Avast Internet Security Suite 5.

Here is what happens at various times. I'll launch Steam and all it states it's trying to update and then it crashes, saying "Error: deleted Steam.exe but the file is still there". At that point, there is a Steam.exe in the directory but the permissions on it are locked and I can't grant ownership or set the permissions.

However, if I double click on the Steam icon on my desktop, it will attempt to update it again. Sometimes, it continues forward and then I see the Updating Steam dialog, other times it crashes with the same error.

If it DOES launch steam, it states it's Updating it and then sometimes, it will complete without a problem and I'm ready to go. Othertimes, it will stop at 26% and then launch the dreaded "Error: deleted Steam.exe but the file is still there" error message.

This seems to be happening at random times. This week, it's happened three times.

I know others have experienced this, but there has been NO help from Valve that I can tell in their forums.

I've already tried everything in the following Steam Support KB -> This includes virus scanning, malware scanning, etc.

I've also done tried killing the Steam.exe process once the SteamTmp process starts, and that doesn't help either.

Anyone else experienced this and have an actual fix? I've disabled Avast, I've rebooted into safe mode, ran it as administrator, etc and there never seems to be a sure answer. It's more of a crap shoot on getting it to finally fix itself.

Does anyone know what is causing this? Is it a Steam client bug or is it conflicting with something? Many state it's the antivirus, but I've disabled all the shields in my antivirus and the problem still persists. I've even uninstalled the antivirus and that hasn't helped either, so I really doubt it's the antivirus that's causing the issue.

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  1. Best answer
    Some times just giving steam as much information as possible will help them. Everything from what you are running in the background, hardware configuration.
    Two questions though

    Have you tried uninstalling steam?

    Do you need to have steam running? I have found that steam has been causing many problems lately.
  2. I eventually get it to work, but it's just strange that this happens.

    I only have to have it running if the game I'm playing requires online play or if I want to see if there are any specials. Otherwise, I can usually just go to the game icon itself in the Games folder and just launch it that way.

    It's just frustrating and I've never experienced this before until just recently. I've been running Windows 7 since the betas and this has never happened before.
  3. Best answer selected by isamuelson.
  4. Still not sure what the issue is, but I've figured out that if I see it crash initially, wait about 3 minutes to let things settle down and then double click on the Steam icon and it usually fixes itself.
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