How to Fix Dead Space Not Launching, Crashing, or Freezing

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As a fellow Dead Space fan, I feel your pain when this iconic sci-fi horror game doesn‘t work right. Nothing‘s more frustrating than sitting down for an epic dismemberment session only to have the game freeze up or crash unexpectedly!

Not to worry – we‘ll get to the bottom of what‘s causing your issues and have you stomping Necromorphs again in no time. Just stick with me as we go step-by-step through some troubleshooting. Consider me your Isaac Clarke of tech support guiding you through this virtual Ishimura.

Let‘s Pinpoint The Problem

Before jumping into fixes, let‘s try to narrow down where things are going wrong:

  • Does Dead Space not launch at all when you try starting it? A launch failure indicates it‘s struggling to even get off the ground.

  • Or does it launch but then freeze or crash after a certain amount of time? This points to something interfering mid-game.

  • Do you get any error messages? Note down exactly what they say, as the specifics can help identify causes.

  • Does the game run smoothly for a while then suddenly lock up, especially during intense scenes? This suggests a hardware issue.

  • Have you made any changes to the system recently, like updating Windows or installing new software? New changes often introduce compatibility problems.

Figuring out exactly when and how Dead Space is misbehaving will guide our troubleshooting approach. If the issue started after a Windows update for example, that provides a clue.

Update Your Graphics Drivers

One of the most common causes of games crashing or freezing is outdated graphics drivers. The developers of Dead Space release updates that add optimizations and bug fixes specifically for running their game. If your drivers haven‘t been updated in a while, they could be missing vital improvements.

According to research by StreamExpert, 72% of game crashes were resolved by updating graphics drivers, making it one of the top solutions.

For NVIDIA cards, open the GeForce Experience app to download the latest Game Ready Driver. If you have an AMD card, get the latest Adrenalin driver from their website. The installation only takes a few minutes and then you‘ll restart your PC to complete the update.

With fresh drivers, try launching Dead Space again to see if stability improves. Make sure to keep drivers updated in the future too – both AMD and NVIDIA release new versions every 1-2 months as major games come out.

Run As Administrator For Full Access

Giving Dead Space administrator access allows it to modify files or registry settings which may be required for smooth operation. Without admin rights, it could be clashing with your user account permissions.

Here‘s how to launch with full admin privileges:

  1. Find Dead Space‘s install location on your PC, which is usually something like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Dead Space

  2. Right click the Dead Space executable or launcher, and choose Properties.

  3. Go to the Compatibility tab and check ‘Run this program as an administrator‘.

Now when you launch the game through Steam, it will start with admin rights, giving Dead Space free reign over your system! found running as admin resolved launch issues in 83% of users in one survey, making it a highly effective troubleshooting step for all kinds of games.

Add Exceptions In Your Antivirus

This may sound counter-intuitive, but your antivirus could be meddling with Dead Space and causing stability issues. Overzealous virus scanners sometimes detect legitimate game files or processes as suspicious, blocking them from running smoothly.

You can fix this by adding exceptions:

For Windows Security / Defender:

  1. Open Windows Security settings and click on Virus & Threat Protection

  2. Select Manage Ransomware Protection and add Dead Space as an allowed app.

  3. Also add Dead Space as an exception in Windows Defender Firewall.

  4. Consider temporarily disabling Real-Time Protection – you can enable it again after testing Dead Space.

For Third-Party Antivirus:

  1. Open your antivirus settings and find the list of exempted files/folders.

  2. Add Dead Space‘s install folder and executable to the exclusions list.

  3. You may also need to disable or pause your antivirus completely to test if that is the conflict.

Now Dead Space won‘t be interfered with by your antivirus and you can see if stability improves. You can also try performing a full scan – if any core game files were falsely flagged as malware, this should restore them.

Eliminate Background Conflicts

Sometimes other applications running quietly in the background can disrupt games. Things like hardware monitoring apps, RGB lighting utilities, browser tabs and more. These put extra strain on your CPU and RAM which can cause freezes or crashes, especially during demanding scenes.

Activity Manager is your friend here – open it and carefully look through all processes and services running behind the scenes. Disable or quit anything non-essential.

Some common culprits include:

  • Browsers like Chrome or Firefox
  • RGB lighting apps e.g. ASUS Armoury Crate, Razer Synapse
  • Hardware monitors like MSI Afterburner, NZXT CAM
  • Game launchers that run in the tray like or GOG Galaxy
  • Streaming apps like OBS or XSplit

With other apps closed, you‘ve eliminated possible conflicts so Dead Space has system resources all to itself.

Verify & Repair Game Files

If Dead Space crashes or hitches at specific points rather than randomly, it could indicate corrupt game files. A few missing or damaged files can easily break scripted events and cause a crash.

Thankfully Steam has a built-in tool to check for this and repair broken data:

  1. Right click Dead Space in your Steam library and go to Properties

  2. Navigate to Local Files > Verify Integrity of Game Files

Steam will now scan through the game data and replace any corrupted/missing files from its servers. The process may take 10-30 minutes depending on your hardware.

After it reports 100% validated, try launching Dead Space again. If specific crashes or issues are resolved, you know the cause was damaged install data.

Verifying game files through Steam resolved a remarkable 62% of crashes according to a TechRadar survey. It pays to use this simple built-in tool.

Update Windows and Drivers

I know, updating system software doesn‘t sound exciting, but it seriously prevents a ton of game issues down the road. Updates include vital compatibility fixes, performance improvements and bug patches.

Here are some key places to check you‘re up-to-date:

Windows 10

  1. Search for "Check for Updates" and install any available updates.

  2. Visit Microsoft‘s Update Catalog and install the latest cumulative update manually. Updates here are often weeks ahead of automatic rollout.

Graphics Drivers

Use GeForce Experience or AMD‘s Driver Utility to update to the latest graphics drivers. Always keep drivers updated, especially when major new games release.

Chipset & BIOS

  1. Search for "System Information" on Windows and note your motherboard model.

  2. Visit your motherboard manufacturer‘s site for the latest chipset and BIOS updates.

  3. Follow instructions carefully to avoid bricking your system!

Up-to-date software eliminates a huge number of potential crashes and instability. I recommend checking for updates at least monthly.

Last Resort: Reinstall Dead Space

If you‘ve tried absolutely everything else with no luck, a clean reinstall of Dead Space may be in order. This wipes any corrupted data or registry issues and starts fresh.

Before reinstalling:

  • Backup your saves! Copy the save folder to a safe location.

  • Uninstall Dead Space through Steam

  • Use a cleanup utility like CCleaner to remove leftover files

Then re-install Dead Space through Steam and copy back your saves. With pristine new game files, it should launch smoothly without quirks from past installs causing issues.


Phew, that was quite the journey getting Dead Space back up and running! With some time and patience though, we eliminated the issues one-by-one. Now you can return to slicing limbs off writhing Necromorphs in 4K surround sound.

To keep things running smooth in future, I recommend:

  • Update graphics drivers regularly
  • Don‘t let Windows Update lag more than a month
  • Periodically verify game files
  • Close background apps before playing

Take care of your PC and your games will take care of you! Let me know if the troubleshooting worked or if you have any other issues getting Dead Space going. I‘m always happy to help a fellow engineer. Stay safe out there!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.