Portal 2 Troubleshooting and Fixes

Portal 2 has been released on Steam after a whole week of release anticipated. Every big game launch on PC doesn’t come hassle-free, so you may have had to go through several problems at start due to reasons you would find in the article below. Our Portal 2 troubleshooting and fixes guide can help you resolve most of the problems you may come across while playing or in your attempt to play Portal 2.

Portal 2 Troubleshooting and Fixes

Portal 2 Black Screen At Launch
If you launch the game and screen stays black. You can only hear the sound but the menu doesn’t appear, constant black screen remains.
If you are using a laptop with nVidia card. You can go into nVidia control panel and add Portal 2.exe and make it use nVidia GPU to resolve this issue.

On PC, this normally arises due to resolution not supported by your monitor by running the game in native desktop resolution but if that doesn’t resolve this issue, you can use the same method above to resolve this on your PC.

Portal 2 Failed to create D3D device Error
Install or Update DirectX and your video card drivers to fix this issue.
In the launch options you need to put this in your resolution:

-w 1366 -h 768

Replace the numbers with whatever your native resolution is.

Portal 2 Freezes After Logo Intro Video
You can launch the game with -Novid added to launch options of Steam. If you are running the game off external hard drive. Copy Steam.exe and Portal 2 files from external HD to good old C:\. Launch Steam.exe as administrator and let it update.

Start Portal 2 and hopefully now it will work. Provided you have no antivirus and firewall conflicting with the game. And make sure you have verified the game cache for other errors and corrupted installation.


  1. Exit steam completely
  2. Create new folder in drive where steam is installed
  3. Copy steam folder to new folder
  4. Control panel -> uninstall program
  5. Uninstall steam
  6. Download steam from steampowered.com
  7. Install steam to standard install directory (c:\prog files(x86)\steam or whatever it is)
  8. Log in to steam
  9. Double click on steam program, wait for download to begin
  10. After 10-30 seconds, pause download and exit steam completely
  11. Copy steam\steamapps\common\portal 2 to the new \common\portal folder. overwrite all (this will take 7-10 min depending on drive speed, it’s 13gb)
  12. When transfer is complete, load steam
  13. Click on portal 2, let it “download”. steam will check the existing files
  14. Launch Portal 2.

Note. You can follow the instructions in this post on how to create an alternate file path and run the game.

Go to \Steam\steamapps\common\portal 2\portal2\bin, then either delete everything in that folder or rename it to bin_old. After that Verify your game cache and it should re-download the dll’s.

Deleting all the files in both ..steamapps\common\portal 2\portal2\bin and \steamapps\common\portal 2\bin then verify cache.

Portal2.exe Has Stopped Responding
Downgrade your video card drivers and it will resolve this issue.

Could not Load Library Client error
Now, this is a bug that bugs most players. Simply Open your firewall’s software, find your exception list, add Steam.exe and portal2.exe to your exceptions list and open the game.

Crash to Desktop Fix

  1. Navigate to your windows folder (usually c:/windows/)
  2. Inside there, go to the CSC folder.
  3. Try to open the folder and it should fail (if it doesn’t, you have a different problem). It’ll come up with ‘You don’t currently have permission to access this folder’ at which time you keep pressing continue until it says you’ve been denied.
  4. Right-click the folder, go to properties.
  5. Go to the security tab at which point it’ll say ‘To continue, you must be an administrative user with permission to view this object’s security properties’ at which point you click continue.
  6. Click on admin in the owner tab which will swap the owner to the administrator then click OK.
  7. You then click on OK once again which will bring up the security tab.
  8. Tick ‘full control’, press OK twice to get out of the properties tabs.
  9. Run the game as administrator.

“No STEAM” Button Can’t Play!
Quit Steam and delete clientregistry.blob in the main steam folder. After that restart steam.

Constantly Spinning Left
Un-Plug your controller.

Portal 2 Freezes, Black Screen, and Sound Looping
If you are experiencing random freezes and black screen, you can refer to #5 and #8 which also consider the random crashes you may come across. Meanwhile, the freezing issue may be caused by the video card drivers that is if you are running the game meeting the minimum requirements. Try the previous version of the video card drivers and see if it resolves the issue.

Gestures + Flags Gone from Portal 2
Verify the game cache files or may be some issue at Valve end. Wait and it will resolve.

Sound Issues
Run the game with Stereo Sound if you are experiencing no sound or sound stuttering. Update your sound card drivers and it will resolve this issue.

Failed to load the Launcher DLL
Maybe the DLL File is missing or corrupted so either update or install DirectX or verify the game files. You can force the game to verify the game files by the method specified above.

Portal 2 Steam Cloud Not Syncing Saves
Be Patient, there may be one of the issues associated with every big launch of Valve game. It will be resolved given some time to devs.

Cinematic Audio Stutter
If this is occurring try to update your audio device drivers and uninstall any extra codecs you have installed. The reason most probably is the conflict of audio drivers and codecs installed in your system.

No File Save Sync Across Platform
It seems as if only multiplayer progress is saved on the cloud so you may want to finish the game on one platform singleplayer.

Stuck At Chapter #6
Start a new game on chapter 6 or load the autosave from the top of the fall.

Display issues
Portal 2 comes with different display errors such as Reflective lighting, purple screen etc. First of all, Go to program files/steam/steam apps/common/portal 2. RIGHT click the portal application. Click troubleshoot in-compatibility issues. Run portal 2

Then simply change your in-game resolution to medium and you’re done. Also, if your screen turns black then use your native desktop resolution.

If that doesn’t solve the balck screen issue then you can go into nVidia control panel and add Portal 2.exe and make it use nVidia GPU to resolve this issue

Lag Physics Blob Fix
Set ‘r_threaded_blobulator 0’ using console.

Playstation 3 and PC Save Games Issue
Saves from PS3 can only be played from PS3 and it seems as if steam cloud only works for multiplayer.

Display Driver Has Stopped Working
1. Go to program files/steam/steam apps/common/portal 2.
2. RIGHT click the portal application.
3. Click troubleshoot in-compatibility issues.
4. Run portal 2

Integrated Intel Graphics
Portal 2 seems not to go well with integrated graphics chipsets resulting in crashes and black screen. You can try running the game in Windowed mode, it may work or may not but worth a try.

  1. Open Steam, then Play games
  2. Right-click the Portal 2, click properties, then Launch options
  3. add -windowed
  4. click ok, then close.

If you face any other issue, let me know and I will try to help you out.

Founder of SegmentNext.com. Skyrim is my favorite video game and I enjoy playing FPS titles (Call of Duty, Battlefield). When I am not playing video games, I am working to make this website better.