An update last month where steam had tried to fix an issue some users were having with controllers dead zones (not myself) they updated their system to include a driver which messed with settings which caused my controllers right dpad to constantly be on ever since which makes a lot of games including side scrolling platformers completely unplayable because of the constantly right running caused through this, and some others highly awkward to play including resident evil which uses the dpad for item selections.
Waiting for steam to fix the issue they were able to “recreate” in their environments knowing they caused the issue was becoming frustrating as 3 weeks later they still haven’t done anything to fix the problem, and they really should’ve tested to see if they destroyed other controllers before sending this on a mass update to everyone, especially as xbox 360 wireless controllers are the most used device, and whatever they were fixing it for just created mass headaches for more users undoubtedly.
I wrongly presumed that I would be able to use my controller at least on games outside of steam and attempted to boot up foregone on epic games store only to discover that the issue persisted, and I figured maybe it was a windows update which ruined it instead, as often windows 10 updates will mess with settings and ruin everything leading to hours of headaches figuring out how to repair what they’ve changed in your settings.
So I went looking at my drivers to attempt to roll back to how they were previously and discovered that on the date it all went wrong a driver called “steambox” was installed, and that this driver was the one being used for the controller, not only this it wouldn’t allow me to change it to the previous driver as it had hijacked what the pc recognized as wireless xbox 360 controller to only use this driver.
Naturally I figured if I deleted this driver it would allow whatever the correct previous drivers were to be used and take over, especially as my pc is not a steambox and never has been there wouldn’t possibly be any harm in doing so, so I proceeded to attempt to delete the driver from my computer, of course it was saying the driver was in use and wouldn’t allow me to delete it, so I used some technical knowledge to attempt to remove the driver and changed the permissions so nothing could read/write/execute the driver, then I attempted to reboot the pc, because if it’s not using the driver on the controller I can then delete it and fix my controller so I can play all the games I want to play without the problem steam created right?
Upon resetting my pc to my horror I discovered that steambox was actually so invasive in the systems it took over that by preventing anything accessing the driver to read or execute that nothing would work because for some reason steam made it so that the driver took precedence over literally every driver to control all peripherals and hijacked my entire pc to turn it into a steambox against it’s will. Preventing it executing means that no longer will any device work, I hadn’t considered that this would be a possibility and my mouse and keyboard no longer are detected, I’ve tried installing new devices, seen it say on screen with prompts they’re successfully installed but still be unable to be used because the driver takes hold of them over any other ability, so in no way can I access anything on the pc to fix the problem because I have no capability of using any mouse or keyboard on the system.
This sent me tumbling into a severe depressive episode and serious dismay, thankfully I have a 2 pc setup so I was able to clone my existing working operating system off my other pc onto a spare drive and transfer that over to be able to use the pc, and had to reinstall a whole bunch of games, and some of which I cannot find the save files for including waking and hellpoint where I’m 40 hours into each and very upsetting to lose all of that progress, especially where waking I was particularly avoiding finishing in favour of completing every level and I could’ve gone on to defeat the game, but things like my graphics card dying and taking months to replace and now this controller issue prevent me from playing, and now my entire pc has been turned into a worthless brick as a result of this horrible hijacking of the system.
No way should have steambox took hold of everything in this manner and attempts to remove it shouldn’t’ve destroyed the entire ability to use the pc. Unfortunately I have paused windows 10 updates until the end of april and my only hope of being able to be restored access is that ironically windows 10 destroying and resetting all settings may in fact in this instance cause it to retake control of all of these peripherals from the horrible steambox driver, but it may be that it’s eternally destroyed. I’ve tried plugging it into another pc and changing the permissions back but this only changes the permissions for that pc not for the device it operates from and I’m not technically apt enough to know how to create access for a seperate system I cannot possibly now know the permission identities for, and cannot exactly find out as no peripheral works when booting it up.
This destroyed my health entirely and depressed me severely, thankfully fall guys had hex-a-gone trials return for the weekend and I spent the entire day venting my stress and hurt through the game whilst exercising on a bike frantically and shouting at all of the grabbers and occasionally some who flew on invisible gaps or up floors entirely, I did manage to gather an extra 7 crowns and it was very cathartic to shout out all day at them, but if I didn’t have the extra pc to clone the drive of I don’t know how I would’ve coped in lockdown losing my pc like that, and on a weekend it would’ve been pretty difficult to get a new operating system and drive to be able to return to doing anything and taken weeks to fix without this, and I would’ve been very distressed and depressed the entire time.
I don’t know why steam would make such an awful decision to literally hijack every driver like this, it’s so unexpected that I really only thought it might be controlling my xbox 360 controller as it showed, I didn’t think to consider looking what else it might have hijacked, because who would expect their mouse drivers and keyboard drivers to be taken over by steam in this manner, and attempting to fix the problem would stop everything working ever.
I have always spoken up as an avid supporter of steam but this was horrific and I cannot believe what awful decision they took to take over every single aspect of your pc in this manner with a singular driver. This is not something steam should ever do.