Yesterday morning when I booted up my PC I was greeted with this error message:
Initialization of SteelSeries Engine failed.
Please reinstall Engine and try again.
Not again! I thought. I’d experienced this before and had needed to get help from SteelSeries tech support to resolve it. I suspected that it had been caused by a recent Windows 8 update, but I don’t know for sure.
Here is how I resolved it:
- Clear temp files
In Windows Explorer I typed %temp% into the address bar and pressed Enter. This is a shortcut to C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\Temp. I selected all files and deleted them. (A few files are still in use so just skip past these.)
- Close SSEngine.exe process
The next step is to make sure the SteelSeries Engine process isn’t still running. Ctrl+Shift+Esc brings up the Task Manager. If the SSEngine.exe process is still running (under the Processes tab) then close it.
In Control Panel > Programs and Features uninstall the SteelSeries Engine application.
- Clear AppData\Roaming\SteelSeries
In Windows Explorer, in the address bar, type %appdata%. This is a shortcut for C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming. Locate the directory called SteelSeries and delete it.
- Clear AppData\Local\SteelSeries_ApS
Do the same at C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local. The directory there for me is called SteelSeries_ApS. Delete it.
- Unplug mouse
Unplug the mouse from its USB port. Wait 10 seconds then plug it back in.
- Download drivers
Now download fresh drivers from SteelSeries support. Do not rely on previously-downloaded drivers.
- Install as administrator
Right click the installer and select ‘Run as administrator’, then follow the on-screen instructions and install the drivers.
You should now find that your computer reboots without any initialization error message.
As well as reinstalling the Engine drivers I also took the opportunity to upgrade the mouse’s firmware.
It was then just a case of recreating my custom profile to make my mouse behave as much like a Microsoft Intellimouse Optical as possible (left-hand side buttons: back; right-hand side buttons: forward), as well as setting two sensor speeds (red 1600 dcpi for me, blue 800 dcpi for the children).