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Content Description Record

It’s data situated in ClientRegistry.blob that is downloaded by Steam and no-Steam related soft. It contains the definitions, versions, information how to process and work with the local Steam content and other necessary stuff about all applications in Steam.

New games and releases on Steam appear rather often. Thus, to keep the launcher in the track of the events (correctly process Steam content, unpack files from SID etc.) you should always keep the CDR up-to-date. Once or twice a week will serve good if you acquire the games rather often. If you’re not keen on playing brand-new games you don’t need to update the CDR frequently.

NOTE: you can always find latest required ContentDescriptionRecord (which is, to remind, is situated in ClientRegistry.blob) over here. Download it and unpack to \Phx_data\Res\bin_ClientRegistry (rewrite old file there)

First of all, because SID files do not contain GCF files. SIDs are modified ZIP archives (LZ algorithm used with encryption in some cases) that contain pure files that are later imported into GCF files. Why is it so complicated? The thing is – GCF content is updated and sometimes frequently. So that not to make a mess, SIS, SIM and SID files don’t hold any info about the GCF version. Instead if user wants to install a GCF-based game, Steam and Phx do as follows:

  • Get the GCF content checksums (of all the files) from its servers and version (latest version if it’s Steam) of the GCF the files are to be imported into.

  • Then compare the checksum of the file from SID and the checksum of the same file that is stored in GCF.

  • If they coincide, then everything is OK and file content is imported on its place in GCF. If not, then Steam/Phx suppose that this file has been updated and

    • request the latest version of it from Steam content servers (Steam case, Steam account is required to make sure you’ve bought the game. If verification is succeeded then servers can allow downloading necessary file)

    • or search for the same file, relative to the Destination folder (Phoenix case. And if this case will fail, Phx will try to connect to Steam servers and try to get the file with the help of an account)

    • The thing with Phoenix servers is that mini-GCF files (that contain checksums and version) are not updated as frequently as on Steam’s. Thus, if you want fully updated GCF files use Phx RAIN CF Manager or get СF Toolbox and update the content or download the updates here or here.

There’re several reasons of why you can’t unpack the game content at the moment:

  • You’ve bought the disc or downloaded the image and the official release date has not yet come. The only thing you can do is to wait for the release date. On release date go update the CDR – the keys to decrypt the content from SID files should appear (the Encryption Keys) and with their help Phx will be able to unpack the game.
  • Sometimes (now this practice gets more common) Valve (the creators of Steam distributing system) put on disc only part of the game files. The other part (usually some critical files – exe or dll) should be downloaded from Steam servers (requiring Steam account with the desired game). If you don’t own the game – you can do nothing but either wait for someone to upload the missing files or…buy the game wacko .
  • There’s a bug in the unpacking system. Consider sending me (the developer) the bug report – it helps me to maintain the code and fix the bugs faster. If I’m not too busy then new version may appear the other day.

No, Phoenix was originally created as an offline Steam content manager. Thus, to get your account banned, you should be at least online and get Steam running. But even this won’t cause your account ban, because Phoenix do not interfere with what Steam does while running.
But it’s advised not to use your original account or run Steam if you’re going to import files in GCF while installing the game in SiD Unpacker.

It’s highly recommended that you turn off Steam if you want to play games with the help of Phoenix or other Steam content launcher or Steam emulators.
Mostly because Phx often share the same SteamApps folder with Steam: if you try to launch the game thru Phoenix while Steam is on, the Steam emulator that is used to launch the game without Steam may fail trying to access GCF files because Steam.exe process gets the full and exclusive access to the GCFs and NCFs and no program can correctly work with them while Steam is on. Though there’re cases when the game was successfully launched but to be sure Steam is advised to be off to launch the game (application) correctly.

Firstly, make sure that antivirus alerted on a freshly downloaded copy of the program so that to except the case that it might have been infected by the virus. The Phoenix checks itself at startup whether it is infected or not. If it is, the integrity of the .exe-file will fail and program will halt with a “CRC check failed” error. If the copy is fresh and you’re sure it wasn’t your fault, then report about the false alert and the antivirus software you use at one of the sites below. It is a false alert because I do check my computer for viruses and have the daily updated anti-virus bases to exclude uploading infected files. Unfortunately, even if I check the binaries on, usually the tests won’t point me to the cause of some antivirus alert, but I will try to do my best to minimize such cases.

Make sure you have no viruses and the file is downloaded correctly. If there’s no reaction, open Phx_debug_log.txt – if there’s some text, then send it to one of the links below and I’ll take measures. If Phoenix crashes with the CRC check error – check your computer for viruses and redownload the program.

There’re many reasons of why you can’t launch the game. Causes range from emulator to hardware or operating system problems. To exclude problems caused on launcher or emulator side, make sure you have the latest emulator and launcher version.
  • Make sure you have latest video and sound card drivers installed and the latest DirectX version is installed.
    InstallScript parser that is run just before a game is launched and after a game is unpacked from SID makes sure that all the prerequisites are installed to run the game properly.
  • If “Application load error X:00000XXXXX” appeared, try switching between the emulator versions – it may help launching some games. Otherwise consider updating the emulator or getting cracked files…or buying the game wink
  • If Source engine based game “Can’t find background image ‘’ ” the main cause is that the emulator can’t access GCF files. This may be caused by the following:
    • Steam is running
    • Wrong path to GCF files
    • Sometimes, first run of the Source engine game may result in crashing with this message. Ignore it and run again – second time the game should launch correctly.

If the bug is not known you’ll help much if you report about the issue to the one of the links below and write what did you do when program crashed, what plugin and/or action caused failure and I’ll take measures. Before that, try to search for the updated version at Phoenix Update Centre. If not, then report and wait. I’ll try to post new, fixed version as soon as possible.

There’re several sites and forums where I officially hold topics by myself:


You can also check for the updates at Phoenix Update Centre (Help – Phoenix Update Centre)

You may just wait for a few minutes as Steam servers maybe overloaded at the moment and try again. Or you can download the updated file here and unpack it to 
<Phoenix.exe folder>\Phx_Data\Res\Bin_ClientRegistry folder.
Added by: Abood M. Nazzal

Just delete the Phx_data folder, Phx_settings.ini, Phx_debug_log.txt, Phx_bugreport.txt (if exists) and Phoenix.exe - that's all, you're done!
Added by: Maximilian