So it seems that Steam has decided it doesn't like validating game caches anymore, because as of about five hours ago, every time it tries to validate TF2's game cache, it gets to 100% and then just freezes. And with that freezing, it seems to cause all sorts of other instability with my system. Explorer freezing, Task Manager freezing, some programs not opening, Chrome not loading pages, etc. etc. I let it sit there for over an hour, and it was still frozen.
I can't even close it with Task Manager, either. End Process does nothing, End Process Tree does nothing, even 3rd party process-killing software can't close it! And trying to do so with Task Manager usually just makes the instability worse and causes Task Manager/Explorer to freeze for about a minute.
This literally just started happening out of the blue. I haven't installed anything or changed anything, Kapersky and Ad-Aware don't detect any spyware or viruses or anything...
However, this ONLY happens if Steam's validating thing gets to 100%. If I don't let Steam validate TF2's game cache, everything is fine...except for the fact that I can't play TF2 because it forces me to validate if I want to play it. Other Steam games work fine as well.
Any ideas what's going on? I've never had any issues like this with Steam freezing up on cache validations. If it's worth noting, Windows is on my SSD, and Steam/TF2 are on my separate HDD.