Failed to load the default scheme file

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"Failed to load the default scheme file. The map views may be missing some visual elements"
Note:This error is related to the Hammer editor.

Possible causes

Starting Hammer using shortcuts

The error is known to occur when trying to start Hammer faster using a shortcut, instead of the Source SDK GUI. Although, it can also happen when opening Hammer from the Source SDK GUI today (Sept 2009).

Starting Hammer in Source SDK (post-2013 SteamPipe update)

This error is known to occur when trying to start Hammer from the Source SDK menu after receiving the SteamPipe update.

SteamPipe Solution

You must navigate to the desired game's common bin folder and run hammer.exe from there.

For example, to run Hammer for Half-Life 2 (includes episodes), run: ...\SteamApps\common\Half-Life 2\bin\hammer.exe

Possible fixes

  1. Get SourceScheme.res from one of the GCF files or create a mod.
  2. Copy it to the ...\SteamApps\username\sourcesdk\bin\resource\ folder, or to the ...\SteamApps\username\half-life 2\hl2\resource\ folder.

If this doesn't work, then you can use Filemon from sysinternal's to find out where Hammer is actually looking for this file.

Another possible fix (for Orange Box):

  1. Get SourceScheme.res as outlined above
  2. Copy it to \SteamApps\username\sourcesdk\bin\orangebox\bin\resource\

Yet another possible fix :

It is possible that you have deleted this line

"ToolsAppId 211 // Tools will load this (ie: source SDK caches) to get things like materials\debug,"

or only added "//" before in the GameInfo.txt of your mod or game. This can cause this error or an other when you start HLMV.

  1. If so, just rewrite the line or erase the "//".