Half Life 2 fails to load

By cookiemoose ยท 122 replies
Nov 18, 2004

    VERAULT TS Rookie

    hl2 wont load, BUT WHY!

    I highly doubt its a problem with the dvd/cds. IT doesnt error out while installing. Plus my dvd plays the game on my older 2000 box. Just wont play it on my newer xp machines.
  2. jmiddler

    jmiddler TS Rookie

    HL2 won't work

    There has to some consistancy with this. There are sow few of us who seem to have the problem. That's why I though it might be the disks. :giddy:

    VERAULT TS Rookie

    whats in common?

    Well Whats in common? Heres what Im running:
    windows xp sp2
    direct x 9c
    intel p4 3.2 w/HT
    gig of ram
    Nvidia 5200fx newest drivers
    dvd drive, phillips dvd+r

    dvd copy of half life
    19inch crt screen running resolution of 1600 X 1200, dont think anything else is relevant.
  4. cookiemoose

    cookiemoose TS Rookie Topic Starter

    (NB I haven't managed to fix it, I've just been busy)

    It is unlikely that there is a common piece of hardware which is causing this problem as we all seem to have very different systems.

    It seems increasingly likely there is fault with the cd/dvd drive reading the disc.

    Anyway, the only relevant google search on this error is the following (for anyone interested);

    I didn't manage to dig anything of use out of it a week ago, but perhaps that may have changed.

    Official technical support is nonexistant. Trying to return this game will be met by some kid telling you "Well you should have read the minimum system requirements."
  5. wispymatt

    wispymatt TS Rookie

    I'm also suffering with these exact symptoms. I managed to play HL2 once and have since spent a lot of time listening to a spinning DVD ROM and searching the internet for answers.
    One thing I tried that's not mentioned in this string is uninstalling all my DVD software, but to no avail.

    Has anyone had any luck?

    XP SP2
    P4HT 3GHz
    512MB RAM
    Directx 9.0c
    Sound Blaster Live! 24Bit
    Phillips DVD+RW DVD8601
  6. Jam_sponge

    Jam_sponge TS Rookie

    Well i'm not sure it's even got anything to do with the disc, mine doesn't even check the dvd or spin it or owt. :(
    I can't see it being an issue with my cd drive, as none of my other games seem to have a problem in finding where it is to run games.

    although it could be that i have a different problem to you guys, i dunno. i mean, i guess the problem is that steam has no real way of dealing with, or telling you what problems are, chances are, we could all be having completely different probs, and steam isn't doing anything to tell us!
    i've looked everywhere, in the windows error reports, the steam report file, hardware problems and conflicts, everything i can think of.
    obviously, valve haven't emailed me back in the 24-48 hours they promised, but i think that's mainly due to their system being clogged up by the whiny *****s who emailed them because they couldn't get their copy to work within half an hour of it's release. (man, do those *****s annoy me, i've been going for over a week, now THAT's annoying.)

    but it's good to see that more people are coming into this thread, although it gets more and more perplexing as none of us seem to have any one particular hardware trait that could be seen to be the problem... hmmm..

    VERAULT TS Rookie

    this thread

    IF anyone is sending any emails to valve or steam, send them the link to this thread. Maybe someone will be nice enough to look into this.

    Friends of mine said I should format my machine. I wont do it, everything is perfect on it except HL2, I have a dozen other games all working great. But hl2 wont load! I cant believe its been over a week and we still have no answers!
  8. wispymatt

    wispymatt TS Rookie

    I've just read this: <http://rr.pc.ign.com/rr/017/017817.html> so am giving up for today.
    I have already replaced one DVD Burner during this process and don't want to corrupt the frimware on the replacement just yet.
    Stange that this is pretty much the only thread discussing this problem, glad I found you lot though. I'll check in tomorrow.
  9. Swedish

    Swedish TS Rookie


    I had the same problem as you guys and was glad to find this thread. Well, I have finally managed to get my copy of HL2 to work!!! This might not be the solution you wished for but it can perhaps help some of you to at least identify where the problem lies. It seems the problem lies in the DVD burner. My Dell XPS gen3 came with the Philips DVD-RW8601 for which it seems impossible to get any new drivers or firmware or whatever. Amazingly crappy! So I ripped it (the 8601) out and replaced it with an old DVD player I had laying around. Voila! HL2 starts up every time! So if you have an old DVD-ROM somewhere, you really should consider using it instead of your burner until this problem is fixed. If not, you at least know where the problem might come from.

    I hope it works out for you guys!
  10. Jam_sponge

    Jam_sponge TS Rookie

    well, i'm not using a DVDRW drive, just a plain old sony CDRW DVD read one, and i tried updating my firmware just to see if it made a difference, but nope.
    anyone else having the problem, but with no sign of the CD drive attempting to do anything?

    VERAULT TS Rookie


    Swedish I think this is a mjor break through! I can only get HL2 to play on my older machine which is using a first generation dvd player from a old gateway, i think the drive is from 96 or 97. My new dells also have phillips dvd recorder drives too and thats what wont play them! Have you tried upgrading the firmware on your phillips drive? I dont really want to mess with it because when it comes to burning dvds its perfect!
  12. mindspin

    mindspin TS Rookie Posts: 40

    I read somewhere that some of the first releases of HL2 was quite buggy, had some nasty errors in detection combined with security. Making it impossible to run on newer DVD players, I thought you could return your copy to the store and obtain a new one (postorder guys are unlucky i guess).

    Good Luck!
  13. wave666

    wave666 TS Rookie

    I was having the same problem, drive would spin up then nothing would happen.
    Tried uninstall/reinstall a couple of times to no avail.The game would work on my
    laptop but not desktop.
    A forum sugested check the event viewer and that did show an atapi error so I put the disk into my dvd burner instead of my dvd-rom and it worked first time.
    I guess the game can install from certain cd drives but not run.
    The DVD-rom that didnt work was a sony and the burner that did work was a pioneer. :)
  14. Swedish

    Swedish TS Rookie

    VERAULT, funny coincident, I got my DVD player from an old gateway as well! I haven't upgraded my philips RW since I diden't find any updates. On the dell support page I could only get a firmware update for the philips-RW8631, I have a 8601... I tried it anyway but the update program didn't accept my burner. So have you installed your old dvd in your dell yet? Did it work?
  15. ass

    ass TS Rookie

    I actualy gave up trying to start the game.

    I got a laptop http://solution.aopen.com.tw/products/nb/1557-G.htm
    with a:
    qsi dvd-rw sdw-042(cant find any drivers og any homepage 4 it)

    DVD starts to spinn when i try to launch HL2 from steam. I c hl2.exe in task manager. And like u almost everytime nothing hapens and hl2.exe process stops.

    But once in a while i get error messages
    "Unable to authenticate original disc within time limit","retry","cancel"
    and somethimes:
    "This game is currently unavalible
    Pleas try again at another time","ok"

    And if I'm realy lucky the game starts :p

    Runs perfect on my laptop at 1400x1050, i also increased som of the advanced options.

    In the beginning I actualy gave up trying to start the game, when it suddently startet while I was doing something else.
  16. fix4HL2load

    fix4HL2load TS Rookie

    I Found The Fix

    ok i downloaded this game last night on steam, it went smooth no problems with the preload.

    Now the problem with using this game is that steam need to verify it, and also do something to your game content, which takes ages.

    If you open up steam and select halflife 2 straight off, then its a 99% chance it will never load. If this is the case then reboot, go back to steam and rigth click on half life 2 (and CS:S).

    Select properties.. now it should open a little window, now in this is a line saying

    Aquired:(or something), followed by a percentage.
    and underneath it says

    Offline play: Not Ready (or Ready, if its working)

    If your aquirement isnt 100%, then you need to leave steam open while it aquires the liscence, the bad news is it took me all night (at least 8 hours FFS). It will then appear as 100%, and Ready for offline play.

    Then it will work no problems.

    Dont forget to verify your files in the news update links, and forget reinstalling the game or getting new CD/DVD drives, mine was installed straight to HDD by steam so no disc access was required.

    GL guys!
  17. cookiemoose

    cookiemoose TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Offline play is ready for me.

    ***, I have the same cd/dvd as you with exactly the same errors which you are describing. Have you ever touched it's drivers?
  18. wispymatt

    wispymatt TS Rookie

    looks like its a DVD burner issue?

    Have found another thread discussing how to migrate from Philips DVD+R(W) Dvd8601 to Benq DVD+-R(W) DW1620 by changing the firmware. Maybe that would work? Feels like I've now spent more time trying to fix this than I would have playing the game! I'm not a PC engineer and don't have an old DVD knocking about so maybe it's time to say Game Over.

    VERAULT TS Rookie

    I think maybe were geting somewhere

    Swedish, no I havent pulled that old gateway dvd rom out, im just playing hl2 on that machine. And other then the semiregular crash where hl2 just decides to shut down, its playable. As far as my 2 new dell dimensions, with philips dvd+rws, im still having the same issue as everyone else. Wispymatt is bringing up this firmware for our drives, however I dont know if I want to mess with it. What do I gain if I go with that new firmware update? My drive works flawless now, other then not playing hl2.
  20. wispymatt

    wispymatt TS Rookie

    Lifes to short.

    I have notified Steam/Valve of this thread and returned HL2 to the shop as a faulty product. Thanks for being here anyway, you all provided a bit of hope for a while!
    I'll just have to find a similar game that was tested more thoroughly.

  21. cookiemoose

    cookiemoose TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That seems like a reasonable thing to do. Now, even if I did manage to get it working, my original enthusiasm to play the game has disappeared. Besides, it seems that there are some other more enjoyable games (going from many reviews I've seen lately on HL2) out there.


    VERAULT TS Rookie

    its too bad

    Well guys I understand the lack of enthusiasm, but dont let it get you down. Fortunately i have more then one pc and I have been able to play the game on one of them (just not the one Id like). I feel really bad for you guys out there who havent been able to play at all since you've gotten the game.

    My next step is going to be buying a couple of regular used dvd-rom drives from ebay and seeing if that fixes my issue.

    VERAULT TS Rookie

    I Have The Answer!

    MY friends, after hearind all your woes and seeing your enthusiasm for my now beloved game dwindle, I scoured the net. And upon reading hundreds of different threads I have found OUR ANSWER! My last post stated I was going to buy new dvd rom drives and im sure that would solve my(our) issues. However I realize this isnt always practical. We the valid consumer have been cheated, so its our turn to cheat. The people who dont have this problem are the people who have the steam client only, no cd or dvd. And in that is our solution.

    Download this file and read the instructions, (3 steps very easy) I did it on 2 of my machines (my 3rd just fried today) and the game is working great now!
    heres the link:

    Download this file

    please let me know how you guys do. Enjoy!
  24. jbaines

    jbaines TS Rookie

    Half Life 2

    I have the same problem as you!

    Steam loads fine and lists games to play.....click on HL2 and it says preparing to play, the disk spins and then.....nothin.

    I think this must be something to do with the program....I have posted the problem with Sierra support but no reply yet.

    The game did work once and it is incredible! Can't wait to get back on.
  25. SoDSpawn

    SoDSpawn TS Rookie

    Hey all, Im having the exact same problem. I can run HL:Source and CSS, but not HL2. I have the DVD version like most of you. I tried the no cd hijak and still nothing. Please help i want to try the new deathmatch. As of right now im going to use this smilie
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