I found on MSDN forums someone who had updated to SteamPipe and shortly after Half-Life 2 was broken. Fortunately, Valve had posted a link on the Half-Life 2 section of the forums to an updated SteamPipe and a download file that would fix the Half-Life 2 crashes.
I have that file also, but it does not really work. At the beginning of the game I get a black screen and the load-up screen appears, then nothing. I tried it on both the DVD version and the Steam version. The file does not seem to do anything except slightly increase the FPS in the boot menu.
The likely cause is an antivirus program – If it finds Half-Life 2 or Counter-Strike 1.6 as something malicious, then it will often terminate it when you try to start up the game. Even with antivirus programs, Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike still produce lots of errors though, sometimes breaking Steam, sometimes the game itself, but the most common by far is its crashes.
A while ago, Half-Life 2 game client stopped working after I launched a match. The error messaged said something about an exploitable buffer overflow in a DLL that Half-Life 2 uses. I ignored the error and launched the game. After the match, the game kept crashing. A while later, when I went to launch a match, I got the following error message: \”Unable to load Steam servers. Please check your network settings and try again. This error may be due to the Steam software running as a different user.\” I thought this was an issue with my connection, so I tried again.
Half-Life 2 isn’t that hard to modify for non-steam setups. That said, there are a couple of minor issues that may arise. If you do modify one of these mods, the SteamPipe will make a backup of the Half-Life 2 directory on your hard drive, and that backup will be used if you hit this issue, rather than the original copy. This backup file is named hl2backup.wad. We’ve included a patch to fix this in this post as well. It’s not 100% reliable but the SteamPipe has a tendency to overwrite it with a corrupt one rather than fail to create it, so if you have a backup you should be fine.
It will also be possible to downgrade back to the previous version of Half-Life 2 after the final version comes out, by visiting the Steam Beta page for Half-Life 2 and selecting the version number you’d like to downgrade to.
If you want to install Half-Life but Steam is not working properly. Remove all Steam files from your desktop first. Then download the game from Steam. Double click on the Half-Life file to install the game. Play the Half-Life game and download the Steam client if the game is downloaded.
Click on Start->Control Panel->Add / Remove Programs. Then remove Half-Life. Steam should be uninstalled automatically. Then click on Start->Windows->Programs->Steam. Right click on it and choose Uninstall.
Next, in the Launch options field, you can change the Launch Options field to either of the below (without the quotes) or both, if you would like to do so. If you want to check for the update, in the same Launch options field, you can select ‘Launch Half-Life 2’ by itself which will open Valve’s old site URL in the tab that used to be opening the Steam website.
To prevent any more alerts from appearing in future, you can permanently change your anti-virus settings to either block the detection of all of Valve’s games or just Half-Life 2 Alyxs install folder. To do this, right-click on the game you want to change your settings for in your Steam library, select Properties and then under Settings click on the ‘Set launch options’ button.
Unzip the Half-Life 2 main files to your hard drive. It contains about 10 GIGs. Go to Start->Control Panel->System->System Settings->Sound and Audio->Sounds->System->Sound Effects tab. Click on the first button next to the File Format. Set the File Format to 32 bit. In this step, you will need to exit any other games using this sound driver. If the game continues to use the Microsoft Sounds->System Manager Click on Yes-the Game Will Exit Now button.