Half life 2 woes

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Thread Starter
Oct 3, 2008
Recently I obtained a new laptop, and, looking forward to playing games at university, installed Half-Life 2. Unfortunately, I've been experiencing a variety of problems, including the infamous 'stuttering bug'.

Initially, the game would simply crash after saving - datacache.dll being the faulting module. I seem to have found a work-around by using the launch option "mat_forcehardwaresync 0 " but the stuttering remains. I experience severe slowdown and sound looping, such that the gameplay is heavily hindered.

I've tried checking the integrity of my cached files, deleting and reinstalling, using the -heapsize command, checking for a lock on paged pool memory in my boot.ini, using the nosound command, +mat_bumpmap 0 and +mat_picmip commands, updating my drivers and turning off all non-microsoft startup services - in other words, just about every solution you've heard of - but the problem remains.

Any help would be appreciated!

My system specs are as follows:

Packard Bell EasyNote.
Intel Centrino Duo, T2050 @1.6Ghz per core
2 GB max page file
Intel 945GM Calistoga graphics controller, 128mb video memory
Jun 29, 2008
no where near the computer expert you are but don't you think that that computer is alittle under powered to be playing half life 2? i know that your computer meets the requirements but...well i don't know just throwing it out there.
Jul 1, 2008
Have to agree with c0rruption here, i'm looking at my copy of Half life 2.
CPU min..1.2ghz rec...2.4ghz.
RAM min..256mb rec...512mb
directX min 7.0 rec...9.0
Video ram min...16mb rec...32mb
Although your meeting the minimum specs, i just think your video isn't up to the job. Even with my old geforce 7200gs, i used to get a fair bit of lag and crashes playing HL2.
Nov 28, 2007
Well the video card uses the system memory as it is not a dedicated video card so on

your desktop right click go to either personalize or properties when you see it click on

display settings then when the window comes up youll see dedicated memory that will

probably be low in shared memory youll see how much ram it is taking away from your

system so upgrade the ram and that should take care of the problem
Oct 12, 2008
I'll just say what everyone else is, that PC is probably unfit for HL2. Sorry to burst your bubble.

In my experience (however small it is), laptops aren't the best gaming computers. I had a school-owned PC a few years ago, and it couldn't even play Halo PC at full settings. The poor thing was physically incapable of playing on full settings. Half-Life 2 was the same way, and lagged horribly at all times. I don't remember the specs for that PC, only that it was a Dell *something* 1100. It had factory-provided accessories only.

I would suggest upgrading whatever you can, and maybe getting a new video card (if possible?).
Sep 28, 2008
Your problem isn't the system or video ram, it's the fact that you have an integrated video controller that doesn't support certain things that graphically intensive games like HL2 require (number of pixel pipelines, certain types of buffering, etc). Sorry to burst your bubble here, HL2 CAN be run on that machine, but you will be missing out on a lot of things that make it the game it is unless you bump the video settings to the lowest or near the lowest (crappy visuals), or read up on how to make it run right.

I believe there is a "slow pc" mode that can be enabled by an argument given to the program through the command line, can anyone confirm\deny?
Aug 5, 2007
I believe there is a "slow pc" mode that can be enabled by an argument given to the program through the command line, can anyone confirm\deny?
Yes, there is.
Force a DirectX level:
This process may help with some older video cards - some users report the game will run faster, as well:

1. Open Steam
2. Go to the "My Games" tab
3. Right-click the game which needs to be reconfigured
4. Select "Properties" from the menu
5. Click the "Set launch options..." button
6. Add one of the DirectX level launch options specified below - be sure to include a space before the " - " and anything before it.

DirectX Level Launch Options

-dxlevel 90 (DirectX v9.0)
-dxlevel 81 (DirectX v8.1)
-dxlevel 80 (DirectX v8.0)
-dxlevel 70 (DirectX v7.0)
Sep 28, 2008
Another thing with command line options, there IS a way to run HL2 or any valve game without steam, which sucks up resources like mad, even if you don't plan on playing online. I think it's just -nosteam but I could be wrong.

I generally dislike steam because of it's intrusiveness, but that's a subject for another thread, and it's a topic that's been beaten to death anyway.

When I mentioned a "slow PC mode" I didn't just mean DX, I meant that there should be some command line arguments you can pass to the program to shut off certain features, allowing the game to be playable at a decent framerate while still getting some of the eye-candy and the physics engine that made the game it such a hit.

Another thing, see if you can't set a lower sample rate on the sound, it won't sound as good, but since you're using a laptop which is sort of underpowered for the game you're trying to run, every spare CPU cycle will count in the long run.
Oct 16, 2008
Hi everybody, I'm having some troubles with half-life2 game of the year addition. I have downloaded it to pass some time.I used to play alot on my other system wich was XP and never had any problems unless you want to call video cards a problem,but i have a new system that runs windows vista. Outways my old system by alot ,so i know the system is not the problem. So yea every time i try and run the software steam starts to update get to 26% and then i get this error message [Steam has stopped working]? I've tried alot of things so far and i have a few years of gaming knowledge but nothing i do seems to work. If anyone has had this happen to them "I FEEL YOUR PAIN" or if anyone knows of a fix i would really like to hear it.

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