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The Orange Box Games Crash while Preparing to Launch

Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2: Episode 2, and Portal go to "Preparing to launch..." then quit. How can I fix this?

Newer Source games require SSE in order to function properly. Please ensure that your processor includes SSE support.

Determining SSE support

CPU-Z is a free tool that can be used to determine which SSE instruction sets your CPU is capable of. Click here for more information. 

If you are using a 32-bit operating system (64-bit systems not supported), the following tool can be used to determine which SSE instruction sets are supported: 

  1. Download our cputest.exe and save it to your desktop.
  2. Open a command prompt.
    • Go to Start > Run.
    • Type in: cmd.
    • Press Enter.

    By default, your command prompt should open to: C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows User Name>.

  3. Type in cd desktop to change to your desktop directory and press Enter. Your active directory should now look like this: C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows User Name>\Desktop\.
  4. To run the program, type in cputest.exe and press Enter. The cputest will return an analysis of your CPU that will look something like this:
    •  Valve System Analyzer   ver. 0.2  Sep 27 2007
       CPU Analysis
        Vendor : GenuineIntel
       FuncIds : 10
       Stepping:  6
         Model : 15
        Family :  6
         Type  :  0
        XModel :  0
       XFamily :  0
       CacheLn : 64
           PN  :  No
       CLFlush : Yes
          MMX  : Yes
          SSE  : Yes
          SSE2 : Yes
          SSE3 : Yes
          HTT  : Yes
       XVendor :
       XFuncIds:  8
          MMXX :  No
        3DNow! :  No
        3DNow!+:  No
  5. Look specifically for the SSE section.

    If you see SSE : No then your processor does not meet the minimum system requirements to run the new Source games. You must upgrade your motherboard and/or processor in order to play these games.

    If you see SSE : Yes then your processor meets the SSE support requirement of new Sources games. Please refer to the following FAQs to troubleshoot your issue:

    Verifying GCF Cache Files

    Troubleshooting Game Crashes


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