Portal > General Discussions > Topic Details
NicoleSucks Apr 25 @ 5:05pm
Game Won't Start Up
I'm using Windows 8 64-bit and the game just get stuck on the "Preparing to launch Portal" window.
Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
< >
Yooki Apr 25 @ 9:31pm 
Have you tried running the game in compatibility mode for either Windows 7 or Windows XP?
NicoleSucks Apr 26 @ 5:44pm 
Originally posted by Yooki:
Have you tried running the game in compatibility mode for either Windows 7 or Windows XP?
How exactly do I do that with a Steam game? I know how to do it with regularly installed games (eg. I have to do it for Sims 2) but with Steam it says that it is a Internet Shortcut.
Yooki Apr 26 @ 10:14pm 
To run Steam games in compatibility mode you need to go in the install directory and find the executable file that starts the game then create the shortcut for the executable and set the parameter that makes the game launch in compatibility mode which you already know.

If you cannot find the executable file run the game and wait for it to load. After the game loads do not exit the game and start the 'Windows Task Manager'.

Now select the 'Processes' tab and browse the entries until you find the image name that resembles the game title from it's name or description.

Another clever way to find the most active process is to select the 'Memory' column from the 'Processes' tab and this should sort the entries by their memory usage. If you are not running anything else, your game should be at the top of the list.

Once you've found the game's process, right click on it's entry and select "Open File Location". Now that we've found the executable file that is used to start the game, create a shortcut for the file and move it somewhere like the desktop. Since you already know how to start games in compatibility mode when you have their shortcuts you should be good to go in most cases.

Just to be sure this will work with Portal I've tried running it in compatibility mode myself. When I've found the executable and tried to manually run it without Steam it gave me this message: "Setup file 'gameinfo.txt' doesn't exist in subdirectory 'hl2'. Check you -game parameter or VCONFIG setting."

To resolve this issue you need to go to the game's root folder and find the "gameinfo.txt" file mentioned in the error message. This file is generated by the game when it's run for the first time. I've found the file in this directory: '\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Portal\portal'

Copy the text file (Don't move it from it's home directory), and paste it in the 'hl2' folder:
'\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Portal\hl2'

This should remove the occurrence of the error message and allow you to play the game by manually launching it without Steam. Hope this rather long post helped solve your problem. Let me know if it worked.

Last edited by Yooki; Apr 26 @ 10:15pm
NicoleSucks Apr 26 @ 10:22pm 
Originally posted by Yooki:
To run Steam games in compatibility mode you need to go in the install directory and find the executable file that starts the game then create the shortcut for the executable and set the parameter that makes the game launch in compatibility mode which you already know.

If you cannot find the executable file run the game and wait for it to load. After the game loads do not exit the game and start the 'Windows Task Manager'.

Now select the 'Processes' tab and browse the entries until you find the image name that resembles the game title from it's name or description.

Another clever way to find the most active process is to select the 'Memory' column from the 'Processes' tab and this should sort the entries by their memory usage. If you are not running anything else, your game should be at the top of the list.

Once you've found the game's process, right click on it's entry and select "Open File Location". Now that we've found the executable file that is used to start the game, create a shortcut for the file and move it somewhere like the desktop. Since you already know how to start games in compatibility mode when you have their shortcuts you should be good to go in most cases.

Just to be sure this will work with Portal I've tried running it in compatibility mode myself. When I've found the executable and tried to manually run it without Steam it gave me this message: "Setup file 'gameinfo.txt' doesn't exist in subdirectory 'hl2'. Check you -game parameter or VCONFIG setting."

To resolve this issue you need to go to the game's root folder and find the "gameinfo.txt" file mentioned in the error message. This file is generated by the game when it's run for the first time. I've found the file in this directory: '\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Portal\portal'

Copy the text file (Don't move it from it's home directory), and paste it in the 'hl2' folder:
'\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Portal\hl2'

This should remove the occurrence of the error message and allow you to play the game by manually launching it without Steam. Hope this rather long post helped solve your problem.
Let me know if it worked.
Is the game's executable hl2.exe? I didn't install the game via CD so I don't know
Yooki Apr 26 @ 10:23pm 
Yes the game's executable's name is "hl2.exe".
NicoleSucks Apr 26 @ 10:27pm 
Originally posted by Yooki:
Yes the game's executable's name is "hl2.exe".
Thank you so much it starts up now and works
NicoleSucks Apr 26 @ 10:42pm 
Originally posted by Yooki:
Yes the game's executable's name is "hl2.exe".
Okay I'm really sorry for bothering you again but when I go to start a new game nothing happens. I see the "Start New Game" button but when I click it it does nothing.
Yooki Apr 26 @ 11:23pm 
It's no problem, I like helping people.
Try going to the "hl2.exe" Properties and set the executable to run in compatibility mode, and then run the game through Steam as you normally would.
glowcloud Apr 27 @ 2:22am 
Hi, just wanna say I had the same problem too and your method fixed it. Thanks so much!
Yooki Apr 27 @ 2:25am 
Originally posted by glowcloud:
Hi, just wanna say I had the same problem too and your method fixed it. Thanks so much!
You're welcome, glad I could help.
NicoleSucks Apr 27 @ 11:04am 
Originally posted by Yooki:
It's no problem, I like helping people.
Try going to the "hl2.exe" Properties and set the executable to run in compatibility mode, and then run the game through Steam as you normally would.
Nope, still doesn't let me start a new game. I've tried compatability in XP, Vista, and 7
Yooki Apr 27 @ 10:08pm 
Make sure you did these steps:
  • Make sure the Steam application is running and that you are online.
  • Navigate to the Portal root directory "\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Portal".
  • Find the "hl2.exe" executable file, right click it and select properties.
  • Go to the "Compatibility" tab and do the same thing that you did with the shortcut last time this worked.
  • Run the game through the Steam library menu, not the shortcut you created and modified earlier.
The reason the game or at least this distribution version of the game won't let you start the new game is probably because the game is tied to Steam and monitors your achievements and play time and what not. So when you try to run it without steam (via custom shortcut with steam not running) it will not function properly, but there is no reason for it to not function in this manner if you run it through steam.
Last edited by Yooki; Apr 27 @ 10:10pm
NicoleSucks Apr 28 @ 1:17pm 
Originally posted by Yooki:
Make sure you did these steps:
  • Make sure the Steam application is running and that you are online.
  • Navigate to the Portal root directory "\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\Portal".
  • Find the "hl2.exe" executable file, right click it and select properties.
  • Go to the "Compatibility" tab and do the same thing that you did with the shortcut last time this worked.
  • Run the game through the Steam library menu, not the shortcut you created and modified earlier.
The reason the game or at least this distribution version of the game won't let you start the new game is probably because the game is tied to Steam and monitors your achievements and play time and what not. So when you try to run it without steam (via custom shortcut with steam not running) it will not function properly, but there is no reason for it to not function in this manner if you run it through steam.
If I try and run it through Steam it just gets stuck on the "Preparing to launch Portal" message box.
Yooki Apr 28 @ 9:54pm 
In that case you might consider contacting Steam support for official help, since I am out of ideas.

Steam support of source games:
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_cat.php?id=15
Last edited by Yooki; Apr 28 @ 9:57pm
Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
< >
Per page: 15 30 50
Date Posted: Apr 25 @ 5:05pm
Posts: 14