July 7th, 2006
Best before 03/02/2010
Join Date: June 17th, 2002
Location: Disunited Queendom
Status: Acting unnaturally
Rep Power: 49
| | Re: Half-Life won't work - Help!
My first idea would be to try reinstalling it -- I don't know much about this sort of thing, but it sounds like it is missing important files, which may be the sign of a corrupted installation. The only practical way of correcting such a problem is to reinstall it -- and make sure you close down any programs which could interfere with the installation this time, such as any antivirus programs you may have running.
I also notice that you said that you looked for patches, but didn't mention whether you actually installed any. If this is the case, it might be worth patching your copy of Half-Life to the latest version to see if that helps.
If neither of these work (and to be honest, they should), I'm afraid I don't have any other possible solutions in mind, though I may have a possible workaround, just in case nobody gives you any additional suggestions. I have found that if you register your original Half-Life serial number with Steam (which if you don't have already, you can download for free), the original Half-Life becomes available in your Steam 'My Games' menu. This won't cost you anything, of course, as you've already purchased the game to get the serial (I presume?). You can then download Half-Life from scratch via Steam, patches and all, and hopefully that version will work on your PC. If you have broadband that shouldn't take too long, as Half-Life 1 is actually smaller than some game demos you can download these days...
Otherwise, I'm sorry but I don't have any answers. If none of the above works, and nobody comes up with any other ideas, it might be worth contacting Valve's support team for assistance.