IF YOUR PREUPDATE STILL DOESN’T WORK
Or, in particular, hl2.exe insta-closes after the start, after you launched ep2.bat.
Right click ep2.bat and choose “Edit”.
Add “-dxlevel 90” (without quotes) to the end of the first line.
Launch ep2.bat. The game should launch now.
Don’t forget to remove “-dxlevel 90” from ep2.bat after launching the game once, because otherwise your video settings will be reset every time you launch the game.