I don't know what's wrong with my laptop, but I can't seem to use anything that requires D3D. That includes screensavers that came with Vista and some games, such as Portal that I just installed from the Orange Box. So basically I just wasted $50 for games that won't work because my computer is messed up.
When I try to play the game, it shows the Valve and Source logos, then the screen flashes to black a few times and it says: "Failed to create D3D device!" then it tells me to go to an FAQ page on Steam's website. I went there and followed the instructions... nothing. It just doesn't seem to work, and for now I'll blame it on that graphics accelerator I installed a few weeks ago. Can anyone please help?