You are correct but unfortunately that doesn't resolve the issue.
I did follow the tutorial - rebooted and it still crashes while it runs the light beam over the H as the game just begins to load - about 10 seconds after clicking on the shortcut -
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: halo2.exe
Application Version: 184.108.40.20681
Application Timestamp: 46368037
Fault Module Name: halo2.exe
Fault Module Version: 220.127.116.1181
Fault Module Timestamp: 46368037
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Offset: 0006230e
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.272.7
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Information 1: 1acd
Additional Information 2: a9c80722b816b7308cbea4599bc30825
Additional Information 3: 153f
Additional Information 4: ad6ec9a9bfa34da5215dd4b5bb1fcd09
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I even did a format and install of Vista again - haven't installed any other apps yet except live mail. installed latest nvidia and creative drivers.
Whoops - I just thought for the heck of it I'd try manually selecting DEP for HALO2.exe - says I can't turn it off for HALO2 - sounds like I need a registry hack.