Thanks for the replies. i ticked subject as solved but thought it worth mentioning on here a solution in case others had a problem with this as apparently quite a few have. After a few attempts I went on a half life 2 forum and someone mentioned problems logging on to Steam if you had X fire installed. I un-installed X- fire and got through to Steam on next attempt. Seems this has happened,not in every instance, but in quite a few. Just in case some one else has saem problem hope this is of help.