You should add any switches that may disable incompatible things so that Gears will bypass/disable them and thus run.
For me, that switch was -nosound in Vista. Likewise, some people might need to use the -novideo switch (if it exists) or another switch to make it run properly.
Also, thx for posting a link to the VC++ 2008 Redist. Didn't even know it was published. I haven't tested Gears since I just installed it, but *maybe* it fixed my sound... highly doubt it but you never know.
Nope, of course not. Didn't fix nuthin'. Got a fix for me to have sound?