Main reason COD4 may crash right away is no recording device present. You need to enable something, at least one device.
Another reason is missing DirectX 9, which you can get here http://www.filehippo.com/download_directx/
. It doesn't matter if you have DX10 or DX11 installed, you need to install DX9 as well, it won't override newer, only components from DX9 will be installed.