Game Help:Restoring Backup Saves

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Restoring Backup Saves

Problem

You may have experienced an issue which seems to have totally destroyed one of your towns. This can result in various issues, such as:

  • You can't select a town in the Main Menu.
  • The Main Menu shows a picture of a bunch of figures made of dotted lines instead of your sims.
  • Your game crashes while loading a specific town, and you have tried everything in Game Help:Sims 3 Game Problem and Game Help:Crash workarounds.
  • You got an error message, such as error 12 / 13 / 16, when saving your town; now you can't load it.
  • You get an error: "A serious error has occurred while trying to load <xxxx>.sims3".
  • You get an error: "Cannot load this save game. It may have been saved with expansion pack data that is no longer present on this system." This happens after successfully loading a new Custom World and saving it, but you only see a grayed/disabled family, when trying to subsequently reload the save game.


Solution

Luckily, Sims 3 automatically makes backups of your towns. The method of restoring them works slightly differently depending on which patch you are using, and exactly what you're trying to do.


World Adventures/Patch 1.7 or above

To restore a save in a version 1.7+ game, follow these instructions:

  • Open My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Saves.
  • Locate the folders relating to the save you want to restore - there should be two, and they will have the name that you gave your save. For example, if the save being restored is called Sunset Valley, there will be two folders called Sunset Valley.sims3, and Sunset Valley.sims3.backup.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3 folder to xxxx.sims3.old.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3.backup folder to xxxx.sims3. If you get an error along the lines of "A file with the name you specified already exists.", look for a file called xxxx.sims3 - this is an old file, and you can move it somewhere else, or rename it to something like xxxx.sims3.basegame. You should then be able to rename the folder properly.

You should now be able to load your save as normal ingame. You will lose any progress since the last time the game was backed up.


Patch 1.6 or below

To restore a save in a version 1.6- game, follow these instructions:

  • Open My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Saves.
  • Locate the files relating to the save you want to restore - there should be two, and they will have the name that you gave your save. For example, if the save being restored is called Sunset Valley, there will be two files called Sunset Valley.sims3, and Sunset Valley.sims3.backup.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3 file to xxxx.sims3.old.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3.backup file to xxxx.sims3.

You should now be able to load your save as normal ingame. You will lose any progress since the last time the game was backed up.


Restoring Pre-1.7/EP saves

Restoring a pre-patch 1.7 or pre-EP save is a little more complex than with other types of saves, as you are using both the 1.7+ save folders and the 1.6- save files.

  • Open My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Saves.
  • Locate the files and folders relating to the save you want to restore - there should be three, and they will have the name that you gave your save. For example, if the save being restored is called Sunset Valley; there will be two folders called Sunset Valley.sims3, and Sunset Valley.sims3.backup, and a file called Sunset Valley.sims3.legacy.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3 folder to xxxx.sims3.old.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3.backup folder to xxxx.sims3.backup.old.
  • Rename the xxxx.sims3.legacy file to xxxx.sims3'.

You should now be able to load your save as normal ingame. You will lose any progress since you patched up to 1.7 or installed your first EP. If you still have an EP or patch 1.7 when you load the restored save, the game will generate two new folders for that save, and will rename the file back to .legacy.


Restoring a disabled save

This may have been caused by corrupted meta file for that save and the game thinks that the world has been uninstalled. If you have other save games based on this same world, you can copy the Meta.data over to replace the copy in the disabled save.


If not, try these:

  • Open My Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 3/Saves.
  • Backup or zip/archive the glitchy save folder, in case we messed up something with these steps; but leave a working copy in "Saves".
  • Load a "new game" of the world causing the grayed out saves.
  • If the world has pre-made Household, just select one at random; if not grab one pre-made Sims from the Sim Bin in CAS and place this Household in a Lot.
  • Use cheats, if needed to be able to afford the Lot and play around a bit; and also have enough to send a Sim on an Adventure (if you have WA), if you need to restore other than the "meta.data" file.
  • Save, give it a name unlike your other saves (under "fix_RiverView", for example) and then exit the game.
  • Navigate to "Saves" folder and open the save folder you just created (ie "fix_RiverView.sims3").
  • Copy the file called "Meta.data".
  • Now, navigate to the folder with the disabled saved game.
  • Open this save folder and overwrite the old Meta.data file with the new one that you copied.
  • Load the game and test.


After this, if a save corrupts any other files, you can reuse the "Meta.data" file in the "fix_xxxx.sims3" folder again.

[solutions sourced from this post at the official forums]


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