Game Help:Sims 3 Crashing Checklist

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If a step did not solve the crashings, proceed on to the next step down the list. If you completed one section and still have crashes, go onto the next section...until you reach the end. If you're planning to post in Game Help, please answer the questions in the Information to include section. Any posts without such information will be redirected to this page. So, if you don't want to be asked to read this page twice, supply the required information without being asked in the first place!

If you had done a step so many times, there are no files to be removed (examples: cache files) -- as the game has not been started successfully without crashing at all -- don't worry about it. Go on to the next item on the list.

A. Custom Content and game related

EllaMeshTutorial 14.jpgTip:

  1. Please do not discount how crucial this simple 3-step troubleshooting Game Problem FAQ is. With this 3-step process you'd be able to isolate if the issue lies in your User files (i.e. CC and Saves) or the installed game files in the Programs (aka Applications) path.
  2. And doing it in that sequence also tells us if just the caches, CC or Saves and the rest is the one causing the issue.
    • So, if it is in the User files, it is a simple task of Finding Problem Custom Content. Or, discarding the problematic glitchy Save.
    • If new User files does not resolve the crashing, means the issue is in the Application files. You might need a reinstall. Most times a reinstall of just the base game is sufficient, sometimes it may also need a reinstall of the last Pack you had installed.
  3. Please also remember, EA's patches do not as a rule get applied to a Save game. So most of the "fixes" offered in a patch do not kick-in in a Save game on the initial load, you may need to load it a few times. But then again, if you have CC, it is not advisable to test with a Save game anyway, since those CC would be out of there from step-1 (which you had done, haven't you?).
  4. Some of the fixes are never gonna be applicable to a Save game, the objects/Sims/glitched situation need a rebuy from catalog or a reset, unless you use an updated mod (that is already confirmed to be compatible with the patch) to force this "kicking-in".
  5. Remember, first rule of troubleshooting - Never Assume! Do not assume your CC is fine, that your Saves are fine, that the system is fine. If you have an issue that the game is not running or loading properly, nothing is fine!

  1. Deleted all cache files and thumbnails?
    • If no, please do step#1 of the Game Problem FAQ.
    • If you have a black screen while loading, please make sure to read and follow the Launcher Files section in the more comprehensive Game Help:Sims 3 Delete Cache Files FAQ.

  2. Removed ALL custom content?
    • If no, please do step#2 of the Game Problem FAQ.

  3. Did you also remove custom content from DCCache folder?
    • If no, go back to step#2 of the Game Problem FAQ reread and do the .Sims3Pack Format Content section.

  4. Loaded a NEW game with new user files and no CC with any of the default EA worlds?
    • If no, please do step#3 of the Game Problem FAQ.

  5. If you're on a PC (Windows XP, Vista, or 7), have you done DEP tweaks? Is the game OK in CAS/Buy/Build mode but crash only when you switched to Live mode, with or without the "Sims3Launcher has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." error ?
    • Do DEP tweaks, follow the DEP FAQ.
    • Have you rebooted the system after doing the DEP tweaks? If not, go ahead and reboot and then recheck the DEP settings.

  6. If you're on a Mac OSX, do these steps. If you can't see them, you'd need to Show Hidden Files first.
    • delete preferences
      • /Users/<Username>/Library/Preferences/The Sims 3 Preferences folder
    • delete caches:
      • <diskname>/Library/Caches/<anything with Sims 3 in it>
      • /Users/<Username>/Library/Caches/<anything with Sims 3 in it>
    • repair permissions
      • /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility, "Repair Permissions"
    • If repairing permissions mention some error or of files being locked, reboot the system and try that step again.

  7. Those on Windows PC can also do the above steps (step#6) - with CCleaner - to get rid of anything that lingers.
    • There's now a CCleaner for Macs. But I haven't tested it (since I don't have a Mac) to see if the above steps unique to a particular game are covered in a 3rd-party utility.

  8. How do you start the game: using Launcher or bypassed it?
    • If you used Launcher, please bypass the Launcher and start the game with TS3W.exe instead.
    • If you have a Digital Download version (i.e Region 17), bypassing Launcher no longer works, you may need to start the game via Origin.

  9. Still crashing with new user files, tweaked DEP settings and bypassing Launcher ?
    • Let's tweak the Options.ini file. Go to The Sims 3 folder under \Documents\Electronic Arts\. Double-click on this file to open it.
      • If you're on a PC, this would result in the file being opened in Notepad (or your default Text Editor if you have changed it)
      • If you're on a Mac, this would result in the file being opened in TextEdit (or your default Text Editor if you have changed it)
    • Look for these lines, and change the value, so you get the settings as shown and then Save the file. If you messed up, just delete the Options.ini file, start Launcher to regenerate this file again, with the default settings and start over.
      • Switch to Windowed Mode. This won't work on Macs, you can do Cmd+Enter to toggle between Fullscreen <--> Windowed modes. PC users can do this too, with Alt+Enter.
        fullscreen = 0
      • Disable Tutorial Mode.
        enableintrotutorial = 0
        enabletutorial = 0
      • Turn off the in-game Shop Mode (in patch 1.8 (World Adventures release) onwards).
        enableingamestore = 0
      • Turn off Memories Notifications (in patch 1.22 (Generations release) onwards).
        • This method works for patches from 1.22 to 1.39. If you want to totally Disable memories while on these patch versions, you need a mod.
          enablememories = 0
      • Disable Memories (in patch 1.42 (Seasons release) onwards).
        • This method works for patches from 1.42 onwards. disabling them would also turn off the notifications. You no longer need a mod to disable Memories from this patch version onwards.
          enablememories = 3
      • Disable prompt to login to Social features (in patch 1.31 (Showtime release) onwards).
        requireloginbeforeload = 1
      • Disable Online Notifications (in patch 1.31 (Showtime release) onwards).
        receiveconnecttns = 0
      • Disable Interactive Loading screen (in patch 1.63 (Into The Future release) onwards).
        enableinteractiveloading = 0

  10. Apart from disabling all the online features, make sure to also not log in. In Origin, Launcher and in game!

  11. Cannot see or do not have TS3W.exe?
    • if you cannot see the .exe extension, that is fine. By default, the Operating System hide extensions. If you'd like them to be visible, do the steps in Show File Extensions FAQ
    • if you do not see it because you haven't patched to the current patch version, go on to the next section.

B. Patching or Installing new addon related

Stripping back everything to the defaults settings didn't help, need to trace back to when the crashing started. Did you just patch or install an addon?

  1. Stalling at the initial Loading screen is an indication of Patching or Pack-install failure. Only recourse is an uninstall, reinstall and repatch.

  2. Check the Gameversions to ensure the patching was successful. See Find Gameversion FAQ on how to find your game version and then compare with Patch Table for the current version.
    • A successful patching would have all locations below showing patch numbers with identical versions for the base game:
      1. Launcher
      2. Version tag
      3. skuversion.txt / info.plist

  3. How did you patch the games?
    • Via Launcher or .exe files?
      • If Launcher auto-updates, turn it off and use the manual patches. All manual patch links can be easily found on the Patch Table FAQ.
      • If .exe files, do you use the incremental patch file or the SuperPatcher? If you haven't used the SuperPatcher because you were deterred by the huge filesize, it is now time to use the SuperPatch, sorry!

  4. Have you attempted a FULL and clean uninstall?
    • When you uninstalled, did you clear the machine of everything EA-related, including registry entries and leftover folders? ie followed the Uninstall FAQ
    • Did the uninstall also include the applications like
      • the Create-A-World tool?
      • the Create-A-Pattern tool?
      • the Create-A-Pet Demo tool?
      • Origin (aka EADM)?

  5. If Origin is still installed, has it been updated? In some instances, the method of updating (without uninstalling first) is fraud with issues, you're better off to uninstall Origin, downloading an updated version and installing that. If you're not using a Digital Download version, have you tried loading the game without Origin installed?

  6. The Standard Method to reinstall has never failed, if you follow that to the letter.
  7. If you have recreated The Sims 3 folder numerous times with no success and you have reached this point, one last thing to try before going into the Hardware and System portion, is the Unlocker utility as shown in this thread.

  8. Have you rebooted the system after patching, uninstalling and reinstalling? If not, go ahead and reboot.
    • A reboot is neccessary especially if you have uninstalled / reinstalled Origin.

C. System related

If nothing has helped, has anything changed system-wise? If the crash is preceded by a black screen or sound looping, this are indications of the system needing Driver Updates.

  1. Updated OS service packs, Directx, drivers for GPU, sound, etc?

  2. Is this a new system or you just upgraded the Graphics Card?
  3. Shut off any/all unnecessary background tasks?

  4. How about Firewall, Spyware & AntiVirus programs?
    • Have you temporarily turn off real-time scanning?
    • Have any of the above been updated recently (auto-updates or otherwise)?

  5. If you have a physical retail DVD version of the game, do you hear it spinning up at all? If not,
    • Do you have any disc emulation software installed like Roxio, Daemon, Alcohol, etc?
    • What is the DVD drive model? Is there a new firmware for it?

  6. Have you rebooted the system after updating, or making other system changes? If not, go ahead and reboot.

If you don't know how to check for these things, be sure to include your system specs when you post in the Help forum.

D. Information to include

  1. Status of the Game Problem FAQ when you did the steps. Tell us what happens at each step.

  2. What game(s) do you have and what patch version is the Base Game at? See the FAQs linked above to find out your game versions and to check if you have the latest patch.

  3. Let us know if you have
    • attempted a FULL and clean uninstall?
    • done DEP and confirm bypassing Launcher to start the game,
    • repaired Permissions on a Mac, or used CCleaner on a PC,
    • rebooted the system.

  4. Have you tweaked the Options.ini file as suggested?

  5. At what point did the crash occur?
    • At the initial loading screen?
    • After you've chosen a Town or Save game? You've obviously tested with New game, but that was fine? If it only affects one Save file, but not others, and especially if no crashing on new, vanilla games
  6. What changed from before all this crashing happened, ie what patch (and what games combo) when last you had a crash-free game? Did you patch, add more CC, add a core mod, install an addon, updated the Operating System, updated drivers, updated your Security applications, etc?

  7. If just patched, what patch version did you have before you experienced frequent crashing with this new patch version?

  8. If you need help in checking hardware or looking for updates, please post your System Specs.
    • If you're on a PC: instructions in System Specs
    • If you're on a Mac: click on About This Mac (top left corner of your screen) > More Info, and then copy + paste what it says there in Hardware Overview and Graphics. What version of OS X? Please state using the full numbers, ie 10.5.x or 10.6.x or 10.7.x? (complete with the last digit, of course)

  9. If this is the first time running Sims 3 on this machine or with this patch or with this addon or whatever, do let us know this fact when you post in your Help thread.
    • If this is a new hardware, have you checked the sgr files as noted in Section C Qn.2?

  10. If you don't understand any of the above instructions, please state which instruction you need help with and what steps you have completed (i.e where did you get stuck?).

  11. When you've got the above information ready, post in the MTS Help Q&A Forums. Link can be found in the header and footer of each Sims 3 Game Help wiki page.

Warning.gif Remember! Warning.gif

Do work through the Checklist. Any Help threads posted with no such information will be redirected to this page. So, if you don't want to be asked to read this page more than once, supply the required information without being asked in the first place!

Sims 3 Game Help Categories:

Custom Content  | Installation  | Gameplay Guides  | Technical & Graphics Issues  | Miscellaneous Issues

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