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How to Reinstall Successfully

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How to Reinstall Successfully

Post  Skwittlez on Tue May 01, 2012 5:03 am

Hey fellow Simmers! Looks like a lot of people on here are having some issues with lag, freezing games, the works. I also had some of these same issues. After posting about it and getting no response, I began chatting with EA agents. After long hours of unsuccessful “steps” to fix these issues, I finally came across something that worked. I am here, now, to share this with you. Below, you will find a step-by-step tutorial (with pictures! **You can click on the pictures to make them bigger) explaining how to back up your files, uninstall your games, and reinstall your games safely, which should (hopefully) fix the lagging and freezing issues you have been experiencing.

If you would prefer to watch a video as opposed to reading the steps and seeing the pictures, post a comment below, and I will make one and post the link here if that is easier for other people.

*Please note, if you are having issues other than lags or freezing, this may not fix your problem. I am not an EA agent, so I cannot say this will solve all problems, but I am pretty sure that it could possibly solve any and all graphic and game play problems. The solution is to uninstall and reinstall your games. BUT, before you jump to conclusions or start uninstalling, please be aware of a few things: there’s a lot more to this than simply uninstalling that need to be done first. You also need to make a back up folder so you don’t lose all your saved games.

*Also note: I have a Dell laptop with Windows 7. Everything in this tutorial is for other PC users who also use Windows 7 or Vista – might even work for XP. If you use a Mac, please consult a different tutorial. (If anyone knows of a helpful Mac tutorial, post it here and I will include the link in the original post for everyone to use).

*Just one more note! I use this as a last resort method. Your problem could easily be fixed by changing your resolution or updating your video and graphic driver. If your driver is out of date, then reinstalling your game might not fix the solution. It is important to talk to an EA Agent and see what they say and use the suggestions they give you. If everything is up to date and you’ve tried every solution in the book, then you can try this. It should fix most problems, as long as the problem isn’t your computer!

Sounds like a lot, but don’t panic! I am here to explain everything for you.
The steps provided to me were steps that an agent gave me. Again, I am not an agent, so I cannot say that it will solve your problem, but because it requires reinstalling your game, it should fix any corruptions that have occurred over time, thus it should fix some of your problems. And, again, if your problem is something totally different, or this does not fix your problem, I suggest contacting an EA Agent yourself and explaining your problem to them. You can do so by going to this link: https://help.ea.com/connect-with-us?product=the-sims-3. Please remember to be patient and respectful and type clearly and appropriately when speaking to an agent. They are here to help you, and the more patient and clear you can be, the easier it will be for them to help you.



So, let’s first start with backing up your saved games. This is a very important thing to know how to do, no matter what. And, it’s very easy to do! Backing up files basically keeps all your saved files on your computer, that way, if something happens to your game, you won’t lose all your progress. The key to this, however, is to remember to keep it updated. That means that, after you finish playing, you need to back up your files so they will be up to date. Again, don’t panic, all will be explained below.



How To Back Up Your Saved Games and Files

*A lot of players have tutorials on how to do this, some are more specific than the one I am about to tell you. Some players say you only need certain folders, some explain different files. This tutorial will save every file and every folder – that way, you don’t have to worry about doing anything wrong or copying the wrong file. It will take a little longer, but overall, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.

First, you need to go into your EA folder. To do this, go to your documents. If you don’t know where your documents are, it can be found in your “Start” menu.




Find the folder that says Electronic Arts – this is the company that makes all of the The Sims games. Double click the folder.




You should now see one other folder (2 if you have The Sims Medieval). Right click on the folder that says The Sims 3, then click “copy.”





Return to your desktop (this is the screen with all your icons). Right click on a blank section of your desktop and click “paste”. This will make a duplicate The Sims 3 folder right onto your desktop.




Remember how I said some tutorials only make you copy and paste certain folders? This will copy every folder inside the The Sims 3 folder – that means it will copy every single thing needed to make the game work. The reason I suggest copying the whole thing is so you don’t accidentally copy the wrong thing, or forget to copy an important file or folder. This way, you will have every single file and folder, important or not.

Now that you have pasted the folder onto your desktop, you can change the name to The Sims 3 Backup, or something along those lines so you know what it is. *DO NOT REMOVE THIS FOLDER* It is important that this folder stays on your desktop, or somewhere you will easily be able to find it. This is your back up folder. Do not delete it. That way, if anything happens to your game (or in this case, you need to reinstall it) you will have all your saved files and you will not lose anything.



Updating Your Backup Folder

It is important to remember that your back up folder needs to be updated. Every time you play your game, things get saved into that EA folder you found earlier. The files in there get updated each time you play your game and every time you save, download new things, install new expansion packs, etc. Your back up folder is a very separate folder, so it will not be automatically updated every time you play, which means you need to do it yourself.

Updating your back up folder is easy enough to do, the hard thing is remembering to do it! I try to make it a habit every time I finish playing.
To update the backup folder, repeat the steps above (Documents -> EA -> Copy The Sims 3 folder).

This time, however, you can just paste it right into the backup folder you already created on your desktop. You computer will ask you if you want to merge the folders.

It will also tell you that you have files with the same name in that folder, and it will ask you if you want to replace them, or copy them with a different name. You can just replace them.





If you feel weird doing that or are afraid you might mess something up, you can easily repeat the whole original back up process, by pasting the folder into a blank spot on your desktop. Just remember to delete the older folder you first created so you don’t get them mixed up.

As long as your computer runs normally and isn’t really old or filled up with things, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to update or create your back up.

There. Simple as that. Now you know how to make a back up folder and how to update it. Yay! Now you never have to worry about losing your progress. Now, just remember to keep it updated!



Uninstalling

Now we can get to the real part of this tutorial – uninstalling your games. It’s not as simple as deleting your icons, so don’t start doing that quite yet. The reason you are reinstalling your games is to fix corrupted data, which should, hopefully, fix any game issues you are having. Remember, if your issue is not about lagging or freezing, this might not help you. It might, but I am not an EA agent, so I can’t say for sure. I certainly think it could fix almost anything and it’s worth a try, it won’t hurt anything. But, your problem might be different, so it’s best to talk to an EA Agent to see what they say.

First, start by deleting the game files (in the default location):
1. Click the Start button and select My Computer.




2. Select the Local Disk (C drive folder.




3. Select the Program Files folder.
For 64-bit, select Program Files (X86)





**Unsure if you have 64-bit? To determine that, follow these steps:
Go to your Computer
Click System Properties



It will say right there, next to System Type




If you have 64-bit, click the folder that says Program Files (x86). Otherwise, click the folder that says Program Files.

4. Select the Electronic Arts folder.




5. Right-click The Sims 3 folder and select Delete.





Disclaimer: You are about to edit your registry. To avoid operational issues with your system, please follow the instructions exactly as they are written.

Backup the registry:

1. Hold down the Windows key (the white circle with 4 squares inside like a flag) and press R.


2. At the Run command, type in "regedit" (minus the quotes) and select OK.





3. Click on File and then Export...





4. Choose a location and name for the file; this will be your backup registry file.

5. Click Save.


Now you need to delete the registry keys:

1. Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.

2. Expand the SOFTWARE folder.

For 64-bit systems, expand Wow6432Node

3. Expand the Electronic Arts folder.

4. Expand the Sims folder.

5. Right-click The Sims 3 folder and select Delete.

6. Collapse the Electronic Arts folder.

7. Expand the Sims folder.

8. Right-click The Sims 3 folder and select Delete.

9. Collapse the Sims folder.

10. Expand the Microsoft folder.

11. Expand the Windows folder.

12. Expand the CurrentVersion folder.

13. Expand the Uninstall folder.

14. Delete the following folder if it appears:
• {C05D8CDB-417D-4335-A38C-A0659EDFD6B8}

11. Collapse the Microsoft folder.

12. Expand the Classes folder.

13. Delete the following folders if they appear:
• .Sims3
• .Sims3Pack
• Sims3
• Sims3Pack



Now, delete the uninstall files:

1. Click the Start button and select My Computer.

2. Select the Local Disk (C drive folder.

3. Select the Program Files folder.

4. Select Tools, then Folder Options, then View, then select "Show hidden files and folders."
- For my computer (yours might be the same) I have to click organize, then folder and search options





Then click View and select “show hidden files and folders”





5. Select the InstallShield Installation Information folder (it will show up in the list of folders after you do step 4)




6. Delete the following folder if it appears:
• {C05D8CDB-417D-4335-A38C-A0659EDFD6B8}



Now you can uninstall the base game and stuff/expansion packs. To do this, simply click the start menu and click on control panel.




Click on uninstall a program (or add/remove programs, whatever yours might say).




Scroll down until you find all your The Sims 3 games. Click on one, then click uninstall.




Do this for each The Sims 3 game/pack/expansion that you have. You need to do each one one at a time.

Once they are all uninstalled, restart your computer






Reinstalling

First, install the base game (The Sims 3) and the update it. Please refer to your game’s manual on how to install it. I’m sure most of you know how to install these games anyways, since you’ve done it many times before with all the expansion packs and such. Once The Sims 3 is completely installed, open up the launcher by double click The Sims 3 icon. The launcher looks like this




If there is an updated available, a box will pop up as soon as you open the launcher, asking if you want to updated. Click yes. Make sure the game is completely updated before continuing.

Once that’s all set, you can install all the expansion packs and stuff packs you own. They MUST be installed in this order:

1. The Sims 3 - update it if there are any updates before installing the rest. (This one should already be done if you’ve been following the steps! It might take a while, so just be patient and let it do its thing.)

2. The Sims 3: World Adventures

3. The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff

4. The Sims 3: Ambitions

5. The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff

6. The Sims 3: Late Night

7. The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff

8. The Sims 3: Generations

9. The Sims 3: Pets



Remember to install them in that order. Install them one at a time and completely before moving on to the next one. If you do not have one of the games on the list, just skip it and install the immediate next one you have. Remember: install them in that order! I cannot stress that enough. Doing so will allow each game to be supported and will allow it to support the next one. Doing it out of order could cause glitches, lags, and other issues like this that you have been dealing with.



Alright. You’ve finally uninstalled and reinstalled every game. Phew! That took a while, but it’s done now, and, hopefully, the issues you were experiencing have gone! So, it’s time to test it out. Put in the disc to the last game you installed. You will be using this disc to play your game. Note: you should always use the disc to the most recent game installed to play The Sims 3. Once you insert the disc, the launcher should open up automatically. If not, just double click on the The Sims 3 icon. Then, click the play button like you normally would.


Wait! My saved games aren’t here! Yes, it’s okay! You backed them up, remember? But, before I tell you how to use your backed up files, you should test the game out. Create a new neighborhood and simply play a family that’s already been made. Make sure the game is running smoothly before you bring your saved games back.


If all is working well, you can move on to the next step. If not, you might have mixed some steps up, or possibly installed the games in the wrong order. You can either try these steps again (a pain, I know), or contact an EA Agent. Maybe you did everything right, but something is still wrong. I cannot help you with that, so I suggest you bring it to the attention of EA. Again, please remember that these steps should only be followed as a last resort. I talked to many agents and tried many things before finally reinstalling the games. Your issue could easily be solved by simply updating a driver or something else – the EA Agents will be able to help you with this and they will be able to tell you what the best step to take would be. If you’ve been at this for a long time, like me, and have tried many other things, than I would suggest doing this, as this is what an agent suggested for me. And, it makes sense – reinstalling the games will give it a fresh start. But, for all you know, the problem could be in your saved files. So, I can’t stress this enough – be sure to contact an EA Agent before attempting this. This should be a last resort solution, especially if you have talked to an agent(s) before with no luck.



Bringing Back Your Saved Files

Okay, so, the game is running smoothly and you’re ready to get your saved files back! Exit the game through the “save and quit” method. Once you’re back at your desktop, you need to find the EA folder again, like we did when creating a back up folder. It should be in the same place as you found it before. Go to your Documents, double click the Electronic Arts folder, and you should see the The Sims 3 Folder.

Keep this window open, but minimize it so you can see your desktop. Your back up folder should be here. If you moved it somewhere else, go to where ever you put it. Right click the folder and click “copy”.




Bring up the window you opened a few seconds ago – The Electronic Arts folder. You should see a folder labeled The Sims 3 (If you have The Sims Medieval, you will see this folder, too). Right click the The Sims 3 folder, and click “paste”.




This will paste all your backed up files into this folder, which is the folder your game runs off of. Like when you updated your back up folder, a message will pop up asking if you want to merge and/or replace the files. Be sure to click yes – yes, you want to merge the folders, and yes, you want to replace the folders. This will bring all your saved game files back into the game. That way, when you start up the game, all your saved neighborhoods, etc, should show up, and you can continue to play right where you left off!
If, for some reason, your game continues to lag, freeze, or you experience the same and/or new issues, be sure to contact an EA Agent. There could be a corrupted save file or some other issue. An EA Agent will be able to find these issues for you and help you to fix them. Remember, I know I said this many times in this long tutorial, but this should be a last resort method. You should always contact an EA Agent with any issues you have. If you’re like me and nothing has been fixed after days of talking to someone, this might be something you can try. It was suggested to me by an EA Agent and could be suggested to you by another. Of course, it’s hard when you talk to different agents because they don’t know what you discussed with other agents, so if this hasn’t been suggested after spending a few days on the issue like I have, then feel free to give it a try. There really isn’t any harm in it as long as you keep everything backed up.

You can also try to delete the game file that is having the lag issue. The reinstall did not work for me, so what I did was deleted some files I don’t use anymore (most of my files contain buildings, not families, since I like to create houses. If you’re like me, you can easily click on the house and click “copy” or “share”. Copy will add your lot to the list of empty houses, share will allow you to share the lot you created here online. Either way, you won’t lose it). I also deleted the file that was lagging. You can do this without losing your household if you want to continue to play them. To do so, follow the steps below.

First, load the game that lags and go into edit town mode. If it only lags, not freezes (you can tell because the plumbob will continue to rotate, fish will continue to swim, sims will continue to snore with the floating z’s, etc) you will be able to click the “…” button to bring up the menu. Just click it once and wait until it pops up. Once it does, you should be able to easily click edit town.

Once you’re in edit town mode, click on your lot and copy it to the clipboard, or whatever it says. It will ask you if you want to copy just the house or the household with the house. Choose that option (household + house). You will then be able to delete this game file and start a new one.
In the new game file, find a lot for the household. It has to be the same size lot as what it was originally on, otherwise it won’t fit properly. If you can, use the same town and the same lot square in the town. Since you are starting a new game file, it will ask you to either create a sim, choose a household, or move in a household. You will want to go to move in household. Your sim/household that you saved should be first on the list. Click on them, then click on the lot. As long as the lot is big enough, your sim and the house will fit right on it without any problems. Rotate the house if necessary, then continue to play!


*Note: when doing this, you will have almost the same game as you were previously playing. However, there will be some differences since you are technically moving them into a brand new neighborhood. This means that they will not have any wants that they may have had in the other game file. They will also lose any relationships outside of the household. You can get these back easily, as long as the same sims are living in that town. If you created other sims and moved them in, you may need to do that again, so make sure you have all your sims saved to the clipboard so you can move in the sims you want easily without recreating them. Other than that, everything should generally be the same.



So, hopefully this tutorial was helpful for you and hopefully it fixed the problems you were having with your game! If not, contact an EA Agent – they will be able to help you with any and all or your game issues.



This was taken from my forum post on the sims 3 forum. the original post there comes with pictures. If you would like to see the pictures for references, click the link below:
http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/485415.page


Skwittlez
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