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Breathe Deeper...(Clean Install for Dummies)

Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
Disclaimer:
This step by step guide is designed to eliminate as many variables as possible for people experiencing problems with WA and the associated patches. While I have every confidence it will help some people, there is no guarantee it will fix the problems you have been experiencing. The intention here is to minimize the chance that something on your end is causing problems to the highest degree possible.

This guide recommends downloading and installing certain software programs, these are not EA recommendations they are mine.
While I have personally used these programs for quite some time without any problems, download and install them at your own risk, and only if you are the owner/administrator of the computer you are using.

This process is not going to have you up and running in a few minutes. It is long, and admittedly quite tedious. With any luck however we can have you up and running, (or at the very least get your computer feeling perkier than it has in a while) in less than a day.If you are the impatient type……turn back now…you have been warned!

Follow the instructions step by step (in the order given) and don’t skip anything except where indicated.

(Unfortunately this guide is for windows users only)

With that said, clear your mind and take a deep breath…..ready?
Onward!!!!!

UPDATE 12/26/2009 (Thanks Simulate)

If you have mods in your game you need to make a copy of them.

Go to "My Computer/C:/Program Files/Electronic Arts/Sims3". Or "My Computer/C:/Program Files/Electronic Arts/Sims3 World Adventures".

Right click on the Mods folder. and select Copy.

Paste it to your desktop.

UNINSTALL
To manually uninstall TS3 follow the instructions here.
http://support.ea.com/cgi-bin/ea.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=22226


TEMP FILES AND REGISTRY

CC Cleaner is a free lightweight utility that helps with basic system maintenance,
including locating and fixing bad registry entries. If you have attempted several
uninstalls/installs of the game there is a good chance there are quite a few bad registry entries on your computer. CC cleaner has both registry backup and system restore options in the unlikely event you should encounter any problems.

(and no CC doesn’t stand for custom content your stuff will be safe and cozy in your saved file :shock: )

If you already have a registry cleaner go ahead and run it. Try to follow the steps listed in this section as closely as possible.

1) Download CC Cleaner http://www.ccleaner.com/download
Close any programs or internet browsers that may be open and install.
When done installing, open the program. The CLEANER tab should be open by default.

2) Click the TOOLS tab.
Click UNINSTALL a list of the programs on your computer will come up.
If there are any third party programs listed here that you think might be giving you problems (Helper Monkey in particular)you have the option of uninstalling them here (I highly recommend you do so) and CC Cleaner will automatically tidy up the registry for you.

3) Close all open browser windows
Click on the “cleaner” tab
Click on analyze. When done click RUN CLEANER
A pop up window will state “this will permanently delete files from your system” click OK. After a few moments the bar should be full and say “cleaning complete”

4) On the CC Menu click on the REGISTRY tab
Click on SCAN FOR ISSUES
If issues are found the "fix selected issues” tab will activate.
Click on it and it should ask you if you want to back up the registry.
Click yes, and rename the backup file if you wish
Click on fix issues and exit out of the mini screen.

5) On the CC Cleaner menu
Click on TOOLS -> STARTUP
A list of programs will come up.
Disable any programs here that you don't need running when the computer starts up. Automatic updaters/ schedulers in particular. If you aren't sure what a program does, no worries just leave it enabled.

6) Click on the options tab -> settings and uncheck "run CC cleaner
when the computer starts". Close CC Cleaner


SCAN FOR VIRUSES
1) Update and run your anti-virus program.
If you don't have one you can get a 30 day trial of
AVG Anti-virus here. > http://www.filehippo.com/download_avg_antivirus

If you already have an anti-virus program but you decide to download this one anyway,remember that you should only have one anti-virus program running at any given time, so be sure to permanently disable one of them.

2) Before installing AVG close all unnecessary programs (especially anti-virus) and internet browser tabs.
Once it's done installing it will scan your computer to optimize future scans.
When done click the "update now tab" and wait for the update to complete.
Finally click on the computer scanner tab and select “scan whole computer“.
It should automatically take action on anything it finds so just exit out of the program when it's done.

SCAN FOR MALWARE
(Optional)
If you don't think you have any problems it's OK to skip this, however if you have been experiencing anything unusual such as pop-ups, unexpected crashes, or overall sluggishness this step is recommended.

Some anti-virus programs don't actually check for malware /spyware
Even when they do it's not a bad idea to have two programs for redundancy.
Sometimes one program will pick up garbage other programs miss.

Lava Soft's AdAware offers a free version that does not require an upgrade for full system scan and removal.
It can be found here. > http://www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware_free.php

1) To install Ad Aware close all unnecessary programs (especially anti-virus) and internet browser tabs.
2) When done installing run “full system scan” and close out when the scan is complete.


DEFRAG THE HARD DRIVE

For optimal results you should close all programs and perform this next step when you plan on being away from the computer for a while such as before bed, away at school or work etc, however you can perform this step while using your computer normally. There is a link to a defrag program at the end of this guide that works very well, or you can simply use the Windows defragger.
To do this;

1) Open My Computer.
2) Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.
3) On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
4) Click Defragment.
Depending on the size and state of your drive this could take a few minutes to many hours to complete. This is the main reason this (overall) process takes so long. Be patient and let it finish!

CHECK FOR UPDATES
If you are using an off the shelf PC or laptop from manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Compaq etc. there will be a utility to automatically search for software, bios and driver updates for the entire system. This will typically be found in your manufacturers help and support section. Locate this and run it.
If you are unable to locate it, at the very least check for updates on your display adapter.

DISPLAY ADAPTERS
To check for drivers on your integrated video adapter
1) Connect to the internet
2) Go to START-> CONTROL PANEL -> DEVICE MANAGER-> DISPLAY ADAPTERS
3) Highlight the adapter currently in use and double click
4) Click on the DRIVER tab
5) Click on UPDATE DRIVER tab
6) Click search automatically for updated driver software
7) Close all device manager windows.
Optional: You can perform the above steps for your sound adapter as well.

Alternatively you can look for updates through the program associated with your video/sound card, or by Googling (manufacturer) + (model number) + drivers


OPERATING SYSTEM
(If you have automatic updates enabled skip this step)
If Windows update is disabled and you haven’t done this in a while
Go to START-> All Programs-> Windows updates

Congrats! You are now ready for clean install!

INSTALL
1) Disconnect from the internet
2) Disable your anti-virus program if one is running.
3) Press CTRL + ALT + Delete on your keyboard
4) Click on task manager
5) Highlight any program that appears and click end task.
6) Check the disk for dust and or smudges and gently clean with a lint-free cloth if necessary
7) Let her rip....

After the initial install (no patches) I would recommend starting a new game, create a quick family and play for a few minutes (don't spend a ton of time in CAS as we are just going to delete this entire folder later anyway...just grab some random Sims and go) check for any obvious problems (don't mess around with the graphics option settings just yet, leave it set to whatever the game defaulted to for now, until we finish patching up)
After a few minutes “save as “…and exit.

When you re-open the launcher it should tell you a patch is available, when it downloads and installs, run the game to at least the point that it successfully loads your last save before exiting.
Now I don't know how many patches it's making us do these days, but if there are more, repeat the above until all updates are installed.

Now you should be ready to load WA.
Once again check the disk for imperfections and install...

If you have made it this far without any hiccups congrats!
You are now at ground zero on the troubleshooting tree!
Since everyone’s problems are going to be different there is little I can do to help from here except to give some general advice.

TROUBLESHOOTING
The key to troubleshooting is to introduce new variables one at a time, in a controlled manner... the steps you take may differ from these depending on the nature of your specific problems...so all I can offer is a general guideline based on what I have heard Simmers saying.

Once WA is loaded play with it for at least an hour before changing your graphics options or experimenting with your saved files. Try and reproduce conditions where you encountered glitches before.
If you experience no major problems after about an hour, play around with the graphics options.
To do this...

1) click on the round (…) button on your GUI (bottom left)
2) Click on the graphics tab (Top left)
3) Set everything as high as you think your system can handle
4) exit the options screen then SAVE (Not save as)…We want to check to see if the patch designed to fix this problem is working)
5) after it saves re-launch the game (hopefully it launches just fine)

For quick reference here are my settings using an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator x3100 series , 358 MB shared video memory, and 3GB system RAM.
These settings run a tad slow at parties, and around waterfalls and fountains, but overall I have struck a pretty nice balance between performance and eye candy.

Enable Full screen mode is on
Screen Size is 1280 x 800
Refresh is 60 hz
Object hiding and Reflections are set on
Animation smoothing and advanced rendering are off
All sliders set to medium except Sim detail which is set to high
High detail lots is set to 4
If this doesn’t work open up the graphics option screen and click the default button.


IF we are good so far…the moment of truth has at long last arrived…..DUN DUN DUN!


PASTE YOUR SIMS 3 FOLDER
Go to MY DOCUMENTS-> ELECTRONIC ARTS-> THE SIMS 3
Delete the entire folder and cut & paste the one on your desktop. (or wherever you kept it) in it’s place.

If you have problems with the old folder installed the first thing I would do is copy and paste the mods folder (if you have one) to your desktop or other safe place. If you rename it, just remember to change the name back exactly the way it appears when putting it back in your active SIMS 3 folder.

If there are any icons (like helper monkey) in the folder delete them all (check the DC Cache and World Cache folders as well) you can always re-install them later when the creators update their work to be compatible with WA.
If that fixes the problem then I would try creating a new Mods folder and adding content a few pieces at a time until the offending content is found.

If you are still experiencing problems, I would open the launcher and disable Custom Content. If that works there may be something you got from the store (or more likely the exchange) that is causing problems and I would follow the same steps I outlined above for the mods folder.

If this doesn’t clear things up, I’m sorry to say you probably have corrupt save files...cut and paste the saved games file to your desktop and run a new game. Play for a few minutes and save (not save as) and relaunch...if this works we have more than likely our found our culprit.

It is still possible that some of your save files are corrupt and others are not you will need to test them one at a time.

Well this is where we part ways….with any luck we got you sorted, if not at least your computer should be running peachy keen, and you can say with absolute confidence that you did about everything you could…

Don’t lose heart…hopefully the patch well get you squared away….in the meantime maybe this special treat will cheer you up?

http://www.emusic.com/search.html?mode=x&QT=the+sims&x=0&y=0

You can cancel as soon as you use up your free searches and never pay a penny!
I think you have to enter your CC info to get the 50 freebies though…sorry Kiddo’s)

Happy Simming!...UZ
PS. Some people with high end cards experiencing crashes have reported success with FPS limiters. Search the forum or Google for more info.

__________________________________________________________
USEFUL LINKS

World Adventures help threads, bug list threads, and articles
http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/139316.page

Master help thread
http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/0/3714.page#21080

CRASH to Desktop Possible solution
http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/79541.page

Free defragmenter
http://download.cnet.com/Auslogics-Disk-Defrag

Comments

  • UKSpring90UKSpring90 Posts: 3,716 New Member
    edited December 2009
    Thanks this is very helpful. I don't have WA but this really deserves a bump because there are A LOT of people this could help.
  • enkeli63enkeli63 Posts: 6,637 Member
    edited December 2009
    Your tips are wonderful! I've done these steps a few times myself. I just wish you had used a different subject line :( I think this thread will get ugly and I would hate to see you get flamed for sharing really helpful tips. Happy holidays :mrgreen:
    OriginID Starwing6
    my Sims 4 story blog: http://www.starwingsims.com/

    Join SimsWriters.com to promote or enjoy fan-generated content (stories, videos, music, etc) celebrating The Sims.
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Your tips are wonderful! I've done these steps a few times myself. I just wish you had used a different subject line I think this thread will get ugly and I would hate to see you get flamed for sharing really helpful tips. Happy holidays

    No worries,

    The "Dummies" series has been around forever, (at least here in the States)
    It just references a series of self help books for beginners on a wide range of topics.

    I think the first one was "Windows 95 for Dummies"...I'm not sure though.
  • enkeli63enkeli63 Posts: 6,637 Member
    edited December 2009
    Uzone27 wrote:
    Your tips are wonderful! I've done these steps a few times myself. I just wish you had used a different subject line I think this thread will get ugly and I would hate to see you get flamed for sharing really helpful tips. Happy holidays

    No worries,

    The "Dummies" series has been around forever, (at least here in the States)
    It just references a series of self help books for beginners on a wide range of topics.

    I think the first one was "Windows 95 for Dummies"...I'm not sure though.

    Oh good! And since this has been talked about, hopefully no one will say something in an angry tone :wink:

    I was wondering, for Vista users, is there any way to get the defrag process to show you its progress? In older versions of Windows you could check on how it was doing, but I can't find how to do that in Vista. Is there a way? I have my settings set to defrag on schedule, but I'm really doubting that it actually does that, because I've noticed no slow-down or anything when it's supposedly defragging.
    OriginID Starwing6
    my Sims 4 story blog: http://www.starwingsims.com/

    Join SimsWriters.com to promote or enjoy fan-generated content (stories, videos, music, etc) celebrating The Sims.
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Not that I'm aware of.
    I'm not at my computer atm but if you click on the link in the OP for AD Aware.
    Lavasoft offers free one called "defraggler"
    Its a tiny file. I DL'd it yesterday and it has what you are looking for.
  • enkeli63enkeli63 Posts: 6,637 Member
    edited December 2009
    Oh thank you! I hadn't visitted that link because I had AdAware installed already :wink: I'll download that defragging tool now. I'm sure it wont change anything for me, but at least I'll be able to see that something is happening!

    I have to try all these steps again real soon because we're taking the disk back to Gamestop to exchange it for a new one and hope that it works a lot better :mrgreen:
    OriginID Starwing6
    my Sims 4 story blog: http://www.starwingsims.com/

    Join SimsWriters.com to promote or enjoy fan-generated content (stories, videos, music, etc) celebrating The Sims.
  • saraswatisaraswati Posts: 408 Member
    edited December 2009
    I used the Auslogics defragger, it's absolutely excellent, much quicker than the Windows version (and still free)
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    saraswati wrote:
    I used the Auslogics defragger, it's absolutely excellent, much quicker than the Windows version (and still free)

    That's cool...I just downloaded it. It does seem very fast, but I'm wondering whether that's because it is showing progress on smaller sections at a time.
    The on screen progress bar took no time at all to get to 30% but the overall defrag is only 5% complete...anyhoo thanks for the heads up.

    EDIT; Hmmph nope I was wrong about that...it was showing 5% as the amount of defrag remaining not completed...that is a very fast defragger.

    I'm gonna append a section to the end of the OP with useful links.

    UZ
  • IamMamainredIamMamainred Posts: 7,042 New Member
    edited December 2009
    Uzone27, this is another great post from you. This should be a sticky at the top of the forum now !
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Uzone27, this is another great post from you. This should be a sticky at the top of the forum now !

    Cheers! A few people were hinting in the other thread that not everyone was savvy enough to do all the things I was suggesting so I thought it might be a good idea to post a step by step guide.

    Speaking of which I think I'll link to this in case other folks have that one BM'd.
  • SimGuruHydraSimGuruHydra Posts: 1,458 Member
    edited December 2009
    Thank you for sharing your helpful tips, Uzone27!

    I'll add this to the compilation of help stickies:
    http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/139316.page
  • maria_loves_alexmaria_loves_alex Posts: 9,054 Member
    edited December 2009
    I dont want to download those programs, however I would like to uninstall my game and reinstall it so that I can remove the patches, how do backup and retore my saved game (my sims and homes), cc hair, patterns and recolours I have created in game?

    Im running vista
    My Page: http://mypage.thesims3.com/mypage/maria_loves_alex

    Follow me on the Sims 4 Gallery - ID 'MariannaSims'
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    I dont want to download those programs, however I would like to uninstall my game and reinstall it so that I can remove the patches, how do backup and retore my saved game (my sims and homes), cc hair, patterns and recolours I have created in game?

    Im running vista

    The very first step takes care of that. Simply follow those iinstructions and it will explain how to move your save files to your desktop.
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Thank you for sharing your helpful tips, Uzone27!

    I'll add this to the compilation of help stickies:
    http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/139316.page

    Thanks for the sticky Hydra...hope it helps some Simmers out there.

    UZ
  • Walden95Walden95 Posts: 3,089 Member
    edited December 2009
    Congrats on the Sticky!

    BTW, I saw that you created a new thread for this and updated the directory for it earlier today. :wink:
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Walden95 wrote:
    Congrats on the Sticky!

    BTW, I saw that you created a new thread for this and updated the directory for it earlier today. :wink:

    Thanks Walden, and great work on your GD sticky and the free stuff thread.
    Good stuff!
  • iloveyouyoshiiloveyouyoshi Posts: 12
    edited December 2009
    Hey, great advice!! Just one question, are you saying that with this, custom content will work with World Adventures?
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Hey, great advice!! Just one question, are you saying that with this, custom content will work with World Adventures?

    No. In most cases CC is probably going to be the cause of the problems.
    However the steps in this guide are arranged in such a way as to eliminate as many other possibilities as possible before removing it.
  • kaloesche68kaloesche68 Posts: 817 Member
    edited December 2009
    This is a very nicely written thread, I'm sure you will help many people.
    I've tried all this, but unfortunately I have the FPS issue, but EA is going to address it.

    Kendra
  • iloveyouyoshiiloveyouyoshi Posts: 12
    edited December 2009
    Okay, but stuff from the store is okay, right?
    (BTW, this helped me play WA where I previously could not... you're amazing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!)
  • maria_loves_alexmaria_loves_alex Posts: 9,054 Member
    edited December 2009
    Uzone27 wrote:
    I dont want to download those programs, however I would like to uninstall my game and reinstall it so that I can remove the patches, how do backup and retore my saved game (my sims and homes), cc hair, patterns and recolours I have created in game?

    Im running vista

    The very first step takes care of that. Simply follow those iinstructions and it will explain how to move your save files to your desktop.


    thank you for your help I appreciate it :)
    My Page: http://mypage.thesims3.com/mypage/maria_loves_alex

    Follow me on the Sims 4 Gallery - ID 'MariannaSims'
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    Okay, but stuff from the store is okay, right?
    (BTW, this helped me play WA where I previously could not... you're amazing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!)

    It is possible that something from the store or the exchange is causing problems yes.
    The randomness of the issues people are reporting seems to suggest that there is some bad coding floating around out there that may be present on some peoples systems and not others.

    The most probable cause is third party stuff..but if you have doubts try disabling the Custom content in the launcher. If this resolves your issue then I would first look at any items you picked up from the exchange...and store items last.



  • lizmac21lizmac21 Posts: 533 Member
    edited December 2009
    thanks so much for the info,but i don't think this is going to help me,see i havn't tried to uninstall an reinstall my game so no need to clean it.i already have a anti-virus program that i have run everyday along with the defrag too. but i still have quite a few bugs in my game.is it the custom contant thats making my game run bad?
  • saraswatisaraswati Posts: 408 Member
    edited December 2009
    Uzone, I am so glad to see that this thread got stickied. Taking the proper steps makes such a difference to how your game runs.

    Out of interest, a friend of mine at The Prism also created a free .bat file that helps with the process of cleaning out your registry. It's called the "Tune and Clean" batchfile and you can find the link here. http://www.the-prism.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=2a1da4dd4989c26b1f6f3b070c11a05b&topic=2194.0

    I have all four free programs installed and I will often run this tool between installs. It gets pretty much any old registry entry known to man and helps ensure the new install runs smoothly.
  • Uzone27Uzone27 Posts: 2,689 Member
    edited December 2009
    saraswati wrote:
    Uzone, I am so glad to see that this thread got stickied. Taking the proper steps makes such a difference to how your game runs.

    Out of interest, a friend of mine at The Prism also created a free .bat file that helps with the process of cleaning out your registry. It's called the "Tune and Clean" batchfile and you can find the link here. http://www.the-prism.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=2a1da4dd4989c26b1f6f3b070c11a05b&topic=2194.0

    I have all four free programs installed and I will often run this tool between installs. It gets pretty much any old registry entry known to man and helps ensure the new install runs smoothly.

    Thanks for the tip Sara!
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