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?
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.
To manually uninstall TS3 follow the instructions here.
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
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. >
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
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. >
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.
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.
: 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
(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!
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.
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?
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)
PS. Some people with high end cards experiencing crashes have reported success with FPS limiters. Search the forum or Google for more info.
World Adventures help threads, bug list threads, and articles
Master help thread
CRASH to Desktop Possible solution