copy/paste from my answer to this question, so i thought i'd make a thread.
yesterday on a whim, i wanted to play sims 1 again. it'd been a few months. well, i could not get it to run at ALL. not with my regular "run as admin" or anything. i still right clicked my sims.exe icon, went to properties, compatibility, check box "run program in compatibility mode" and choose windows xp service pack 3. also click box "run as administrator". now that thats done, i expected it to work once again. nope. google search after google search, i finally found the problem.
a windows update on september 9th has apparently screwed up many people sims 1 game, making it not play. trick is to remove it.
remove update KB3086255 and it should work.
control panel, windows update, view update history, click installed updates at the top of tab. there you should be able to remove update KB3086255. this is the only way to play it to my knowledge.
MANY thanks to beatlesblondie over at the Mod The Sims forums for the tip. you saved my sanity!!!
let's be friends on origin: hello0jewby