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Sims 3 Game Launcher keeps crashing!  XML
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Joined: 08/17/12 07:18 AM
Messages: 12

My sims 3 game launcher keeps crashing after a couple of seconds after opening it, which wasn't initially a problem because I could still click the play button before it would crash.

My game is up to date, i have tried deleting and reinstalling Origin (which also is up to date), I have tried deleting the version.tag file as suggested by "Version incompatible error in The Sims 3 Launcher" in the Help menue. Restarting my computer does nothing to help the problem, and my antivirus isn't effecting it.

I have never downloaded anything from the Exchange. But since I purchased the Hidden Springs world my frustration is really kicking in because my Launcher will not stay open long enough to download the world!

I do not want to uninstall and reinstall Sims 3 if possible, but will as a last result.

I have googled this problem and have seen that many people are struggling with it, but I am yet to see a solution.

Joined: 05/31/09 11:35 AM
Messages: 1644

We all want to play and we don't want to spend our time trouble shooting. Ever since I started following these procedures I have not had a failed patch, expansion or stuff pack installation. I do install from disc because I do not trust download installs. These instructions may work fine with downloads, but if anyone wants to update this guide with special instruction for those who download from Origin please do so. This guide is written for Windows and I have used it successfully in Windows XP, Windows 7 and now Windows 8 Pro. My current game is patched to 1.42 and I have all expansions and stuff packs. My game is running fine. Mac users will need to modify these instructions for their machines.

I invite any corrections or comments to make this guide easier and better.

A great many of the problems arise from not knowing the basics of how the Sims 3 works and the player failing to follow some VERY simple procedures.


1. WHAT YOU CAN’T MESS WITH. The first thing to know is that when you install the Sims 3 it installs to C:\ program files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 (any expansion packs are also installed here). Take a minute and use Windows (file) explorer and navigate to the Electronic Arts folder. These are all the installed game files. YOU SHOULD NEVER MESS WITH THESE FILES. These are the files modified whenever you apply a patch or install an expansion or stuff pack. If you do mess with these file you run the risk of rendering your game unplayable and requiring you to uninstall and reinstall your game. If you have everything as I do this can consume hours of your time. I speak from sad experience. A word to the wise: Don’t mess with these files!!!

2. WHAT YOU CAN MESS WITH. Now navigate to (My) Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3. This folder and its contents are generated from the installed game files and your user input. This is where your saved games, saved Sims, collections, custom content to include downloads, mods and other user data is stored. If you delete this file a clean one will be regenerated from the game files.

Let me say this again, if the Sims 3 cannot find (My) Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 it will regenerate a new and pristine The Sims 3 file. This is useful to know for troubleshooting. You cannot mess up your installation by changing anything in this folder. You can lose your settings and saved games etc., but you cannot disable your game. At worst you will have to start with brand new folder. Take some time to explore this folder and see what is stored there. All your store items, for example, go into the downloads folder. Any Mods go into the Mods folder (which you must manually create by the way). If anything is going to cause a patch, expansion or stuff pack to fail to install properly it is this folder. If you play the game you modify the files in this folder, if you buy items from the store you modify the files in this folder, if you look at your computer screen you modify the files in this folder (ok, I exaggerated this last part).
If, for some reason, you want to see that your installed games are working correctly simply rename The Sims 3 folder to The Sims 3 old and launch the game. This simple thing will act as a complete uninstall and reinstall. The difference is that this takes 5 seconds and the other takes 5 hours.

3. To repeat: If you think that you need to do an uninstall and reinstall, DON’T. Simply move or rename the Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 folder. Unless you have messed with the files in Program Files (WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO) a new The Sims 3 folder will be generated and the game will behave as if it were installed for the very first time. With this understanding in mind, how should you install a new patch, expansion or stuff pack?


Always do the following (write this down and tape it to your computer somewhere):

4. Open the launcher and go to Game Updates. That’s the last button on the launcher dialog box. You will see a check box labeled Automatic Updates. Uncheck that box. You will be notified when there is an update. When an update is released you will get a notification and an option to apply the update. When you see that notification DON’T do the update/patch yet, go to the next step.

5. Update Origin. Either launch Origin and allow it to automatically update or go here-- and manually update it. Once it is updated go to the next step.

6. Decide if you want to apply the incremental patch or Super Patch. If for some reason (you didn’t follow these instructions, for example) you tried an incremental patch and it failed you will need to apply the super patch. The reason is that a failed incremental patch may overwrite only some of the game files in Program Files (those files you are not supposed to mess with) corrupting your installation. The Super Patch will force an overwrite of all the files and (hopefully) correct the failed incrimental patch installation. You can get the super patch here-- It’s stickied in the Sims 3 web site in Forums-General Discussion-Technical Discussions as the very first item.

7. THIS STEP IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL!!!! IF YOU OMIT THIS STEP YOUR PATCH OR INSTALLATION MAY FAIL!!!! If you want to argue this point you can stop reading here and do whatever you want. Otherwise:
Go to Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 folder (hereafter The Sims 3) and rename it The Sims 3 old.
NOTE: You can choose to move it to your desk or anywhere else you want, but renaming it accomplishes the same thing, so I rename.
NOTE: I had a question as to why this step is necessary. It’s because if you are going to corrupt your game this is where you are going to do it. This is where you will get "the sims 3 is corrupt or not properly installed." error message if the patch or installation program finds a file it does not like. Users do all sorts of things in this folder. Don’t assume that because you absolutely know that you don’t have CC or mods you don’t need to do this. How often have I heard variations of : A. I forgot about that. B. But that mods always worked before. C. How did that get into my downloads file? We want a clean and trouble free install so we want to eliminate this as a variable. Plus it only takes 5 seconds so why not do it?

8. Once Origin has updated its time to install the patch go back to the Launcher and select the box to download the incremental patch. If you want to install the Super Patch and you haven’t already downloaded it do that now.

9. The incremental patch should download and install without any problem. If you have downloaded the super patch you can install it now. As part of its installation the patch will look for The Sims 3 folder in Documents\Electronic Arts but it won’t find it because you have renamed it. It won’t crash on any bad mod or corrupted file in that folder. As far as it is concerned the old folder is not there and it will create a new The Sims 3 folder.

10. Once the patch has installed, launch the game. It will be pristine and should play. Of course it won’t have your downloads, mods or any user files, but that’s OK. At least you know that you still have a good patch installation. Exit the game.

11. Now install the expansion or stuff pack. Test it to make sure it works. Play a test game. Create Sims and do anything else you want to test the installation.

12. So now we have a good installation and we know that the game is working properly. It’s now time to put The Sims 3 old folder back.

13. Before you do anything else update all your mods. I don’t care if the mod has always worked. Patches, expansions and stuff packs can change core code, so always expect to update your mods. Do this even if you have the latest patch. The expansion or stuff pack may have changed some more code and the mods may need to be updated again.

14. Delete The Sims 3 folder and rename The Sims 3 old folder to The Sims 3. That is, delete the word “old”.

15. Launch the game. It should work. If it doesn’t then that means that you still have a bad file or files in The Sims 3 folder that you will have to troubleshoot, but you know that your installation is OK and that the game works.

16. If you are having trouble with your game, always rename The Sims 3 to The Sims 3 old then launch the game and test it. This simple procedure restores the game to new and insures that there is nothing that you have done that is causing the game trouble.

Good luck

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