Reinstall? Why? Rose/Miros's Thoughts on the Subject (and other Musings)

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IMHO, reinstalling is pointless! Yeah, it'll get your game running... then you'll put your backup back in... and the game won't work again, because the problem was in the My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/ folder. Or you've lost all your neighborhoods and downloads and get to start over, because you didn't make a backup. If we wanted a game that you have to start over, we'd play a First Person Shooter, not The Sims!

Errors hardly ever affect the files in Program Files/EA Games/The Sims 2 (etc.), with very few preventable exceptions. Follow my tutorial on preventing file corruption, and you should never need to reinstall again, since the game cannot corrupt its own files after this.

First diagnostic method: Go to My Documents/EA Games and rename your The Sims 2 folder to something obvious, like The Sims 2 Safe Place. Reboot your computer. Run your game. If the game runs, it's something in your neighborhoods or custom content; keep following this tutorial. If the game crashes, you need to reinstall, but your 'hoods and custom content are mostly in a safe place. Only your Scriptorum files need to be backed up.

Note: You may be able to stave off a reinstall by replacing potentially corrupt game files with Zirconia Wolf's patched object files. Can't hurt, you've reconciled yourself to reinstalling, haven't you?

Most likely really corrupt files: accessory.cache, groups.cache, and cigen.package Suggested fix: go to My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2 and rename groups.cache to groups.cache.bak, and similar file names. Run the game. You'll be surprised at the number of times this fixes your game! And you've got your old file on the odd chance that it was something else.

Next most likely corrupt file: NeighborhoodManager.package This file can be deleted without harming your game in any way. Apparently the game ignores it except to crash if it's corrupt.

Third most likely corrupt file(s): Thumbnails folder. If you delete or rename the whole folder, the game will copy the thumbnails from the game files, then add the thumbnails for your custom content.

Fourth most likely corrupt file: Exported Sims in SavedSims Maxis premade Sims are notorious for this. If BodyShop will still run (a sure sign that this is the problem), resave exported Sims and delete the original exports. If BodyShop crashes or hangs as well, drag the exported Sims out of SavedSims and run the game or BodyShop again.

Fifth most likely corrupt file: Something in Downloads This is a little tedious to track down, but here's a tutorial from the MTS Wiki for the 50-50 Method.

Beyond that, if your computer crashed during a save, it might manage to corrupt real files in My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2. You can simply rename that folder and let the game create a new one. You can even attempt to salvage your old 'hoods and Downloads if you like once you have a functional game again.

Miros' #1 Rule: Don't delete! Just drag custom content out of your game!
1) It's probably perfectly good, so why delete it?
2) You might not be able to get another copy of it, so it could be gone for good...

Now for my recommendations on what to do:

Do make backups.

Do write protect your files!

If your game insists on corrupting the groups.cache file, try this read-only file from Caleb_71!

BoilingOil suggests two ways to make your own read-only file.

  • Just make an empty txt-file, name it groups.cache, and make it read-only.
  • Open the existing groups.cache in a good text editor and delete all content. Then save and make read-only.

Drawbacks to the read-only method:

  • These files were intended to speed up game load times. Without them, the game will have to harvest this info from the CC files and slow the load slightly.
  • Checking the size of groups.cache is a good way to tell if your Downloads are getting out of control. Keeping the file by selective weeding to under 500kb will keep your game loading fairly quickly and help prevent future corruption of this file. (ZephyrZodiac)

(Written so I don't need to keep retyping the darn thing every time someone says why do you tell people reinstalling is pointless?)

SimPE crashes...

From a thread at Simbology:
If SimPE doesn't work, you may be missing part of the .NET framework, which can be downloaded free from the MS site.
If SimPE was previously functional and suddenly stopped working, your SimPE cache files may be corrupt.  According to JustVisiting, you only need to delete all the *.xreg and *.simpepkg files from the C:/Program Files/SimPe_0_73_44-QA/Data (or the Data directory of wherever you installed SimPE).

Don't delete, archive.

<Report of message from Google deleted; problem is being resolved>

I'll be over there in the corner reading your Recommended Hacks section for the link to a certain one, hoping I can tack some lights on top of my bathroom mirror with it. :D


Oh, and about your #1 rule:

I prefer to do things in this order: Download, archive, organize, install. I do this with all mods/hacks for games I own, and it saves me so much headache in the long run. I use DownloadThemAll in order to speed up the process by downloading multiple CC at a time, that URL filter makes things so easy.


Hell, I've got a bunch of Helaene's stuff (sims 2)from a gravesite just a few days ago, (~246 archives with one click) and I don't even know what some of it is for. Just wish I could have found her blush sets. ;-;

(any idea what helaene_archive_mint_1024box1 through 6 is? I've gotten nowhere with google, not really any uncommon keywords to go on...)

Anyway back on topic: After that I use extractNow to speed up the folderizing of the archive(s) contents. You can tell it to automatically make a folder in the same directory with the name of the archive, so that saves me a LOT of time; it's only really a pain when they've been double ziped/rar'd, because then you have to check every folder that was made to make sure you're not pasting an archive into your Sims2/Downloads. (I've not found a way to check for this, but I'm sure I'll find one eventually, I only came up with this last night.)

With the proper naming systems, you can expedite your searches as well, for creators with lots of content you can just give them a folder, and if necessary subfolders based on type. (then again, i'm probably one of the few who indescriminately downloads anything that catches my eye, by the end of this I'll probably have a local copy of your site on my hardrive. :P) actually, that's not a bad idea...

Rather than not deleting, I think it's smarter to simply archive every single thing you can get. (and yes, reinstalling is pointless.)

Thanks for your comments!

1) Google warning: As it says on the front page,  we've almost got the mess cleaned up; then we just have to convince Google it's cleaned up!

2) Archiving and organizing: Lots of good tips there; I might add the programs to the Utilities list for easy reference.

3) Helaene: Yes,  she's got a ton of stuff.  No, I don't know where her blushes are hidden.  The archive you mentioned might be a mint-green make up for alien girls.

4) Lights for bathroom mirrors: Somewhere around here, there's a link for a tute on making stuff AL shiftable.  Maybe you could shift the lights up a hair or the mirror down.

Another "reason"

If you start "losing" thumbnails of any sort, delete the Thumbnails folder and let it regenerate.

More handy stuff thanks to

More handy stuff thanks to Liv Lukas on Garden of Shadows!

Use these tips for Sims 3 on your Sims 2 game for more stability and increased utilization of system resources:

Also thanks to Jade37 on Simbology for pointing me to Liv's info!

Another list of Dos and DoNots

Another "symptom" that reinstalling is pointless...

Simsfreq at Simbology reports another diagnostic tool -- use a different Windows user account and try to play the game.  If it works, don't reinstall!  It's obviously something in your data, not the game's data.

Something else reinstalling can't fix....

Naoya at Simbology reports that an upgrade to her AV software caused her game to start crashing during load. 

To fix this, do not reinstall.  Instead, pause your AV software while the game is loading.

Yet Another Reason....

If you can't hang things on the wall, do not reinstall! 

This particular problem is caused by a configuration problem with YouSeeThem.  According to Alasdair:

Are you using SeeThem as your nude patch? If you are make sure that there is a Red X in all but the top left hand box. Make sure you turn move_objects off after you use it as well.

This topic originally appeared at BackAlleySims; thanks to Alasdair for the solution!

Personally, I like Quaxi's censor blur remover.

Another "reason" to reinstall

Another error "fixed" by reinstalling, reported by dontwannashare at Simbology, is the inability to run the game after exiting BodyShop. 

Again, the best fix is to delete accessory.cache, groups.cache, and cigen.package.