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Sims 3 Game Help Categories:

Custom Content  | Installation  | Gameplay Guides  | Technical & Graphics Issues  | Miscellaneous Issues

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Contents

Issue & Symptoms

Newly loaded worlds get to this point then freeze.
  • Sudden freezing when entering Live Mode
    1. Mouse moves but user interface is unresponsive
    2. Background noises still play
    3. Trees and shadows still move
  • Create-A-Sim still loads properly
  • Freezing can occur with saved worlds and upon loading a new world.


Causes

This issue sometimes happens after patching your game and/or installing a new EP - especially Seasons. However, this issue has been known to show up spontaneously even after having previously run the game successfully.

Preliminary Troubleshoot

99% of all issues with TS3 can be solved by running through some basic troubleshooting procedures. Before you panic, follow these troubleshooting steps to rule out custom content and corrupt game save issues.

RightArrow.gif Basic Troubleshooting

Solution

If the basic troubleshooting did not work, or the Live Mode freeze reoccurs even after generating new user files (Step 3) then we have successfully ruled out CC or corrupt save files as the cause. This means that your game is suffering from corrupt files within the program itself.

Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong? Well...the answer to that is really...nothing. Files can get mucked up with no fault from the user, it just happens. Never fear, the solution is simple and painless and you will still be able to retain most of your installed content and game saves.

The only solution for the freezing is to reinstall The Sims 3.

Backup User Files

If you followed the steps during the basic troubleshooting phase, then you should already have a backup of your user files. If for some reason you have not done this, follow the steps below.

1. Open your Electronic Arts folder in Documents. The location is:
  • Windows XP: My Documents\Electronic Arts\
  • Windows Vista/7 & Mac: Documents\Electronic Arts\
2. There will be a folder here called The Sims 3 - rename that folder to The Sims 3 Backup.

Backup Digital Downloads

If you have digitally downloaded content from Origin (previously called EA Download Manager) then you may want to back up these files, too.

  • Open Origin and under Settings find where you have it set to save your downloads. Go to the path shown to find your digital downloads, and backup those installer files. You might also be interested in reading Game Help:EADM Issues.

Uninstall

Before you get in a huff about uninstalling, be aware that we are only uninstalling The Sims 3 Base Game and the LATEST EP installed. The uninstall process is pretty self explanatory, but if you need help follow the guide linked below.

RightArrow.gif TS3 Uninstall
  • You will most likely encounter a warning saying that functionality will be compromised by uninstalling an EP. Just hit okay, this will not effect anything.
  • After uninstalling be sure to clean up any left over folders in Program Files\Electronic Arts, specially the The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 {LATEST EP NAME} (the last EP installed) folder.
  • Clean up the registry using CCleaner or any program like it.
  • Restart your computer once you've finished.

Reinstall Base Game

Reinstall TS3 Base Game like normal. Installing Base Game tends to take a while, so it's a good idea to do something else while you wait.

Patch

After TS3 Base Game has been installed you must patch before installing your latest EP again. Normally when you attempt to install an EP, the installer will patch your game automatically. However, to be on the safe side, we will manually patch the games ourselves.

  • Go to the Patch Downloads and grab the Super Patcher. The Super Patcher will fully update the game starting from any patch level. This is good news to us because since we reinstalled, TS3 was reset back to the initial 2009 factory release!
  • Run the Super Patcher and let it install.

Reinstall the Latest EP

Once the game has been brought up to date, install the latest EP that your previously uninstalled.

Regenerate User Files

After installation, run the TS3 Launcher. Once it loads, you can simply exit out of it. You will see that the user files located in My Documents have been regenerated.

Set Up Custom Content

Ideally we want to first try running the game without custom content, but it doesn't hurt to go ahead and set it up for custom package content while we're in the user files. Follow the steps outlined in the link below if you need help.

  • It's a good idea to go ahead and install the No Intro Mod at this time. This will eliminate the EA Intro video before the game starts loading, which makes it very quick and easy to see if things are setup properly. If the plumbob animation and intro videos no longer play (you go straight to the loading screen), then you know your .package file content is working!

Test!

Now you should run the completely vanilla game (no mods except for maybe the No Intro) and load any world. Click any premade family and verify that Live Mode plays correctly. If all went right then you have solved the Live Mode freeze error!

Recovering Files

Technically you are done after you do your test run. However, you may have noticed that you lost all of your saved games, custom content (both package and sims3pack) along with various other things. If you are interested in recovering some of this, then read on.


WARNING: Faulty custom content/user files can still cause a game to break. If after putting back some of your old files into your new game you find you are having problems (not necessarily Live Mode freeze) then you may have to do without some of the backup files. So, every so often after adding old files back into your user files folder, run your game and test that everything is still functioning.


Packages

Replacing packages is a simple as cut and pasting from the Mods/Packages folder in your backup into your new My Documents user files. Simple drop them into the Mods/Packages folder that we just set up.

Sims3Packs

Sims3Packs are content installed with the TS3 Launcher. You may be thinking "ugh, I have to download and reinstall ALL of my sims3packs again?!" The answer is no! Most Sims3Packs that you had previously installed in your old game can quickly and painlessly be recovered.

Other Game Files

You can also recover saved sims, game saves and other things as well. All you have to do is copy what you are interested in over from your backup folders to your new user files.

  •  :RightArrow.gif Read TS3 User Folders Explained for a list of all the user folders and what they do. Most of the stuff in your backup is unnecessary to transfer over, but some stuff is worth salvaging if you are interested.
  • When copying game saves over, remember that you will have to reinstall any custom worlds in order for the saves to show up.


Sims 3 Game Help Categories:

Custom Content  | Installation  | Gameplay Guides  | Technical & Graphics Issues  | Miscellaneous Issues

MTS Help Q&A Forums
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