Author Topic: FAQ - Help with the Basics  (Read 6045 times)

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FAQ - Help with the Basics
« on: September 06, 2010, 07:18:49 PM »
                          INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODS (or any custom content):

  • Prior to installing custom content of any kind for the first time you must enable custom content in the game:
    • Run the game and load any neighborhood.
    • Then go to Options (F5) and select Game Options.
    • Click the asterisk in the top right to bring up the dialog, select Enable Custom Content, and close the dialog.
    • Back   at the Game Options screen you can also now disable the custom content   warning (the dialog you just enabled CC at) from appearing every time you load the game.
    • Also ensure that 'Custom Content appears in the Catalog' is set to yes.
    • Now   exit the game. Custom content will not appear immediate after enabling it. You must quit and rerun the game for it to appear because all content is only loaded during game startup.
    • You're now ready to load up your Downloads folder with all kinds of great loot!
  • Click   the link in the post to download the file. Save it somewhere on your   computer like your desktop, or like I do, create a new folder somewhere to save all the stuff you download and need to install.
  • Once   the file's downloaded, you have to unzip it. Unless you have Windows XP or Vista, you'll need a separate program to do this. Winzip and Winrar are good (and free or nagware). For XP or Vista, right click on the zipped file and select Extract All, then hit Next and Finish. A new window will open with the files.
  • Read the readme.txt file if you want, then right click on the .package file (this is the hack file) and select Copy.
  • Now go to your My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads folder, right click on any open space and select Paste.
  • Once you fire up the game, if the hack does not appear to work at all, try downloading it again and go back to step one. It is not uncommon for the hack files to become corrupted for some reason when downloaded. If it still won't work, then post a report of the problem.


  • If your sims 'jump' out of an interaction with an object or another sim (the effect is similar to the reset caused by installing a new EP but   limited to one or two sims) this is an indication that an error has occured. The following steps outline how to capture and post an error log:
    • Open the cheat console by pressing Control+Shift+C.
    • Type boolprop TestingCheatsEnabled true and press Enter. This is also referred to as Debug Mode.
    • Repeat the interaction or scenario that caused the error.
    • When the error occurs, a dialog will appear. Make a note of the filename listed in the dialog. It will be similar to N001_Object_Error etc.
    • Press Reset to clear the error dialog. Note that if the error is continuous and the dialog keeps reappearing you will have to hit Delete instead of Reset.
    • Exit without saving (especially if you had to hit Delete on the error dialog!).
    • Go to your My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/Logs folder and find the log that matches the name you wrote down from the error dialog in the game.
    • Attach this log in it's entirety to a post in the support forum. Don't just copy the top part into a post, attach the whole thing.
  • Don't post an error log from an error that you forced by Shift+Clicking a sim or object while in debug mode and selecting 'Force Error' unless you have been specifically directed to do so. These logs are generally useless except in very limited circumstances and are a waste of bandwidth and time.
  • Please be as specific as possible in your post about the steps you took to create/recreate the error.


  • First things first, get and run Paladin's Hack Conflict Detection Utility (HDCU).   Note that some conflicts are intentional. If any are reported, check each mod's readme or RTFM file for compatibility notes. Resolving your problem may be as simple as insuring the conflicting mods are loaded by the game in a certain order.
  • If undocumented conflicts are reported, try removing one or both of the mods to see if the problem clears up. If it does, post to report the conflict (assuming one of the mods is from here of course). Also posting the output from HDCU is helpful as well to determine exactly where the two mods intersect in the code.
  • Some conflicts either cannot or will not be resolved and you will have to make a choice about which one is more important to you for your game.
  • If that still doesn't resolve your problem, your only option is to resort to the binary search method described below to determine which mod is the cause.

THE BINARY SEARCH METHOD aka How to figure out what is crashing your game

If all else fails and you can't narrow down the cause of your problem, or if you are getting hard crashes (The application has crashed) or infinite lot loads, the following method is the fastest (but still tedious) way to determine which file in your Downloads folder is the cause of the problem. Note that if you are reasonably certain the problem is a mod you can use the following on just your mod files instead of the whole downloads folder.

  • First, back up your neighborhoods if you haven't already done so. Copy the My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/Neighborhoods folder somewhere safe and   out of the EA Games folder.
  • Next, move any .package files in your SavedSims folder to your Downloads folder, then move the   entire Downloads folder to your Desktop or anywhere out of the EA Games folder and run the game. If all is now normal you've confirmed that the   problem is something you've downloaded and not a game bug. Proceed to   the next step.
  • Wherever you moved the Downloads folder create two new folders called Suspect and Temp.
  • Recreate a new Downloads folder usable by the game (make sure to use the capital D in Downloads!) and move half of your custom content back into this new folder. If you have a huge amount of CC you might want to do a quarter of it at a time.
    • If all is normal, move all of the files you just tested into the Temp folder you created.
    • If the problem exists then at least one of these files is causing it. Move them all to the Suspect folder you created.
  • Now move the other half of your custom content into the games Downloads folder, test again and move the files to the appropriate suspect or temp folder as described above. Repeat until the Downloads folder on your desktop is empty and all files have been tested.
  • All the files in the Temp folder are good. Move them into the SavedSims folder temporarily.
  • Move anything in the Suspect folder into the Downloads folder on your desktop and start over by testing 1/2 of these files at a time.
  • Once you narrow it down to just a few files it will probably be faster just to test them individually.
  • Eventually, you'll narrow it down to the problem file(s). Once you do, delete it/them and move your custom content from the SavedSims folder back to the games Downloads folder and you're good to go.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 10:05:50 PM by Sleepycat »