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Flickering screen after CC

by drkatrine

Original Post

Flickering screen after CC

★★★★ Novice

Hello there,


I experienced something VERY wierd and confusing yesterday:


I was looking forward to playing the Sims 3 for a long time, and did a test run of it. Everything went fine. There was no problems with running the game. My laptop is a Dell laptop with Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, and a dual graphics card, so I have an Intel Integerated Graphics 630, and a Nvidia Geforce 940MX. Of course playing on the Nvidia card as that is the gaming graphics card.


I play with CC and hadn't really installed much, only NRASS, and I wanted to install Storybrook County and its save file from Mysimreality's blog page. And so I did. However, when I double clicked the file that needs to be downloaded and installed through the Sims 3 launcher, a debug file popped up. Something with 'local'. I can't remember exactly what it said. The first time the launcher popped up but didn't do anything, so I tried again, and this time it worked. I got it installed, and put in the save file as well in my saves. 

I then noticed some blinking and flickering on my screen. It was black flickering and blinking. I found out that Origin was open but 'didn't respond', so closed it. I thought it was fine.


It was definiteitly not fine. I experienced a big ammount of flickering and blinking on my screen. Not in game, but my actual laptop screen. It even flickered every time I changed tab in my Google Chrome browser. 

I have never had a problem like this or at all with the laptop. I was very confused.

I decided to then delete the world and the save, and thought that might get rid of it, but it didn't, so I uninstalled the Sims 3 and closed down Origin. This didn't work either. The flickering and blinking turned a little less, but that was all. 


I then proceeded to do an antivirus scan(I have F-Secure) since I thought that maybe the file had brought a virus with it, but it found nothing. 

I restarted the laptop, but nothing. 


After all of this the flickering and blinking became a little less, in the sense that it came up randomly with a little more time in between, but when the CPU went higher, it came more. The flickering and blinking is both blinking black screen, and flickering/blinking green and pink colors with distortion. This made me very worried, and very confused. How can a CC world for the Sims 3 cause this? 


I have now had my laptop open(it's a new day) for about an hour and a half, and I have experienced no blinking and no flickering, which makes me extremely happy, and I hope it continues that way!! 

However, I am still confused as to why this happened in the first place. Can anyone help me find out? Does anyone know anything about such a thing? Because I have never heard of it before. And I'm honestly scared on behalf of this laptop now. Can I still play? Should I install it again? Should I not?



Thank you for your help in advance. Standard smile

Message 1 of 20 (449 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

@drkatrine  It's hard to know for sure what might have happened, but my first guess would be that your laptop was using the Intel 630 rather than the 940MX when you saw the flickering.  Sims 3 should always use the dedicated card, and Origin likes to as well, but occasionally a computer will misread the demands of an app and use the integrated card instead.


The easiest way around this with an Nvidia card is to use the built-in Control Panel to specify that a given app should always use the high-performance card.  You can access CP by right-cllicking on your desktop.  I don't have screenshots of the high-performance setting specifically (my laptop has an AMD card), but it should be with the other settings shown here:


Be sure to use TS3.exe for an Origin install; TS3W.exe (with the "W") is only relevant for disc or Steam installs.  While you're at it, you may want to turn on vertical sync, which can help with flickering issues from other causes and protect your graphics card from overworking itself in general.  V-sync limits your framerates to the refresh rate of your screen, so your 940MX won't be generating higher fps than is useful.  Control Panel only works in fullscreen mode, but there are other tools to use if you prefer windowed mode, starting with Nvidia Inspector (free download), which is also shown in the link above.


Bottom line though is that as long as this doesn't happen again, you don't really need to worry about it.  Sometimes graphics cards or drivers can have a little hiccup, but the real time to be concerned is when you notice a pattern.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 20 (432 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

★★★★ Novice

Thank you very much for responding so quickly.


I'm happy to hear that this has probably been the cause and not something more serious as I was getting really scared when it happened.


About the "Be sure to use TS3.exe for an Origin install; TS3W.exe (with the "W") is only relevant for disc or Steam installs." - Before I just installed the Sims 3 via Origin, I just clicked "download" and it downloaded and installed it all. Is it the same thing again or is it something else you're asking me to do? As I said I uninstalled all of the Sims 3 because I was hoping that would help at the time, so will have to install it again.


I also apologize in advance because English is not my mother tounge so some things can confuse me at times.



Thank you very much again for helping me!

Message 3 of 20 (419 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

@drkatrine  Your English is great; I probably didn't make things quite clear enough, since I tend to write out this particular recommendation a lot.


When I mentioned TS3.exe and TS3W.exe, I meant that you need to pick the correct one if you set up a profile for the game in the Nvidia Control Panel (or another app that limits frame rates).  In any Sims 3 install, both of these executables get installed as well, but the one that runs the game depends on what type of install you have (Origin vs. disc or Steam).  So if you use an outside tool to cap fps, you need to specify which .exe that tool is actually supposed to work on when it's running.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 4 of 20 (406 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

★★★★ Novice

OH Now I understand it better. Thank you so much for this, I truly appreciate it. I will try all of this as soon as I can Standard smile 

Message 5 of 20 (377 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

★★★★ Novice

I can tell you that it probably dosen't have anything to do with what you said. 

I didn't have a blinking screen until just now, it came suddenly, so it's back. Just restarted and it seems okay now, but it also blinked on the 'closing' screen when closing the laptop, so it must be something in the laptop.

Message 6 of 20 (348 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

@drkatrine  It might be an issue with the graphics card itself, or it might be the load that the card has to carry when running Sims 3.  It's still a good idea to confirm that the frame rates are stable when you're playing though.  A drop below 60 isn't really a problem, but if you're getting higher numbers, then you'll want to try another tool to limit fps for the protection of your card.


If you're interested, I can recommend some hardware monitoring apps so you can see how hard your 940MX is working.  It may be that some features of the game, like rain and snow or long-haired animals, puts excessive stress on the card, and you might need to adjust your settings accordingly.  This is all speculation though until you see how hard the card is working, and whether the flickering is related to the overall load.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 20 (340 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

★★★★ Novice

I'm very glad I have you because or else I wouldn't know what this even means, so thank you, haha.


I will say again that I haven't even reinstalled Sims 3 after our first discussion as my life was hectic. It's not installed now either as I simply haven't dared to. Even though the game isn't installed sometimes the screen flickers and blinks. Long time happens in between, but it still happens, and it all started after I tried to install that custom town Storybrook County, which I don't understand. It happened the moment I double clicked the file to get it installed in the launcher. I have talked to others and they don't know how that's possible either.


You might be right. I have to find a way to check frame rates while playing once I install it again. It could very well be the graphics card itself as Sims 3 isn't installed right now and it still happened, I really have no idea. I have contacted support for this laptop and they told me there are some updates for my graphics drivers, so will look into that. But I'm beginning to think it's actually the graphics card there is something wrong with. Still don't get how double cliking a custom town file to install in the launcher could trigger it though. I'm so lost. Glad to have your help though!


Sure, please recommend me some and I will look into it Standard smile 

Message 8 of 20 (273 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

@drkatrine  If your laptop's support recommended graphics card driver updates, then that's the first thing you should do.  Once you update, if the blinking doesn't go away, please run a dxdiag and attach it to a post here.


The apps I use to monitor my hardware are hwinfo and GPU-Z.  The first shows info about all hardware, from the motherboard to the case fans, and the second is just for graphics cards.  But both will show the overall load on your card as well as a number of more in-depth stats.  You can also log a session with either app, so you can see how the stats change over time as you're playing.  Both are free.


But there's not much point in running them unless you're actually playing a game.  Otherwise, your card won't be working particularly hard, and the data probably wouldn't be useful unless there was some glaring error.  More helpful would be the dxdiag, which might list certain hardware and software errors directly.  Then once you've addressed those, you could install the game and see what happened.


And I agree, it's very strange that the flickering started after installing a custom world.  I tend to think it's more likely a coincidence, or at most that running the Sims 3 launcher revealed a new issue that you hadn't seen up to that point.  But it's just a guess without more information.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 9 of 20 (260 Views)

Re: Flickering screen after CC

★★★★ Novice

Thank you so much for your help!


The thing is that I will now get a new laptop - the situation is complicated but I'm in a situation where I can get a new laptop of the exact same kind - since the wierd screen stuff are still there after graphics updates. 


I might do a dxdiag on the new laptop and throw in here just in case to make sure nothing is wrong, but I just made one of this laptop, so here you go, I hope the file works.


As you know my first language isn't English but Danish, which means stuff are probably written in Danish. I hope it's still understandable. 


Let me know what you think and again, thank you so much for your help. Standard smile

Message 10 of 20 (198 Views)

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