January 2019 - last edited January 2019 by puzzlezaddict
I'm struggling with this same problem, and cannot seem to find a solution. I tried the fix suggested earlier in this post, but it didn't work for me. Is there anyone out there who could suggest something? ;A;
P.S. I can't believe how many usernames I had to go through to find one that was available. Even NoUserNamesLeft5 was taken!
@22950010288090 I split your comment into its own thread because the original was several years old, and clearly didn't solve your issue.
The first thing to do is to delete the five cache files in your TS3 game folder in Documents. They should be cleared regularly, even in the absence of game issues, as they'll fill up with stale data. As long as you're troubleshooting, you should delete them every time you quit the game. For reference, they are:
If that alone doesn't help (which it probably won't, but it's the simplest thing to try), clear the caches again and try to load the backup save mentioned in the accepted solution. But you don't have to copy and paste the files—just rename the backup and delete its .backup extension. (So if your normal save folder is SunsetValley.sims3, the backup would be SunsetValley.sims3.backup; you could rename it to SunsetValley1.sims3.) Then the backup will be available to load from the Main Menu.
If that doesn't work either, try loading the backup in a clean folder. Pull your existing TS3 game folder out of Documents\EA and onto your desktop. When you launch the game again, a new folder will spawn with no content. Copy your backup save into this folder (you'll need to make a new Saves folder inside first) and try to load it. If this save takes place in an installed world, whether from the store or a third-party creator, you'll need to install that world first. Then see if the backup will load.
If you get the message that some items were missing and have been replaced, that's fine—you can quit without saving and then add the missing content (store or cc) after. The point is to see if you can open the save at all. Because if you can't even load it in a clean game folder, there really isn't much else you can do.
P.S. It looks like there are over 14 million accounts on AHQ, which is not surprising, given the number of games EA has published. Most of the accounts aren't active; the number certainly reflects people who've clicked over here while signed in on another game platform. But with so many screennames already taken, I'm not surprised you had trouble finding one you liked.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out with this! I tried everything you suggested and to my dismay, it still sits indefinitely on the loading screen. That's really disappointing if this game is unrecoverable... I wonder what would cause something like this. I'll be afraid to play in the future for fear of it happening again. DX
Do you think this might have something to do with the game being 32 bit when I'm trying to run it on a 64 bit system? It was working pretty well until now, but it did crash on me quite a few times.
14 million account? That's impressive.
@22950010288090 I'm sorry you can't get your save to load; I remember how upset I was when some of my own saves became unplayable. There is one more method you can try, but the chances of it working are pretty low. Start a new game in the same world as you were playing in before. Save it, quit, delete your cache files, and then go into the save's folder (inside Saves) and delete the file called [name of world].nhd. Copy the .nhd file from your corrupt save into this folder and then try loading the save. Like I said, this doesn't often work, but it's probably worth a shot.
The issue isn't that you're running a 32-bit game in a 64-bit OS; that's actually better than the alternative. But yes, the save corruption and crashing could both be due to the fact that TS3 is 32-bit, that is, it can only address 4 GB RAM at a time, although the limit is more like 3.7 GB. If it goes over, it can crash, or it data can be lost or corrupted. Or you may not be able to properly save, which takes more memory than regular gameplay. (Playing on a 32-bit system would be worse because the OS would take some of that 4 GB RAM for itself, leaving the game much less to work with.)
There are plenty of ways to lower TS3's RAM use. Play while your computer is offline, or at the very least don't login at either the launcher or Main Menu. Disable in-game shopping. Turn off memories and the hidden object loading screens. In graphics options, keep the water and high-detail lots settings low, since these are the most demanding options; I have these at "mirrors only" and 2, respectively. Larger worlds will be need more RAM to run, whether they have high populations or are just physically bigger. You can find other tips here:
Another cause of high memory use is a poorly made world, like Isla Paradiso. Sims get stuck, and the game engine overexerts itself trying to free them. The solution is to avoid badly made worlds or play in fixed versions.
If you have a strong graphics card, you should also take steps to cap your frame rates. TS3's fps limiter doesn't work, and strong cards can damage themselves from overwork if the rates aren't capped. The tool(s) you use to limit fps will depend on the make of your card. If you're not sure what kind of rates you might be getting, you can open the cheats console (crtl-shift-c) and enter "fps on" without quotes, and a number will appear in the upper right corner. ("fps off" makes it go away.) Anything over the refresh rate of your monitor—likely 60 Hz—is too high.
In the future, you can use "save as" and rename your saves periodically, so you'll always have backups in case your game becomes corrupt. You can keep the last 4-6, or however many makes you comfortable, and delete the older ones when you're sure you don't need them anymore. You can also move backups out of your game folder and to an external drive if you prefer.
P.S. After losing a number of saves, I started using mods and have never lost one since, but I have no idea if that's something you'd like to try. If so, I can point you to the right place, even if mod help itself isn't something we really do here.
Thanks. I tried what you said and the game did not like that. XD I had forgotten I had done it, but the day the game stopped working I did my monthly backup of my system and I can't believe it, but one of the last saves before it stopped working is in there! I only lost three hours of playtime. I can't tell you how relieved I am. It was a manual backup too and I didn't do the whole system, but thankfully I guess I threw the Sims folder in there.
Thank you so much for your help, I can't believe how quickly and thoroughly you tried to help me out. Hopefully someone else with the same problem can successfully recover their game this way.
I will definitely do what you say about lowering the RAM usage. I built an awesome machine, but maybe I was expecting it to handle more than I should have. And I'll certainly be making backups frequently. I haven't been playing that long, but I did a lot and it hadn't occurred to me that my game may corrupt for no apparent reason.
@22950010288090 I'm so glad to hear you found a backup. Three hours lost is nothing compared to having to start all over again.
I doubt you're asking too much of your monster system. No matter how much RAM it has, TS3 will still only be able to use ~3.7 GB before crashing or throwing an Error 12. Your graphics card is also not at fault; it was built for games that have working fps limiters. Of all the potential issues, this is the one you really do need to address. An overworked GPU can burn itself out and even damage the motherboard, so limiting your in-game frame rates is a must. For Nvidia cards, you can try the built-in Control Panel and then Inspector (free download); for AMD cards, start with RivaTuner Statistics Server (also free). If you need help with the setup for any of these tools, just let me know.