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Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

by MsSaintsAngel

Original Post

Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

Can someone please help me, my game will only play for so long before I get the Error code 12 when Saving and sometimes it crashes, I have done the Data Prevention, but no luck, my PC is well over the recommended specs, my PC is an Omen X 900-250 it has Windows 10, an Intel Core i9-7920x, 32GB of Ram and I have an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti. I shouldn’t have any problems, also I am running no mods. Thanks for your help!

Message 1 of 8 (350 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

@MsSaintsAngel  You're right that your computer can handle everything TS3 could throw at it without breaking a sweat.  The problem though is the game itself.  TS3 is 32-bit, meaning it can only use ~3.7 GB RAM before crashing or throwing an Error 12.  There's no way to make the game use more memory, so you'll have to manage RAM use yourself to try to stay under the limit.


First though, you should confirm that the game is indeed bumping up against the memory limit.  It's easy enough to check the Task Manager; if memory is showing in percentages, right-click the header to switch to absolute values.  Error 12 is an out of resources condition, usually caused by memory but not always.  A long session in Build/Buy or CAS can also trigger the error, as loading all those catalogs can max out other resources, like VRAM.


If this is indeed a memory issue, it may be that the world you're playing in is too large or complicated, either physically or in terms of population, and can't be run without going over the RAM limit.  Are you using a custom world?  Some beautiful ones just cannot be played for any length of time without seeing crashes.  One way to check would be to start a new save in the same world and check memory use.  If that world is already using over 3 GB RAM when you've barely started, then it's a good bet you're not going to be able to play.


One other thing you really should do is take steps to limit your in-game frame rates.  You can see them by bringing up the cheats console (crtl-shift-c) and entering "fps on" without quotes.  A number will appear in the upper right corner of your screen, and it should never go above the refresh rate of your monitor.  ("fps off" makes the number go away.)  An Nvidia 1080 ti can throw rates into the thousands if left uncapped.


Since TS3's in-game fps limiter doesn't work, you'll need to use an outside tool.  For Nvidia cards, the first one to try is the built-in Control Panel.  But it doesn't always work, and never works in windowed mode, so Nvidia Inspector (free download) may also be necessary.  Or, if you have another tool already in place (like MSI Afterburner or RivaTuner Statistics Server), you can try that one first.  Here are screenshots of the settings for CP and Inspector, under the spoilers:


Sometimes troubleshooting a persistent Error 12 can take some time, as the cause needs to be narrowed down from a surprisingly long list of potential issues.  If this does turn out to be a RAM issue, there are steps you can take to bring down the game's memory use.  If it's something else, we can change direction.  Just let me know what you see.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 8 (332 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

★★★★ Novice

Hello, Thank-you so much for  your help and replying, sorry I didn’t reply back sooner, I hadn’t been on.


I think I figured out my issue, I didn’t realize it wasn’t registering my graphics card, it showed  found 0 matched 0, so I got it to find and match it and it seems to run better now, as for the Error 12, think it had something to do with my memories, I cleared them out and have been lucky not to get it again.


Thanks again for your help I really appreciate it!

Message 3 of 8 (290 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

@MsSaintsAngel  I'm glad to hear your game is running better.  Memories do indeed eat up plenty of RAM, particularly when you have a neighborhood full of sims accumulating them over a long period of time.  Here are a few other stops you can take to lower the game's mamory use:


  • Turn off the in-game shopping experience and the hidden object interactive loading screens
  • Play offline, without signing in at either the launcher or Main Menu
  • Avoid playing in excessively large worlds, either by absolute size or population
  • Turn down the graphics setting for water and high-detail lots; I keep these at mirrors only and 2, respectively
  • Keep your home lot relatively free of clutter, and your sims' personal inventories as well
  • Keep the active household small, although the vanilla game's 8 sim limit should be fine
  • Regularly delete the five cache files (CASPartCache, compositorCache, scriptCache, simCompositorCache, and socialCache) in your TS3 game folder in Documents
  • Delete everything in FeaturedItems—these are ads from the store and will appear even if in-game shopping is disabled

It's certainly not necessary to take all of these steps; you can choose which ones won't interfere with your preferred playstyle.  For example, I use mods that allow me as many sims in the active household as I want, so some families can have 20 sims or more.  Those games need more interventions than the ones where the main family has five or six members.


Finally, I'm glad you got your card recognized as well, although that wouldn't have been causing the Error 12s.  Since you're comfortable editing the .sgr files though, you may also want to fix the texture memory override that you're almost certainly seeing, unless you've addressed it already.  (This will be in deviceconfig, a couple of lines below the Found: 1, Matched: 1 you're seeing for your card.)  The relevant lines are in graphicsrules.sgr, 8-10 lines down.  This:


if ($textureMemory == 0)
seti textureMemory 32
setb textureMemorySizeOK false


should be changed to this:


if ($textureMemory == 0)
seti textureMemory 1024
# setb textureMemorySizeOK false


So you're changing the 32 to a 1024, and adding a hashtag and space immediately in front of setb.  Your card of course has much more than 1024 MB VRAM, but TS3 can only use 800 MB.  The effect on the graphics is subtle but noticeable, especially when you're looking at the water.


If you do run into more issues with Error 12s or crashes down the line, there are also several mods that can help.  If you're ever interested, I can recommend a few that are very well made and reliable.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 4 of 8 (281 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

★★★★ Novice

@puzzlezaddict  Thank-You so much again for your help! I appreciate it! I did go in and change the texture memory override when I added my graphic card, but I didn’t have the hash tag in front of the setb so thank-you for letting me know about that! lol 😊  


Thank-you for the tips! I now have been deleting my caches before I play, and reset my graphics to default, I did go in and change my virtual memory in advanced system settings to see if that helps. I also got some Nraas mods, Master controller, Overwatch, Error Trap and Saver, to help the game. I have been playing on Aurora Skies an old save and I did edited the world to have more lots in it, so that might have been an issue too, I removed the lots I added after getting error code 12 again yesterday, I hope that helps! I also tried to move my family to a new world but it seems to get stuck once the loading bar is about complete, I am thinking I may have to move them manually. Hopefully moving them to a new world also helps.


Yes please, I am definitely interested on the mods you know to help with the error code and crashing!


Thanks again for all your help and time! 😊

Message 5 of 8 (189 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

@MsSaintsAngel  Adding a number of lots to a world can definitely cause the save to eat up more RAM than usual, whether those lots are residential or not.  Having too many sims in a world can also drive up memory use, although what qualifies as "too many" will depend on the world and how many packs are installed.  I'd still be interested to know how much RAM TS3 is using when you run this particular save, since there are other causes of Error 12 besides the game running out of memory.


If you move your family to a new world though, it's not going to matter what you left behind in the old one.  It sounds like you're trying to use the in-game move function?  It's much better to just save your sims to the bin and place them in a new save instead.  The result is the same—you lose all the data from the old world and start fresh, with your sims knowing no one—but this keeps data from the first world from being transferred to the second.  So the new save won't be corrupted before you start, and it will likely use a bit less memory too.


As for the helpful mods, you've already found several of them.  Saver doesn't do anything by itself; it's just a timer that reminds you to save, if you tend to forget.  ErrorTrap and Overwatch are great, as is MasterController for its "reset everything" function.  (Click on City Hall, NRaas > MC > Town Options > Reset Everything.)  In fact, you may want to do this in your current save, to see if it helps with the Error 12s.  People with long-running saves tend to run this every few sim-weeks just for the overall health of the town.


If your sims travel at all, you should also install Traveler, which replaces the default, and very broken, travel transition with a much more stable version.  It also has a number of extra options to play with, but you can leave the settings on default and still get the benefits of a more stable travel function.


The other two mods that can significantly improve the way TS3 runs are Register and Traffic.  Traffic prevents the spawning of extraneous vehicles, both normal ones and things like food trucks.  Overwatch cleans up the excess on its nightly runs, but sometimes that's not fast enough; I've heard stories of hundreds or even thousands of vehicles being created in a single day.  Again, the default options work just fine.


Register controls service and role sims, including stray animals.  Sometimes the game will spawn too many, which will of course drag down performance.  On that note, you can check the resident and homeless population by clicking on City Hall, NRaas > MasterController > Demographics > Population > (x out the filter).  The homeless population, which will include all service sims (maids, repair people, babysitters, that kind of thing) as well as in all likelihood most role sims (the ones that staff a role giving object, like a cash register or velvet rope at a club), isn't important unless it's extremely high.  The resident population is more important, although as said before, how many is too many will depend on the world.


If you have Island Paradise installed, you may want GoHere for its ability to disable boat routing for sims; some worlds don't work well with boats.  If you have Supernatural, you may want Hybrid for a couple of fixes it provides, although that's less about the game running well than details like being able to properly edit werewolves' wolf form (I think; I still haven't installed Supernatural).  But most of the other mods are about adding features to the game, not cleaning it up.


Fiddling with virtual memory won't help TS3 run any better, unfortunately.  The game just isn't programmed to use it.  I'm sure it helps other players who like to multitask and maybe only have 8 GB RAM installed, since other apps will take advantage, but I doubt your system is running out of memory overall.


Finally, on the graphics settings, the only two that really matter are water and high detail lots.  You should be able to max out all the others.  But high detail lots determines how many lots are loaded at any given time, and a high number will take a lot of memory.  Water is more about VRAM, at least I think, but I keep it low except for the rare occasion when I'm taking scenery screenshots.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 6 of 8 (180 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

★★★★ Novice

Oh Thank-you I didn’t know about the reset everything, I did it and had over 26,000 objects reset 😳 lol, that’s a lot!


Thank-you for the tips on graphic setting tips and the other mods to get, I’ll definitely do that and get them as I have all the ep’s and I’ll move my family to a new world by moving them to the bin and see how my game goes from there! Also thanks for letting me know about changing the virtual graphic, I was searching on what I could do to help the game and that sites were saying to change it. lol


I have a question maybe you know the answer, I only had master controller installed with overwatch and error trap, my Sims were on vacation in France and wanted a baby so the day before they went home I had them try for one, when my sims returned home they instantly had 2 child sims standing next to them, did master controller do this or was it the game, I tried going back to the previous save and every time they came home they had 2 child sims. lol 


Thanks again for all your help! 

Message 7 of 8 (158 Views)

Re: Sims 3 Crashes & Error Code 12

@MsSaintsAngel  That's the game being its usual glitchy self.  Traveler will fix a lot of travel errors (no need to fiddle with it; the default settings work just fine), but there's still no way around the game turning a pregnancy into a child.  Some things just don't seem fixable, even with mods, unless you want to totally annihilate the kids (MC command) and pretend they never happened.  If you don't have a save from before the kid was conceived, or I guess maybe it was twins, then that may be your only option.


The game itself keeps the file from the second to last time you saved, but whether this will help depends on when that save was created.  If you go into Saves inside your game folder, you'll see a folder labeled [your save].sims3, and another labeled [your save].sims3.backup.  Delete the .backup extension and rename the save [your save1].sims3, and you'll be able to load it from the Main Menu.


In the future, it's a good idea to use "save as" to rename your saves; that way, the game will keep the old files instead of overwriting them.  I generally keep the last 4-6 and delete the older ones when I'm sure I don't need them.


And yes, 26,000 objects is a lot; it sounds like your save was overdue for a reset.  I usually get 15-18k, which also feels like a lot, but that's apparently in the low-normal range.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 8 of 8 (154 Views)

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