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The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

by Dentface-ah

Original Post

The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice


I've been dealing with this problem for a few months now, have looked at solutions here on EA Help, AND have contacted customer support multiple times. None of the help guides have fixed my issue, and customer support ignores what I'm saying and gives me roundabout solutions that a) Don't work b) Aren't relevant, or c) Have already been attempted by me.

The Sims 3 has worked fine on my old computers, I installed them on this new computer, which has significantly better specs than any of my previous ones, and the game stops responding within 5 minutes of entering live mode.

It seems mostly random. Might be connected to loading something in. Panning camera to a new house, or an area not on screen seems to trigger it. Switching to a new tab like needs/inventory can trigger it as well. CAS works just fine. Build mode seems to freeze in the same way as live mode.

No FPS issues, no lag or freezing outside of this issue. Nothing to indicate performance problems.

Computer Specs:

- Operating System: Windows 10
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
- 12 GB RAM

Thing's I've tried:

- Repairing game via Origin.
- Clearing Origin cache.
- Reinstalling Origin.
- Uninstalling and reinstalling the game.
- Clearing the game cache.
- Uninstalling all expansions/DLC and just running on base game.
- Running on lowest possible settings.
- Running the game in compatibility mode for both Windows 7 and Windows XP.
- Running in windowed mode.
- Being offline/not logged into social features.
- Running program as administrator.
- I do not have any CC/mods.
- I am not running from the Starter Pack/Steam. I am running exclusively from an Origin download.
- Adding TS3 as a DEP exception.
- DNS flush.

I have attached a DxDiag to this thread.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I've spent hundreds of dollars on The Sims 3 over the years, and the game has worked just fine on my super old 2009 MacBook as well as a 2012 Dell computer I had before this.

I'm really at the end of my rope here. No other options. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Message 1 of 52 (933 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

@Dentface-ah  I can see why nothing you've tried has worked so far; many of those suggestions are useless, and some are only helpful on lower-end systems.  You should be able to run all TS3 packs on the highest settings, minus the two (water and high-detail lots) that the game engine itself can't handle very well.


Two issues stand out to me right away though.  The first is that you have only 5 GB free on you C drive.  That's not nearly enough.  Windows creates temporary files, TS3 creates temporary files, and other apps may as well, depending on what's installed where.  You need to clear at least 15 GB more before you can be sure that this isn't the cause of the crashes.  You might need to redirect Documents to D, or at least move over anything you're not actively using.


The other issue is that TS3's frame rate limiter doesn't work.  I know you said you don't have any fps issues, but I'm not sure what you mean by that.  If you mean it's capped, fine, ignore the next two paragraphs.  If you mean you're seeing consistent fps, that could still be a problem if it's too high.


Your 1070 is capable of throwing rates well into the hundreds if left uncapped, which isn't good for your card, and the extra heat isn't good for your computer.  You can see your in-game fps by opening the cheats console (crtl-shift-c) and entering "fps on" without quotes.  A number will appear in the upper right corner of your screen.  ("fps off" makes the number go away.)  Your fps should never exceed the refresh rate of your monitor, 75 Hz in your case.


The first thing to try with Nvidia cards is enabling vsync (on or adaptive) through the built-in Control Panel.  If that doesn't work, and it never works in windowed mode, Nvidia (Inspector) is the next tool to try.  You can use Inspector to explicitly cap fps at 75 Hz.  This post has screenshots of the setups for both tools, under the spoilers:


After you've addressed these two issues, if you're still getting crashes, try turning off the features of the now two year old Windows 10 Creators Update.  These features used to make TS3 unplayable, although most of the issues were addressed before your OS build was released.  I turned them off before I ever played TS3 on my current latpop, so I can't tell you whether it makes a difference.  Still, the settings are easy enough to reach, and it doesn't hurt to try.


If you do all this and still get crashes, try again while playing completely offline, not only with Origin in offline mode but with your computer disconnected from the internet entirely.


And while you're troubleshooting, be sure to delete your TS3 game folder in Documents each time you quit, just to make sure that's not the issue.  Since you'll only be testing, you won't lose anything by trashing each new folder.


If none of this helps, please run another dxdiag and attach it.  The LiveKernelEvents and Bluescreens in the error reports are worrisome, but those could also be a symptom of your low drive space.  If they persist after you've cleared space, then some hardware monitoring may be useful.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 52 (902 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

★★★★ Novice

Hey, @puzzlezaddict! Thank you so much for your help. It's really amazing that you took the time to write such a detailed reply when you don't even work for EA. Means a lot!

TL,DR: Tried everything you said, still having issues.

Good point @ the C drive. I already rerouted my documents folder to the D drive when I first got this computer. All TS3 files are located there now. Nonetheless, I cleared out my C drive and got it to about 8-9 GB of space. Although I don't think this should be affecting anything since all TS3 files are on the D drive, which has a ton of space left.

You were right about my FPS, it was uncapped. I tried Nvidia inspector, forcing Vsync on. Didn't change anything when in Windowed mode, so I just went back to regular full screen and set it to 75hz in settings. Game still had the same issue, but I noticed it look a little longer before it froze.

For Windows Game Creators: "Disable Game Mode" doesn't show up as an option in the game mode settings area. There's no switch to tick it on or off. I ticked "Disable fullscreen optimizations" as suggested in the link you gave.

I've attached a new DxDiag to this post.

Thanks again for your help. Seriously appreciate it.

Message 3 of 52 (887 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

@Dentface-ah  It's good that you cleared some space, but I don't think 9 GB on C is enough either.  It's certainly not enough to say for sure that the problem is somewhere else.  I would feel better seeing 15-20 GB free.  You're right that having TS3 on D cuts down on the free storage necessary on C, but Windows itself will generate temp files and clog itself up, and it can slow down everything else with it.


If your fps is locked in while in fullscreen mode, and you're fine playing that way, that works.  But if you'd prefer windowed (or Windowed Borderless), you could try RivaTuner Statistics Server instead.  I use RTSS, and it works great.  Unlike the other tools, it does have to be running in the background.  Be sure to set the profile using TS3.exe, not TS3W.exe or the launcher executables.  The real download, as opposed to any ads you might see, is about halfway down the page.


If that doesn't help though, it's a good idea to get some data on how your hardware is performing.  You can download hwinfo (free) and run it while you play.  The portable version doesn't even require installation; just unzip it and launch it directly from Downloads if you want.  (If you do want to install, be sure to click the green button, not the orange one.)  The portable version is 8 MB on my computer, so it won't cut into the space you've made on C.


Restart your computer, then open hwinfo and run sensors only.  Then press the file icon in the lower right corner of the window to start logging.  Wait five minutes, open Origin and then TS3, start a new game, play around in CAS for five minutes, then go to live mode and play for five minutes, or until you get a crash.  Then end logging.  You can upload the log to a free filehosting site and link it here.  And please let me know if the game crashes, or if there's anything else weird going on during the test.


I'll take a look at the log, and if I don't see anything, I'll ask someone else to look as well.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 4 of 52 (875 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

★★★★ Novice

Thank you so much again, @puzzlezaddict! Seriously. It means a lot.

I've freed up the C drive much more by moving one of my larger games. I now have 47 GB free on the C drive. Still no change with TS3.

I've downloaded both hwinfo and RTSS and will try them out tomorrow.

Again, thanks a million!

Message 5 of 52 (854 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

Okay @puzzlezaddict. I tried HWiN.

1-5 min: Wait

6-8: Game's loading up

8-9: Loading town

10-19: CAS

19-20: Live mode / crash

Here's the link to the logs:!PXAWmSIT!TM73rdmMxCekNabJYrIrdzBAGmN9tXwPTb9LOCtmoL8

I really hope that doesn't mark me for spam. If you need it in another file format or from a different file hosting site, let me know.

RTSS also works great for windowed mode. Thanks for the recommendation.

I know I've said it a million times, but thank you thank you thank you. Seriously appreciate all your help.

Message 6 of 52 (829 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

@Dentface-ah  First of all, those of us who help regularly do so because we enjoy it.  But when we're helping someone who's thorough, who properly follows directions and reports back with all the requested info, and maybe some useful observations as well, as you've done, it can make the process quite fun.


Given how you described the crashing, I wondered about your system temperatures.  And that's the issue: your hardware is overheating.  Here's what your CPU and GPU temps look like over the entire logging session:


Screen Shot 2019-06-02 at 4.07.23 PM.png


The processor starts to throttle performance when it gets near 90º C, and the graphics card at 80º.  But even with the throttling, your processor still has intermittent temps above 90, which is likely why the game crashes.


There are a few other high values in hwinfo's logs that I don't fully know what to do with—if they're cause or effect, and what can be ignored.  So I'll ask for a second opinion when I can get one.  In the meantime, clean your fans.  Even if you've done it recently, a bit of dust or pet hair in the wrong place can quickly build to a large problem.  Hopefully, the cleaning will fix the issue.  But if not, repeat the test and upload the new hwinfo logs.


(Also, thanks to @Holger1405 for teaching me how to do this, as well as all the other things.)


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 52 (814 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

★★★★ Novice

Seeing that now, it makes sense. Some other games I'm playing see frame rate drops or other performance issues when my PC overheats. Considering TS3 is a bit poorly optimized and heavy on the computer, my PC overheating seems to be the most likely cause of these issues.

I'm going to do a thorough cleaning of my fans tomorrow, and will report back soon on whether or not the issue is resolved. If it isn't, I'll provide another log.

Thanks again!

Message 8 of 52 (806 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

Okay - @puzzlezaddict, here's the deal.

I cleaned my fans, dug up a laptop cooling pad, and most importantly, manually increased my fan's power to max via Asus' built-in gaming center. Temps seem to clock in around 47-57°C now. Even with this improvement, the game still crashes, so here's another HWiN log.

1-5 Min: Wait
5-6 Min: Load to Main Menu
6-end: Load Town + Live mode.

So what I've noticed is I can cause the crash to happen much faster, almost in seconds if I just page through tabs quickly (Relationships, needs, etc.). Earlier, it seemed to trigger when panning over to load a lot/house. So I wonder if the sudden onrush of new stuff to load is somehow triggering the crash. Not sure what that would be indicative of though.

Anyway, here's the new HWiN log:!7OxxTaaK!SdmA2QfELMTjY_5fzfBtmmiMUbEU-_QObsQK32YRFvs

Message 9 of 52 (766 Views)

Re: The Sims 3 Stops Responding & Crashes 5 Minutes into Live Mode

@Dentface-ah  Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to get that second opinion, since this is venturing into territory I don't really know much about.  You're right that your CPU and GPU temps are fine now, although there are still a couple of abnormal values in your second hwinfo log.  (The second opinion is looking into it.)


In the meantime, I was also reminded that some of the errors in your dxdiags may indicate a GPU driver issue.  So it's a good idea to do a clean uninstall and reinstall of the driver.  First, download Display Driver Uninstaller from here:


You can download a fresh driver (1070, notebook) here:


Next, take your computer completely offline—disable wifi and/or pull the ethernet cord—and double-click the DDU.exe. Take note of where the file will land, and click Extract. If it's easier, you can copy the path and then paste it into the address bar in a File Explorer window. Open the folder and then Display Driver Uninstaller.exe, and you'll get a message that you're not in Safe Mode. Click OK, then go to Options and enable Safe Mode dialog. Here's a screenshot of what your options should look like:

DDU save.png


Close options, and the DDU, and then open the DDU.exe again. For launch options, choose "Safe Mode (Recommended)," and then click Reboot to Safe Mode (you'll need your password, so find it before rebooting). Once you login, you'll see this:



Choose GPU in the dropdown menu (step one), then Nvidia (step 2) if it's not already showing. Then click Clean and Restart (step 3).


Once your computer has rebooted, now back in normal mode, run the driver install .exe in custom mode. Select "perform a clean installation" and install ONLY the GPU driver and the PHYSX software. Reboot again and see how the game runs.


With how you described the crashes, I had to test for myself, and I could cycle through the info tabs without any problems.  Of course, that doesn't mean anything, other than this probably isn't a game glitch.  Anyway, I'll keep on this, and if the clean install of the driver doesn't help, we'll dive back into the hwinfo logs.


 Also: Thanks again @Holger1405 for the images, and the original instructions.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 10 of 52 (707 Views)

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