July 2012 - last edited September 2013
There are several steps one can take to troubleshoot their own game before seeking help. There are some standard recipes that can help with several game problems.
Resetting the game to factory settings without reinstalling
Many problems can be pinpointed on custom content or corruption in your user data. There's an easy way to reset your game to factory settings without going through the ordeal of reinstalling the whole thing (Path can be different depending on your OS):
The Error is gone now
Same Error still exists
Either make your own post, following the guidelines here: http://answers.ea.com/t5/The-Sims-3/READ-FIRST-Help-us-Helpers-to-Help-you/td-p/255562/ or if you already have one and were referred here, post there.
For Advanced Users
Keeping your Computer updated
Virus protection and Firewalls
They are both very important and no Computer should be without. Nevertheless can they lead to issues. If you have trouble patching or the launcher doesn't work correctly, make sure you tell your Virus program/Firewall that the EA Site is safe. Disable it temporarily to find out if the firewall is the issue.
Things you can try if you run into a problem within the game
These tips are things you can try if you see any kind of weird behavior in your game.
Bypassing the launcher
If you have issue with your launcher, you can bypass the launcher to start your game
Finding your Registration / Serial Code
If you still have the game on your computer you can follow these steps to find your serial code from your registry (PC only). Credits fo to Carl's Sims 3 Guide
You need to be signed in as an Adminstrator first. Windows may require your permission to open the
Registry Editor and if so, just click on yes.
1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type regedit in the search bar and press Enter.
2. Click on 'File' at the top left of the window that opens then click on Export.
3. Choose a location and name for the file as this will be your backup registry file.
4. Click Save.
5. This backup is created just as a precaution.
Now to find your serial codes for each specific EP or SP installed on your computer:
If you don't have the game on your computer anymore, you'll need to contact Customer Support. They are the only ones that can help.
They can be found here: https://help.ea.com/contact-us
You have the option to contact them by mail, phone or Live Chat. For Live Chat, make sure to choose US as your country.
Finding your game version
See this post for details: How to find your game version
Posting a question
If you need help, make sure you post as much information as possible. Include your computer information and info about whether you use Custom Content or mods and what EPs you own.
Please also state if you are on a PC or MAC and if you are using download version through Origin or Steam or DVD Version.
Did this FAQ help you with your issue ? If so, please consider pressing the XP button
I don't work or have any association with EA. I give advice to the best of my knowledge and cannot be held responsible for any damage done to your computer/game.
Please only contact me via PM when asked to do so.