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[Fix] Sims 3 crashes, Crash to desktop, generic errors

Fixing Sims 3 crashes is probably one of the most common task I’ve been doing on my PCs.  Simply put, it’s EA’s most buggy, unoptimized and unfixed game.  Still, it’s fun as hell so I really put up with it *sigh.*  I should probably add Fixing Sims 3 crashes on my resume soon.

So, on to the crux of the matter.  How do you fix Sims 3 Crashes? Or to go even further and more to the point, how do you prevent Sims 3 from crashing?

Preventing Sims 3 crashes

First off, the first thing you really need to do is make sure you can run Sims 3.

EA was kind enough to provide the system requirements to play Sims 3:

FOR WINDOWS XP

  • 2.0 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
  • The latest version of DirectX 9.0c
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • At least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games

Vista / 7

  • 2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1
  • At least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games

OS X

  • Mac OS X 10.5.7 Leopard or higher
  • Intel Core Duo Processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • ATI X1600 or Nvidia 7300 GT with 128 MB of Video RAM, or Intel Integrated GMA X3100.
  • At least 6.1 GB of hard drive space with at least 1 GB of additional space for custom content and saved games
  • This game will not run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems, or the GMA 950 class of integrated video cards.

source TheSims3

Once you’ve made sure that your PC can run Sims 3, check your drivers.  Make sure you’re running the latest stable versions of the drivers for your Graphics Card.  If you don’t know where to find them, here’s a list sorted according to manufacturer.

Note that some brands aren’t listed simply because their video cards don’t match the minimum or recommended system requirements set by EA.

Once you’ve met these requirements, you may now proceed to install the Sims 3 on you computer.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you install the latest patch (not exactly the latest extension for the game, but just the latest bug fix/patch).

Fixing Sims 3 Crashes

Types of Sims 3 Crashes

There’s quite a lot of them, really but, chances are you’ll be getting any of the more common ones.  If your problem falls into one of these, and you’ve met the requirements for the game as well as updated your drivers, please look at the next section (programs incompatible with Sims 3) or the Recommendations section.

Multiple Monitors

Sims 3 has problems running on multiple monitor setups.  It works (sometimes) but it’s recommended to play it using the primary monitor.

Programs incompatible with Sims 3

Although it’s not listed on any official EA statement, there’s a lot of recorded incidents of Sims 3 crashing with these programs running in the background.  You can simply disable them or even uninstall them (you probably wouldn’t want to do that) in order to play Sims 3 properly.

List of Programs with Sims 3 compatibility issues:

  • Daemon Tools Lite / Pro (see the recommendations area)
  • Utorrent (see the recommendations area)

Recommendations

If you’re using Daemon Tools Lite/Pro, you’re likely to encounter problems.  You can use Virtual Clone Drive for a free alternative.

As for utorrent, there isn’t really anything close to utorrent’s functionality, size, speed and usefulness so you can either disable it or replace *gasp!* it with any of the more popular torrent clients. If you have multiple PCs, just don’t use utorrent on the PC that you’ll be playing Sims 3 on.

Also, do note that if you’re running a non legit copy of the game, don’t run the EA Updater.  Your game won’t work… SRSLY

Now, if you’re still having problems running Sims 3, the last resort (without anything doing drastic to your system) is to run the game in Windowed mode (Options >Enable FullScreen).

ARGHHHAH I STILL CAN’T RUN IT WHAT DO I DO!?!?

If you’re running out of options, you can try and contacting EA (though 90% of the time, I’m sure you don’t want to do this because you don’t have a legit copy of the game… you pirate you :)) and ask for their help.

The last, last, last resort you can do is install the game on a fresh version of your PC, and that’s to do a complete format + reinstall of your PC and try running the Sims 3 installer again.  If it works you’re golden.

Important Note: If you like this post, please consider linking to it and/or spreading it to your networks.

Important Note: Most of this info came from the EA boards, discussion on torrent sites (which I unfortunately can’t link to), personal experience and several leaked official EA memos.  If you OFFICIALLY stake claim on the information (not just the keywords found in this post..ergo you’re with EA, Sims or the companies mentioned above), send us an email via the contact page.  If not, don’t bother, your comment/email will likely be ignored.

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Comments ( 6 )

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  1. jess August 16, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the tips. I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out the issue.

    Now, you say not to use daemon tools or utorrent (yikes!). Can I have them installed on the computer, as long as they aren’t running? I can definitely refrain from using the programs while playing, but I can’t live with uninstalling them.

    Thanks again for the help!

    • sylv3rblade August 16, 2010 Reply

      Yep. The crashes occur when both sims 3 and any of the programs mentioned above are running together.

      • jas August 19, 2010 Reply

        When I play the Sims 3 I don’t enable daemontools or utorrent, and it still crashes to desktop. My Sims 3 is a legit copy too. So I guess it means I have to uninstall daemontools or utorrent if I even want to play my Sims 3.

  2. Jojo January 20, 2011 Reply

    My Sims 3 game usually crashes just when I exit Buy Mode/Build Mode after starting the game, pretty annoying. lol

  3. JJ March 20, 2011 Reply

    Thank you my game crashe randomly so i just use one monitor setting when i play

  4. keyz March 10, 2013 Reply

    my sims game crashes right after I install a new expansion, it crashed on seasons, so I uninstalled and reinstalled like 15 expansions, now I just downloaded university and it crashed in create a sim, I already know I have no other choice but to reinstall all 15-20 of my sims expansion, it will take about 4 hours! They need to fix this issue when sims4 comes out!

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