Author Topic: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds  (Read 5436 times)

Frey

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Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« on: August 17, 2012, 12:08:51 PM »
Hi! I need help... again.

My game has started crashing again. It used to happen only in Appaloosa Plains but now it's even affecting Sunset Valley. It happens only while on live mode though, I can build for as long as I want or Edit World or whatever and nothing happens, but when I go into live mode it crashes within the first 15-30 minutes of gameplay (real-time). They are all new-created gamefiles. I have no CC, no mods. I run Win7 Home Basic with an Nvidia Geforce 310M (not the best in the world, but enough for running the game). My computer meets all the minimum requirements, and my graphics settings are all set between minimum and low.

Here's what I have already done:
- Changed DEP Settings to include pretty much every sims-related .exe file I could find.
- Updated the game, DirectX, graphics card's drivers, Windows version and everything I could think of.
- About 100 Factory Resets and complete Un- and Re-installs of the game.
- Defragmented the laptop.
- Cleaned cache-files
- Adjusted my virtual memory settings as explained here: http://www.carls-sims-3-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=8663.0 (see the post by Moonsareblue in the middle of the first page of the thread)
- Playing the game in windowed mode.
- Running CCleaner to see if I found any registry errors. Didn't find any errors that were sim-related.
- Opened dxdiag to see if I found any errors. I didn't find any, but I'm not an expert so it could be I just didn't find them.

So... first: having a look at my Sims 3 folders I found some error logs. One says that my available physical memory is about 145 MB, which I guess is really low. What is exactly the physical memory, and how can it be that I have only 145 M available if my computer has a total physical memory of about 2000 MB and enough free memory in the disk? Has this anything to do with my issues? How do I fix it?

Second: Another log error says:
[Exception info]
date: 2012-08-17
time: 16.04.20
type: ACCESS_VIOLATION reading address 0x00000031
address: 0x65690f6c "C:\windows\system32\d3d9.dll":0x0001:0x0003ff6c

What does this mean?

Third: While updating my graphics card's driver, I found a strange thing. As said, I have an Nvidia Geforce 310M, and on the official Nvidia Geforce website it says: "features unsupported by this graphics card: DirectX 11", which is exactly what I have. Could this be the problem?

Has anyone more ideas? Sorry if this post was long but I've been struggling with crashes for a really long time and I really want to fix it, specially now that it's happening everywhere.

P.S: I know I created another topic a few days ago about my game not loading properly, but I think this is something else, so I decided to create a new thread. I hope it's OK. Here's the link to the other issue: http://www.carls-sims-3-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11907.0.html.

I will appreciate every help I can get. Thanks in advance!  :)

Offline warr2098

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 04:45:16 PM »
Graphics cards can be overworked and cause them to overheat and close the game to prevent damage, does your pc get hot when playing Sims 3? if so activate Nvidia's V-Sync to stop the fps going too high and hopefully prevent crashes, I'm sorry, that's all I can think of.

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Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 04:56:24 PM »
It does get hot, but it also gets hot when not running the game. I think that's a common issue with Samsung laptops. At home in Chile I have a laptop cooler, but I'm living in Germany until October and I didn't take it with me.

Anyways, I opened Nvidia's control panel and searched around for the V-Sync settings. Under 3D settings I found a "Vertical Syncronization" thingy, which I guess is the V-Sync. Now, it's set up to "use settings from 3D application" (or something like that, in spanish). The other options are: "Force activation", "Force deactivation", "Auto" and "Auto (Interval 2)". My guess is that yo mean "Force activation", but I wanted to make sure before I mess up things even more.

Thanks for the help!

Offline Pam

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 05:04:48 PM »
When you say your graphics card is good enough for the game, are you certain?  Have you checked it against the list of cards that the game needs?  For a quick reference, here's a table on Sims Wiki with some graphics cards and whether or not they will run the game properly.
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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 05:13:49 PM »
Oh! I had no idea that that list existed Pam, thanks. It's listed as not recommended actually, which could explain my issues but I'm not 100% sure. What I don't understand is: if the card isn't recommended and is known to cause issues, why does my game have non-crashings periods as well as crashing-ones? I mean, when I started using this laptop (actually my mom's old one) I was able to play for a couple of months without issues. Then it started causing me trouble, but then I fixed it (except for Appaloosa Plains) and now it's crashing again. Wouldn't it be a permanent thing if it were a graphics card issue?

Offline pallyndrome

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 06:23:55 PM »
Hey, I can only throw this idea in because this is what fixed it for me (after weeks of testing and fixing to no avail): I found that if I go out of the game while it is loading (pressing windows key) to do something else while waiting for it to load, it freezes sometime in the game. If I let it load on it's own with no interference, it's usually fine.

Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 06:45:33 PM »
Thanks pally  :). I actually do that a lot so it's possible. I've also read that playing in high speed increases the crashing issues, so I will try to avoid that as well.

Offline Pam

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 08:58:30 PM »
I don't have a technical explanation as to why the game will sometimes play and sometimes crashes.  It could be lots of things causing it, but I think your underlying problem is probably the graphics card.
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Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 11:32:48 PM »
Hi, Frey.

So... first: having a look at my Sims 3 folders I found some error logs. One says that my available physical memory is about 145 MB, which I guess is really low. What is exactly the physical memory, and how can it be that I have only 145 M available if my computer has a total physical memory of about 2000 MB and enough free memory in the disk? Has this anything to do with my issues? How do I fix it?

Second: Another log error says:
[Exception info]
date: 2012-08-17
time: 16.04.20
type: ACCESS_VIOLATION reading address 0x00000031
address: 0x65690f6c "C:\windows\system32\d3d9.dll":0x0001:0x0003ff6c

What does this mean?

I don't think the graphics card is the issue. What the crash logs are saying are two things:
  • Your system is running out of memory. How much memory is installed in the system? If it's less than 4 GB and you're running 64-bit Windows, it can run out pretty quickly.
  • The Access Violation error is related to the memory issue. The game is trying to read or write to a memory location that is in use by something else.

Third: While updating my graphics card's driver, I found a strange thing. As said, I have an Nvidia Geforce 310M, and on the official Nvidia Geforce website it says: "features unsupported by this graphics card: DirectX 11", which is exactly what I have. Could this be the problem?

Sims 3 will use DirectX 11 functions, but only requires DirectX 9 to play (since it runs on Windows XP). So, the card's incompatibility with DirectX 11 shouldn't affect the game's performance.

Hope this helps. :)

Flynn
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Offline Pam

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 01:41:44 AM »
Thanks for that information, Flynn.  Sounds good.
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Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 04:45:09 AM »
I have 2 GB of installed memory, but I'm running on a 32-bit windows. I have no idea what it means anyway. I've been considering installing an extra GB (supposedly my laptop has room for 4, but I've heard it's somehow not good to use all the empty memory slots on a laptop, so I guess I should install just one). I guess that would help a little, but I will have to wait until october to do it.

What I don't understand is: my C: drive still has about a third of free memory, and D: is barely like 10% full. So, why am I running out of memory? Maybe uninstalling the game reinstalling it to D: would help? (I'm assuming that's possible...) Can I do anything else about it apart from installing an extra GB? My guess (without knowing too much about computers) is that the kind of memory I'm running out of is another kind of memory, right? How can I know that?

Thanks for the help Flynn, and everyone. Sorry for asking too many questions but I really don't know much about computers and everything I know I've mostly learned trying to fix different issues related to the game. I really want to understand what is going on so I can fix it or just decide to buy a new laptop (and spare for the rest of the century to get it).

thesweetestpea

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 06:46:01 AM »
I have 2 GB of installed memory, but I'm running on a 32-bit windows. I have no idea what it means anyway. I've been considering installing an extra GB (supposedly my laptop has room for 4, but I've heard it's somehow not good to use all the empty memory slots on a laptop, so I guess I should install just one). I guess that would help a little, but I will have to wait until october to do it.

What I don't understand is: my C: drive still has about a third of free memory, and D: is barely like 10% full. So, why am I running out of memory? Maybe uninstalling the game reinstalling it to D: would help? (I'm assuming that's possible...) Can I do anything else about it apart from installing an extra GB? My guess (without knowing too much about computers) is that the kind of memory I'm running out of is another kind of memory, right? How can I know that?

Thanks for the help Flynn, and everyone. Sorry for asking too many questions but I really don't know much about computers and everything I know I've mostly learned trying to fix different issues related to the game. I really want to understand what is going on so I can fix it or just decide to buy a new laptop (and spare for the rest of the century to get it).

I'll flip the question I asked Shannon back to you: do you know how many DIMM slots (the long slots with clips at the end, which RAM goes into) your computer has? Your C:\ drive is a hard drive, which has memory on it that's permanent and can only be accessed. The memory you need to run the game is RAM, or random access memory, which can't hold information without power and is held on RAM sticks. If you're running out of RAM, and I think 2GB is basically standard RAM for a low-end laptop, then you need to find out how many DIMM slots your computer has and install more. I would advise leaving one slot empty, but it's almost definitely possible to get a 4GB stick that's compatible with your motherboard.

Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 06:58:08 AM »
How can I know how many DIMM Slots I have? I ran Speccy and it says I have 4 RAM slots, and only 1 used. But I couldn't find anything about DIMM slots. It says something about PEG and PCI slots but I don't know what that means either, LOL.

Thanks for the help!

thesweetestpea

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 07:03:27 AM »
How can I know how many DIMM Slots I have? I ran Speccy and it says I have 4 RAM slots, and only 1 used. But I couldn't find anything about DIMM slots. It says something about PEG and PCI slots but I don't know what that means either, LOL.

Thanks for the help!

PCI slots are expansion slots, which USB ports and the like can go into. PEG is a graphics card slot. DIMM slots are a type of RAM slot, and if your laptop was made post-2009, they're likely to be your only RAM slots. If you have 4 slots, you can probably fill at least 2 of them at once, which means you can definitely add another 2GB RAM stick. But before you even go looking to buy a new one, you should check the manual for your computer to find out how many RAM sticks you can mount, and what the mount order is. Some computers require you to fill certain slots first. If you don't have the manual, you can look for it online. What make and model is your computer?

Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 07:38:15 AM »
It's a Samsung R580. I checked the bottom of the laptop where the product code is and all that and it says March 2010, so I guess that's when it was made. It was my mom's laptop first, we exchanged them because my old one had an integrated graphics card and she doesn't play anything so she didn't need an Nvidia Geforce. I'm sure she has the manual somewhere, she's like a manuals-maniac and always keeps them.

The thing is she's in Chile and I'm in Germany... and there's no way I can ask her: "Hey mom, could you check how many RAM slots your laptop has? It's on the manual". She would freak out and start complaining that she doesn't understand a word about it  ;D. I will have a look on the internet. There's no rush anyway, since I'm going to wait until I go back to Chile in a few weeks to do it. My best friend is a computer geek and he does that all the time for money so I can ask him to help me and know he's being honest about what my laptop can bear and what not.

Anyways, is there anything I can do right know to help my poor laptop suffer a little less, while I go back to Chile and get more RAM and (maybe) a new graphics card?

thesweetestpea

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2012, 07:50:43 AM »
Close background processes as much as you can and don't run anything but Sims. Don't leave the game open and break up your playing. Save the game as much as you can.

Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2012, 08:56:44 AM »
Ok! Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I actually use ctrl-alt-tab a lot so that could be part of the problem. I'll try to avoid that  :).

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it!

Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 04:06:37 PM »
Sorry to double post, but I've been reading around in google about clearing RAM and that kind of stuff and I have a quick update:

I found about a little program called MemoryCleaner. Several reviews and articles I found said it was useful and safe, so I gave it a try. I had just restarted the laptop, and still, when I opened MemoryCleaner, the memory usage was around 65%, so I don't even want to know what memory usage I have while running The Sims. Anyways, this awsome little tool has an option to keep clearing RAM every 5 minutes, or everytime the memory usage reaches 80%. I managed to lower my memory usage to aroung 58% just with 2 clics!  That is obviously while not running Sims 3 or any other similar program, though.

Then I kept googling around and found about msconfig and how to eliminate unnecessary background programs. I also found a website with an awsome list about most common background programs and whether they are necessary or not. So I unchecked everything I could (Photoshop, Itunes, Skype and a whole other bunch of trash), leaving just the necessary stuff and some stuff I wasn't sure about. I restarted the laptop, checked my memory usage again and it was 45%! Amazing!

Anyways, I had to leave some programs running on the background because I was afraid to mess things up. Most of them are related either to CyberLink or to Realtek. Could someone tell me if they are necessary as background programs or if it is safe to uncheck them from the list? My guess is that these programs are the most-RAM-consuming of all, but for what I read they are related to graphics and sound stuff so I didn't touch them. I was kind of afraid they were needed for The Sims to run or something.

I have yet to try of the game still crashes or not, but still, it is good to know my poor laptop is suffering a little less.

Thanks again to everbody  :)

Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2012, 10:49:01 PM »
Anyways, I had to leave some programs running on the background because I was afraid to mess things up. Most of them are related either to CyberLink or to Realtek. Could someone tell me if they are necessary as background programs or if it is safe to uncheck them from the list? My guess is that these programs are the most-RAM-consuming of all, but for what I read they are related to graphics and sound stuff so I didn't touch them. I was kind of afraid they were needed for The Sims to run or something.

Hi, Frey.

You can safely remove the CyberLink stuff as it's only used when you're watching a DVD or Blu-Ray movie on the laptop. It should start up if you open something like PowerDVD or whatever you use to watch movies. The RealTek is likely your sound card driver, so you don't want to remove that unless you like playing without sounds, heh.

After doing a quick Google search, I did find some information about your laptop. It has 2 RAM slots according to Samsung's website, and can take a maximum of 8 GB RAM. It sounds like you either have a 2 GB card in there right now, or two 1 GB cards. If you have access to a friendly local geek in Germany, have them look at it to see what type of memory it needs. Memory shouldn't be too expensive, though just remember if you install more than 4 GB RAM in your system, you need to install the 64-bit version of Windows.

Hope this helps. :)

Flynn
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Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2012, 05:46:28 AM »
Thanks again Flynn  :) I think I will wait until I'm in Chile to get more RAM though, I don't have any computer geek friends here in Germany and Computer Stores and Technicians have already tried to steal from me so I don't trust them very much hehe. Not that all of them are like that of course, but still, you never know.

My game is still crashing. I'm not sure if this is still a RAM issue since I managed to lower it down from 92% memory usage in-game to around 70%. I will still get more RAM as soon as I can because that wouldn't hurt, but I'm not sure it's the (or at least the only) problem I'm having.

I'm thinking about contacting EA's customer support. I've heard that personalized help is bad to say the least, but it won't hurt to try I guess. Maybe I'll be lucky. I'm extremely tired of this crashing issue (been fighting it for a year now) and of not knowing what on seven hells is going on in my computer/game. I'm an inch close to stop playing and throwing my CDs in the toilette or play frisbee with them.

Edit: EA's technical support website says that the latest drivers for Nvidia Geforce graphics cards are experiencing incompatibilty issues with the game. What they don't say is what exactly "latest drivers" mean. I'm thinking about going back to a previous one to see if that keeps my game from crashing, but how do I know which one I have to go back to?

Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 02:21:37 PM »
Hi, Frey.

It's not too hard to roll back the drivers for your card, but it does take a few steps. I think I remember you saying you had Windows 7 installed, so here's the instructions:
  • Open the Start menu.
  • On the right side of the menu, right-click on the Computer link and select Manage from the menu.
  • In the new Management Console window, select Device Manager from the tree on the left side of the screen.
  • n the middle section, expand the Display Adapters section and right-click on your graphics card (NVidia 310M).
  • Select Properties from the menu.
  • Click the Driver tab and then click the Roll Back Driver button.
  • Click the OK button to finish. You may have to restart your computer to have the changes take effect.
If the Roll Back Driver button in step 6 is greyed out, then you only have one driver version installed on your computer. In that case, you may want to click the Uninstall button instead and make sure you select Delete drivers in the prompt that follows. Then, reboot and check Windows Update or nVidia's website for updated drivers.

Let us know if this helps. :)

Flynn
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Frey

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Re: Sims 3 crashing again - this time in all the worlds
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2012, 10:55:27 AM »
Thanks again for bearing with me Flynn  :)

I think I've found a workaround for this, and I guess it confirms that the problem (or at least part of it) is lack of RAM.

Memory Cleaner is great, but it turns out it's not a good idea to set it up to clear RAM every 5 minutes while playing the game. It causes more lagging, I guess because what it does, among other things, is clear cache files, and part of those cache files must be files that the game uses while running. So I set up to only clear RAM if the memory usage reaches 80%. I am restarting the laptop before every time I launch the game, I'm not pressing ctrl+alt+tab at all and I am avoiding playing in high speed as much as I can without growing grey hair before my Sims achieve anything. I am also closing literally everything while playing, including my antivirus, Google Chrome, Dropbox and that kind of stuff. And I'm saving and exiting  the game much more often so that the laptop can take a break every now and then. Oh, and I installed Riverview and switched to playing there.

I have absolutely no idea what exactly is helping, but I've been playing for like 1.5 hours today (stopping once to close the game) and my game hasn't crashed. I haven't tried the graphics card driver thing yet because I'm afraid I will mess up things again now it's not crashing. I'll do it if it gets messed up again.

So... fingers closed! I'm still going to get more RAM and consider buying a new graphics card though, since it's clear that my computer won't be able to handle any more EP's before that happens.