Author Topic: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted  (Read 131801 times)

Offline Carl

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Recently a problem presented itself, and a friend lost an entire legacy to a corrupted save file. This can present itself in multiple ways. In her case, the save file was not even present in the game launcher. We tracked down the problem as the save file being corrupted. After a little walkthrough, I'd like to share with you the steps we took to recover her legacy.

The folder where the Sims 3 saved games are stored can be accessed by either going to My Documents in XP or simply Documents in Vista, then going into the Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves Directory.

If you need the absolute paths to the saved game files they're here:
In Vista, head to your Documents folder (C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves
In Windows XP, the folder is found at C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves

Inside that folder, you'll find all your save game data folders. The folder name is the name of the saved game that you see in the launcher. Each folder is duplicated. The most recent save is saved as X.sims3 (the .sims3 file extension is what the launcher detects, unless the file is corrupt, the X is the name of the saved game).

There will also be X.sims3.backup folders, which are the previous save you made in the game for that particular family. I recommend you drag a box and select both the normal .sims3 folder and the .sims3.backup folder and move them to another folder by right clicking the folders once highlighted and selecting copy. Put them in a folder (right click white space and choose paste) where you know you can find them. Something off of Documents or My Documents could be a good idea.

Once you have safely copied the folders, delete the main .sims3 folder and leave the backup. Once the .sims3 folder is gone, right click and rename the backup folder to WHATEVERITWAS.sims3 (removing the extra .backup extension).

Now, when you enter the game menu, you should be able to load your backed up save game. Due to the fact that you have to load a backup if your saved game gets corrupted, we can only recommend that you save the game as frequently as you can tolerate. Rolling back to a backup save will inevitably lose you some progress. Some of us are setting ourselves up for disaster by playing for hours and only saving when we exit. Crashes happen, and so does file corruption.

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Ndine

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Hi Carl

I firstly want to say thank you for creating a site for peeps not so good with computers like me.  All of you here have been a great help.

My problem is the crash dump and I lost my game.

I have copied my saved file to a new folder but don't know how to load it from the main menu.  Please could you explain this to me step by step.

Thanks

Offline Pam

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Welcome to our forum, Ndine!

Unless I'm misunderstanding your problem, the step-by-step instructions at the top of this thread should lead you through restoring your game.  If it doesn't, let us know in greater detail what the problem is.


Ndine

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Thank you Pam

I don't know how to load the file through the sims menu :-\

Offline Pam

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Check this post by PJSim and see if it helps you:  http://www.carls-sims-3-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=412.0

Offline PJSim

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I have copied my saved file to a new folder but don't know how to load it from the main menu.  Please could you explain this to me step by step.

I may not understand your problem right but I will try to make it a little clearer what you need to do.

When Carl recommends that you copy the files, this is so you'll have a backup in case you make a mistake. Once you've made a copy of the files you should just leave the copies as they are and go back to the Saves folder where you found them; here:

Quote
In Vista, head to your Documents folder (C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves
In Windows XP, the folder is found at C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves

It's in that Saves folder you need to delete the .sims3 file and rename the backup, like it's described here:

Once you have safely copied the files, delete the main .sims3 file and leave the backup. Once the .sims3 file is gone, right click and rename the backup file to WHATEVERITWAS.sims3 (removing the extra .backup extension).

What you should end up with is a file called WHATEVERITWAS.sims3 in the Saves folder. It needs to be in that folder for the game to be able to find it.

Now when start up Sims 3 again the saved game should be where it usually is.

Ndine

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Thank you for your help

Offline Swede1992

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Just for the record: A common trouble that can result in a savefile corruption is a problem with the world cache (stylishly named "save error 12"). I myself have been troubled by this before. That is caused by that the game can just hold that much RAM (I think 2 gigabytes) no matter how strong computer you have. So unless you extend that somehow, instability may occur after a long play session (the game becomes too flooded with information) and result in a very common save error.

Luckily, the game resets its world cache in the load screen when you start the game, so if you don't mind restart the game once in a while, that could increase stablility. However, another way of fixing it is by setting your "High Detailed Lots" to as low as possible (I get by with 4 nowadays). This is just how many houses are run with full graphics at a given time and the other houses will get better resolution just as you go by them with the camera in just a second. A small price to pay (you'll barely notice it) for a more stabile game, saved myself from all these corrupted game files and everything a while ago, and could work for others so that they don't even need to tamper any more with these files (if you have save error 12 showing up).
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Offline Saltypaws

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Well, error code 12 strikes again!  I lost my girl I have been working on for months that has everything imaginable, I know others have lost also, but it is so frustrating.  I have tried to recover it from the instructions, which, by the way I did recover another family thanks to those instructions, anyway, I cannot get her back.  I copied the file, renamed it and everything, first the blank spot was on the menu after I did that and then I tried it again and nothing.  Is there something else I can try.  At this point, I love the Sims, but I think I will take a breather for a while and play something else, I know it is just a game, but these games have been my life for years and this girl was my favorite that I made, she was maxed out in all skills, three vacation homes, owned all the companies in town and I had even taken Pams advice and finally gotten a spire cut soulpiece for a ton of money, anyway, if anyone has any other suggestions that I have missed, would appreciate. ??? >:(
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Offline Pam

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Have you completely lost the entire game file? Or did you just lose the most recent gameplay after your last save?  Error 12 doesn't allow you to save, but you should still have the game available from the previous save spot.

Offline Saltypaws

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 06:52:21 AM »
The file is still in the folder, one was the corrupt one, but I remember you or Carl saying that there is an X before the most recent save, I didn't see one in there but the game is still there, like I said I tried everything to get it back, so I am assuming it is just pointless right now.  I love all of the info this site gives and appreciate all of the support, right now I am so bummed about this whole thing and I do save frequently, I learned the hard way on that one.
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Offline Saltypaws

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 09:38:41 PM »
I did get my game back, thanks to the advice in the forum, but, I do however have another question........the formula for getting your game back worked, ie....WHATEVERITWAS.sims3, but, if you happen to lose another game, you cannot name it the same, nor can you add anything to that extension........so then what do you do?  Hopefully will not lose anymore, will take the advice and tone down some graphics and limit my gameplay to a couple of hours at a time, I am guilty of playing for hours, leaving it on pause or whatever, so will try and do things different, do not want to lose another game.  By the way, that also worked for my sister, bshag, which lost a game a few months ago, so she was happy to get it back.  Thanks guys for posting such wonderful information and hopefully we can keep playing his game for a long time.
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Offline Pam

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 10:35:28 PM »
Saltypaws -

I'm not sure if I understand your question correctly.  But, something I do sometimes is I do a "Save As" of my game and just add the number 2 to the name of the game file.  Like, I'll have "Argos Family" and "Argos Family 2" as two separate game files.  You could alternate between saving your game under each name and then you'll always have two of that game available to recover, if needed.  It wouldn't necessarily be completely up to date, but it would be considerably better than losing the entire game.

Offline Saltypaws

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2010, 06:11:48 AM »
Duh, thanks, I should have known that one, I think I had a senior moment there.....I know so many have lost games on here, it makes one wonder what the future expansions are going to have in them and what impact it will have on our games already on there, hopefully they will not cause any problems.  It is great to be able to come here and get answers and if someone doesn't know something, they will find out for you.  Again, thanks.
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bshag

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2010, 12:07:50 PM »
Hi all...just wanted to chime in here and say a big thanks.  I have not been able to play Bella since the end of September and when the game came back, all was intact.  After Salty interpreted instructions, as in "see that box there?  click it!" :D  I am a real noob when it comes to following computer instructions. 

I wil try to save each game with a "save as" cause I just don't want to lose any more games. :)  Good advice, thanks Pam. :)

certain

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2010, 06:05:38 PM »
In my Saves folder I have three objects: two folders, one named xxx.sims3 and the other xxx.sims3.backup...the other file is called xxx.sims3.legacy...So that's obviously not normal for those two to be folders and not regular files. 

In those two folders are five files:

1a5tf1l3.dat
Sunset Valley_0x0859dp3c.nhd
TravelDB.package
Meta.data
Sunset Valley_0x0859db3cExportDB.package

So what do I do?  I desperately need to recover my neighborhood for I have readers who depend on updated chapters.

There's also a folder in the Sims3 folder called CurrentGame.sims3.  Do I need to copy and paste something in there because it's absolutely empty?

I appreciate any replies.

Offline Pam

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2010, 06:29:20 PM »
Hi Certain and welcome to our Forum.

I don't know why you would have a file named .legacy, but to recover your corrupted game with the previous save, you just need to follow the instructions in the first post on this thread.  What you are calling a "folder" is actually the file you need to back up and change the name.

Offline PJSim

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2010, 06:50:11 PM »
What you are calling a "folder" is actually the file you need to back up and change the name.

No, it is actually a folder now. The game saves things differently than when Carl wrote this, it changed with WA I think. It saves folders instead of single files.


So what do I do?

Rename the folder xxx.sims3.backup to xxx.sims3 the way Carl describes and it should work. The instructions are still good, just replace the word "file" with "folder" basically.

I have no idea how there could be a folder called .legacy. Are you sure you didn't name it that yourself?


There's also a folder in the Sims3 folder called CurrentGame.sims3.  Do I need to copy and paste something in there because it's absolutely empty?

No, I think you should just ignore that one. I think the game just uses that for temporary storage while you're playing.

Offline Pam

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2010, 06:53:13 PM »
Thanks for the info, PJ.  I'll update Carl's post.

Offline Swede1992

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2010, 06:59:17 PM »
It changed from one file to a folder with WA since it needed one save file for each destination linked to your game and it stored it conveniently in a folder afterwards. Effectively, the folder functions just as the former file did, just ignore the stuff in the folder; if you tamper with those, you can break your game.
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Offline Saltypaws

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Re: Fixing/Recovering Saved Game - Saved Game Not in Game Launcher or Corrupted
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2010, 09:36:56 PM »
In mine when I went to recover my games, I do not have anything with x's in front of it and I also have legacy files that I didn't name, but I do know this, I am not messing with any files or folders, the only thing I will do is try to recover and so far so good.  I do appreciate the info on how to recover and did turn down my graphics, that seemed to help so far and I really cannot tell the difference, as long as it keeps it from crashing.
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Offline HelenP

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I *think* that the '.legacy' folder may be made the first time you open a vanilla game after installing WA.

For example you have a game called Jones 1 that you started with vanilla Sims3, so in the saves folder you have a file called Jones 1.sims3 and a file called Jones 1.sims3.backup.  Now you install WA and re-open Jones 1. As far as I know the game saves your original Jones 1.sims3 as a folder called Jones 1.sims3.legacy and as soon as you save your game makes a new folder called Jones 1.sims3.  Your second save will generate the backup folder to go with the others.

zamxus

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I'm going to use as much detail as I can. And try to help you isolate the problem so you can help me.

I recently started playing the Sims 3 after a long time of having it on my shelf completely uninstalled. I missed the feeling of power that came with controlling their lives. After installing the most recent updates, I began playing and toying with new features and even some .package files from modthesims. Occasionally, an unimportant save would disappear. Giving me the outline of an uncreated family and my town name. The town would load instantly before saying that the game was unable to load the files. Recently, I made a game of myself and my friends and allowed things to take their course. (I won't give you the extreme details here). They began as teens (using the testingcheats, I deleted the adult they were with after they moved into a good house). And I made their needs static as I found micromanaging their bladder and hunger and the like was too much of an annoyance. I used the cheats to make the Sim me die of starvation. My "best friend" received the Oh My Ghost! opportunity and revived my sim. I then moved them out and deleted the human left to watch the Ghost me. Soon my sim-ghost started a relationship, moved in with his Romantic Interest, had her break up with her boyfriend. And Married her. They had a Ghost-Baby and I closed the game when they were all home. I saved the game approximately 7 or 8 times in total. Now, when I attempt to load it; I get the outline of the uncreated family, and when I hover over the file it reads "*town name* This file could not be read. It may have expansion pack data which is not available anymore". I have not installed any expansions, nor do I own any. All the tips say to delete the folder and rename the backup. I've done this many times and IT DOES NOT WORK. Now, I come to you. And seeing your capability I hope you can help me. This is by far my favorite save file and I do not want to risk changing a single thing in the story progression. Please help me.

Offline Metropolis Man

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zamxus, welcome to the forums. Just a quick heads up — please read the forum rules in my sig, especially the one concerning mods. Do not discuss mods. Do not mention specific mods. Now that that's all out on the table given the fact that you did mess with some internal files, that could very well be the source of your problem. I'm not a techie, so hopefully someone else can assist you.

Offline Pam

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Welcome to our Forum, zamxus.

I agree with Metro that the cause of your problem could very well be the mods you have installed.  They can cause wicked damage to your game.   I suggest that you create a new topic for your problem rather than putting it here in this instruction thread.  You can get some specific help that way.  When you do, please do not mention the name of the site where you got the mods.  I'll remove your post from this thread once you've got a new thread started.  Thanks!