Author Topic: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games  (Read 154294 times)

Offline PJSim

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How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« on: February 25, 2010, 12:22:02 PM »
What I'm talking about is that string of 20 letters and numbers you need to enter when you install Sims 3 and every EP and SP; also called a license code, product key... several other names.
It should be printed on the manual for each game. Well, that can get lost. :(

As long as the game is still installed, the product key is saved in the Windows Registry and it's relatively simple to get it out.

1. You can look it up in the registry directly as mtglady describes here:

These instructions are for a PC.

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:

1.   Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.
2.   Expand the SOFTWARE folder
     •   For 64-bit systems, expand Wow6432Node
1.   Expand the Electronic Arts folder.
2.   Expand the Sims folder
3.   Expand the EP or SP you need the code for
4.   Click on ergc and in the box to the right under 'Data' you will see the code
5.   You will have to manually write the code down somewhere as you can't copy and paste. 
6.   You will need to expand each individual EP/SP and click on the corresponding ergc line for each serial code needed.
 
Once you have the serial codes written down just close the file.  If it asks you to save any changes, answer no.   If it did ask for changes then you didn't follow these steps.  I usually close the file by clicking on the red 'X' at the top right corner.
Please note:  NO CHANGES are made to the Registry if you follow these instructions so you have nothing to fear ;).

2. If you're not comfortable with checking the registry yourself, there are several little programs that will find your product keys for you, here are some I've tried. You need to download either one of these from the links and run it:

  • Belarc Advisor:
    This will tell you more about your PC than you'll ever want to know, displayed in your browser. What you want is about halfway down the page under "Software Licenses". You'll also get the product keys for everything else installed on your computer.

    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html




* Note: The above only applies to Windows PC's, if you have a Mac the codes should be here:
Users > Username > Library > Preferences > The Sims Preferences

You can only find the serial numbers on your computer while the game is installed. When you uninstall the game the product key is usually deleted and it's gone. So...

Always make sure that you still have your serial number before uninstalling!


If you have already uninstalled and can't find the serial, you could try contacting EA. If you have registered your game at the official Sims 3 website you had to use the serial number to do so, so it must be saved somewhere. Maybe you can get EA support to send it to you.

http://support.ea.com/

Offline Pam

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 02:06:19 PM »
Great information, PJ!

EA has been known to be helpful in retrieving and replacing serial numbers.  Mine got botched on their end at the very beginning and they sent me a replacement and it was all good.
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Offline PJSim

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2010, 02:22:38 PM »
Ah, good to know. I wasn't sure how helpful they would be.

Still, it's probably a good idea to write the numbers down somewhere safe before they get lost. ;D

TylerDurden

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 08:57:24 PM »
Great information, PJ!

EA has been known to be helpful in retrieving and replacing serial numbers.  Mine got botched on their end at the very beginning and they sent me a replacement and it was all good.
This problem is one reason I have begun buying my SIMS games off of Steam.  No CD is ever necessary as the game is downloaded, and you always have the CD key available although it isn't needed once you register the game you can download it anytime using the EA Downloader.

eachna

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 10:16:05 PM »
EA Downloader tip (re: CD keys)

BEFORE installing on CD, type your CD key into the EA downloader. You can then download the software and run it via the Downloader. This is instead of running it by CD.

Bonus: This is kind of like a legal no-cd crack. If you run the game via the downloader, you don't 'need' the CD. But, you still have the CD and key if something happens to the downloader system in the future. Win-win all around!

I've found this only works if you type the CD key into the downloader software and get it set up in the Downloader software instead of installing from CD. Once you run the CD once and it phones home to register, it doesn't work for me in the Downloader. It does work from CD *after* setting it up in the Downloader.

Gwen


Offline folcon

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 01:58:36 PM »
I need some advice to give a friend of mine.  She lost her manual before she could install her Late Night expansion.  Is there a way she can get a new product code so she can install it?
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I'll add links to threads with pics as I get started.

Offline gerrr00

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2011, 02:51:27 PM »
I need some advice to give a friend of mine.  She lost her manual before she could install her Late Night expansion.  Is there a way she can get a new product code so she can install it?

The only way I can think of is if she registered her game before she lost her manual.  Contacting EA would be the way to go if her game was registered.  If it wasn't registered then I am sorry, I know no other way.
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Offline Pam

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2011, 08:28:25 PM »
I need some advice to give a friend of mine.  She lost her manual before she could install her Late Night expansion.  Is there a way she can get a new product code so she can install it?

That sounds a little suspicious.  The manual and the disk are in the same box.  Are you sure it's not a pirated copy?
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Offline folcon

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2011, 09:16:30 PM »
I've known this person for a couple years, I"m pretty sure.  All I know for sure, is that she opened it, and at somepoint lost the manuel.  Though she was going through her room she told me looking for it.
My current list of planned build projects:

A temple complex
A mine or two
A Love Day themed hotel/venu

I'll add links to threads with pics as I get started.

Offline mtglady

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2011, 01:00:04 AM »
The easiest way to recover your lost serial codes is right in your computer.  These instructions are for a PC.

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:

1.   Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.
2.   Expand the SOFTWARE folder
     •   For 64-bit systems, expand Wow6432Node
1.   Expand the Electronic Arts folder.
2.   Expand the Sims folder
3.   Expand the EP or SP you need the code for
4.   Click on ergc and in the box to the right under 'Data' you will see the code
5.   You will have to manually write the code down somewhere as you can't copy and paste. 
6.   You will need to expand each individual EP/SP and click on the corresponding ergc line for each serial code needed.
 
Once you have the serial codes written down just close the file.  If it asks you to save any changes, answer no.   If it did ask for changes then you didn't follow these steps.  I usually close the file by clicking on the red 'X' at the top right corner.
Please note:  NO CHANGES are made to the Registry if you follow these instructions so you have nothing to fear ;).
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CandyHeartedSim

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 06:10:10 AM »
Do any of you guys Know the E-mail address for EA? I brought a second hand copy of both my games, and there's no way to register them  >:(

Offline Pam

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 06:32:41 AM »
Do any of you guys Know the E-mail address for EA? I brought a second hand copy of both my games, and there's no way to register them  >:(

Here's the web address of the EA support page:  http://support.ea.com/
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Offline mtglady

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 01:57:06 PM »
Do any of you guys Know the E-mail address for EA? I brought a second hand copy of both my games, and there's no way to register them  >:(

Please be aware that games can only be registered once.  So if the original owners registered the game, you would not be able to. 
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Offline kindofagirl

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2011, 03:59:11 AM »
Please be aware that games can only be registered once.  So if the original owners registered the game, you would not be able to. 

Really? I wish I had realized that before I bought my base game pre-owned, luckily for me they must not have registered it as it let me register it.
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Offline Execution

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2011, 05:58:32 AM »
Please be aware that games can only be registered once.  So if the original owners registered the game, you would not be able to.  
I've confirmed that to be incorrect.

I got extremely bored and tried installing World Adventures without my own serial number. I googled "World Adventures Serial Code" and clicked a Yahoo! Answers link. I got serial code "****-****-****-****" as the best result. This worked. My disk was scratched so I didn't get to finish the install, but if you have an incorrect code, it won't let you move on.

Note to all of you:

Don't use the serial code. I don't know what it does to your game. Better safe than sorry, go to EA.

Offline Pam

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2011, 06:25:37 AM »
I've confirmed that to be incorrect.

I got extremely bored and tried installing World Adventures without my own serial number. I googled "World Adventures Serial Code" and clicked a Yahoo! Answers link. I got serial code "****-****-****-****" as the best result. This worked. My disk was scratched so I didn't get to finish the install, but if you have an incorrect code, it won't let you move on.

Note to all of you:

Don't use the serial code. I don't know what it does to your game. Better safe than sorry, go to EA.

Ok, but it's possible that the serial code you got from Yahoo! Answers had not been used by the original owner.  Then you'd be able to use it, no problem.  Also, I'm editing out the actual digits of the number.  We don't want that on here.
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Offline gmyers2486

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2011, 01:13:25 PM »
I always write the serial number on the disk with a sharpie.  Never have to look for it if you have the disk.  Also, if you register the games on EADM, now Origin, it will usually save the serial number for you.  But watch out because I've had problems with them saving it wrong.

Offline Seabody

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2011, 05:03:48 AM »
I assume that the Registry check works for other games too, right? *Nervous due to loss of previous game manuals and discs!*
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Offline PJSim

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2011, 05:21:18 AM »
Yes, as long as the game is still installed on your computer the code you put in will be somewhere in the registry. If you uninstalled it, the code is most likely wiped.

The easiest way to search for various codes if you don't know where they are is to use Belarc Advisor (see link in top post), it finds everything in one go and is very easy to use. If you have a PC, that is.

Offline PJSim

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2011, 06:11:56 AM »
Edited top post: added mtglady's directions for Registry snooping, replaced dead link, added EA support link.

Offline Vegangeekgirl

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2011, 01:35:06 PM »
Thanks, thanks and thanks again for posting this! You have no idea how happy you just made me. I managed to misplace most of my codes before registrering my games at thesims.com!
I'm really good at misplacing stuff and horrible at finding them again. Now I have registrered my Late Night and realized that I somehow failed to install Outdoor Living Stuff so I will still have to find that one so I can install it!
I didn't want to write them down, to easy to make a mistake when writing down such long codes with no spaces. So I just used my mobile phone to take a photo of them on the screen. Which went brilliant as soon I remembered to turn off the flash  ;D

Offline Pam

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2011, 06:41:14 PM »
Thanks, thanks and thanks again for posting this! You have no idea how happy you just made me. I managed to misplace most of my codes before registrering my games at thesims.com!
I'm really good at misplacing stuff and horrible at finding them again. Now I have registrered my Late Night and realized that I somehow failed to install Outdoor Living Stuff so I will still have to find that one so I can install it!
I didn't want to write them down, to easy to make a mistake when writing down such long codes with no spaces. So I just used my mobile phone to take a photo of them on the screen. Which went brilliant as soon I remembered to turn off the flash  ;D

Be sure to keep those codes in a safe place.  You'll need them every time you reinstall your game.  I keep mine in the original cases with the disks and all of them are stacked together in one spot in my office.
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Offline Vegangeekgirl

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2011, 07:15:15 PM »
Be sure to keep those codes in a safe place.  You'll need them every time you reinstall your game.  I keep mine in the original cases with the disks and all of them are stacked together in one spot in my office.
I have my cases neatly put away in my bookshelf now with some books as support as they are to light to be that stable on their own.
I have  misplaced the booklets with the codes somewhere in this room.
I had them out when I installed the games, then I don't know what I did.
I try hard to keep track of my things it's just not working that well.
I struggled with it all my life and well sometimes I lose. *looks gloomily at the messy room and goes off to search some more*

Offline Pam

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2011, 09:56:41 PM »
I have my cases neatly put away in my bookshelf now with some books as support as they are to light to be that stable on their own.
I have  misplaced the booklets with the codes somewhere in this room.
I had them out when I installed the games, then I don't know what I did.
I try hard to keep track of my things it's just not working that well.
I struggled with it all my life and well sometimes I lose. *looks gloomily at the messy room and goes off to search some more*

Well, when you find them, put them in the appropriate box in the bookshelf.  And when you install a new Expansion or Stuff Pack, be sure to keep the booklet with the codes in the case.
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Offline PJSim

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Re: How to recover a lost serial number for Sims 3 games
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2011, 02:43:24 PM »
Here's a tip for storing your serial numbers in a safe place before you lose them: Register your games in Origin.
Then you can see your game codes on any computer with Origin installed, just by logging in. Just check that the numbers are actually correct; I had a weird mix-up where the WA code was logged as the code for the base game and EA had to fix it.

Another nice side effect: Whenever you need to re-install your games from disk, you don't have to type in those 20 digit codes for every game; Origin will enter them automatically.