Author Topic: How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 3 From Origin  (Read 31255 times)

Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 3 From Origin
« on: August 26, 2012, 10:31:41 PM »
Updated December 21, 2015: This article is now out of date as the backup and restore process is the same as outlined in my article How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 4 From Origin. I have left this article here for historical purposes. Feel free to ask if you have any questions on backing up or restoring your games. Thanks. :)

Flynn

This how-to is designed to help you backup your Origin downloads of The Sims 3 and all of it's expansions and stuff packs. I was inspired to write this after judewright asked about how to Install Sims 3 from Program Files in the Technical Help forum. It took some time and research, but in the end, I really hope this will help people re-install The Sims 3 without having to wait a long time for the files to re-download.

The process is involved, but overall is not too difficult. These instructions were tested with several of the stuff and expansion packs using a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit system. The instructions are very similar for people using 32-bit Windows, such as Windows XP - I'll note differences as they come up in the instructions.

This post will cover backing up the files. There are more steps involved here than in any other part of the process. The second post in this thread will cover restoring your games. The third post will cover miscellaneous notes and issues I came across while testing the process. I don't know if they will show up for everyone, but better safe than sorry.

The instructions mention compressing the files for your games during the backup process. While Windows XP and above includes built-in support for .zip files, I find that 7zip - a free, open source compression utility - does a better job at compressing the files than the Windows Compressed folder utility. I use it in the course of the instructions, but it is not a requirement.

Make sure you backup everything you want to keep before following these instructions. Let me know if anything is unclear or confusing, and I will do my best to help you out. :)

Part One: Backing up your Sims 3 games and expansions
The first thing we need to do is open Origin and change some default settings. In Origin 9 (the current version as of writing this), open the Origin menu in the upper left corner of the window and select Application Settings. The screen below will pop up.


Origin Default Settings

There are two settings we want to change here. The first setting is immediately below the Downloaded Games heading, entitled "Your games will be installed to the following location:" Click the Change button (see below) and use the following location, depending on whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows:

32-bit -- C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\
64-bit -- C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\


Click to change the install location

Note: when you change the installation location, Origin will prompt you than any games already installed will not be moved. This is fine, since the game locations are already stored in the registry and are still playable. New games will be installed in the Electronic Arts folder and will still be able to locate previous games.

The Sims 3 uses an install process called Download in Place (DiP). This means the game is downloaded into it's folder directly and does not need a separate installation program. However, a number of Origin games have a separate installer. So the next setting we'll change is one that will enable those installers to be retained for backup as well. Click the checkbox next to "Keep game installers after games have been installed."


Keeping other Origin game installers.

Once both changes are made, click the Done button to close the Application Settings window.

If you haven't already downloaded your The Sims 3 game, expansions, etc., go ahead and do that now. They will now be downloaded into the new location and installed. Remember you must patch your base game to the current version (currently 1.36) before installing any expansion/stuff packs. Unlike the disc installers, the downloaded expansions and stuff packs do not include any patches.

Once everything is downloaded (or, if you're backing up from your previous download location - such as C:\Program Files (x86)\OriginGames\ or C:\Program Files\OriginGames\) go to your folder in Windows Explorer. It should look something like my folder below.


After the massive download.

Now, you'll want to highlight each folder you want to backup. In my case, The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 World Adventures were installed from disc, so I'm backing up everything else. Copy and paste these folders into a temporary location (I used D:\Temp\Sims 3\ for example). Once copied into a temporary folder, it should look something like the next screenshot.


Backup location.

I've highlighted two folders in the above screenshot. This is because Origin doesn't install Late Night or High-End Loft Stuff into their default folders. To avoid folder duplication during restore, we're going to rename these folders to match what the installer is expecting for the default. Right-click on each folder and replace the folder name with the names below:

The Sims 3 High-End Loft Stuff

The Sims 3 Late Night


Folders have the correct names now.

Once these are renamed, right-click on each folder and compress them with the utility of your choice. This will save space on your backup drive or DVD(s). Once these folders are compressed, copy the compressed files to your backup storage. Congratulations, you're done backing up your Sims 3 game and expansions. :)

Part Two is next. :)

Flynn
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Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 3 From Origin
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 10:58:52 PM »
Updated December 12, 2015: This article is now out of date as the backup and restore process is the same as outlined in my article How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 4 From Origin. I have left this article here for historical purposes. Feel free to ask if you have any questions on backing up or restoring your games. Thanks. :)

Flynn

Part Two: Restoring your games.

When restoring your Origin downloads, you will want to go into Origins and make sure your settings are the same as before. I've posted a quick recap of the setting in the screenshot below. These instruction assume you are installing the game after either uninstalling your current games, or are installing the games onto a new computer.


Settings recap.

Remember the install location will be C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\ for 64-bit Windows, and C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\ for 32-bit Windows.

Once you've verified the settings, exit Origin completely. To do that, right-click on the Origin icon near the clock in the lower right corner (you may need to expand the list of icons before it shows up) and select Exit from the menu.

Copy the compressed files from your backup location to a temporary folder. Again, I'm using D:\Temp\Sims 3\ for this example. Right-click on each file and uncompress the files into the temp folder. This will create a folder structure similar to the one we had before.


After uncompressing and removing compressed files.

Now, copy each of these folders into your Origin game install folder:

32-bit -- C:\Program Files\Electronic Arts\
64-bit -- C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\

Note you will get a warning from Windows that you need Administrator privileges in order to copy files into your Electronic Arts folder. Click Continue to allow the changes. If you are not using an Administrator account, you will be prompted to enter the username and password for an Administrator account.



For each expansion/stuff pack, you'll want to go into the game's folder and run the setup program. I'd like to say the setup files are in the same location for each program, but that's not the case. There are two locations the file can be in. I'll show two examples below.


Diesel Stuff installer is located in the The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff\__Installer folder.


Generations installer is located in the The Sim 3 Generations\ root folder.

Run the setup program and accept the defaults and wait for the installer to finish.

Once all of the packs are installed, launch Origin and verify each game has been installed.


Ready to play Diesel!

Launch the game and enjoy! :)

Part Three is next.

Flynn
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Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

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How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 3 From Origin Downloader
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 11:14:56 PM »
Updated December 12, 2015: This article is now out of date as the backup and restore process is the same as outlined in my article How-To: Backup and Restore The Sims 4 From Origin. I have left this article here for historical purposes. Feel free to ask if you have any questions on backing up or restoring your games. Thanks. :)

Flynn

Part Three: Notes and wrap-up.

Update Feb. 8, 2013: The current version of Origin requires he product key when installing games from backups. Follow the steps below to find your product key. You can also highlight and copy/paste the key into the installer instead of typing them in by hand.

Aside from renaming a couple of folders, I did run into an issue with the Katy Perry edition of Showtime. It was the only game that required me to enter the product key manually when I installed it. So, to find your product key in Origin, launch Origin and go to My Games. Hover the mouse over the game and click on the i icon.


Getting more information on the game.

The product key is on the right side of the screen for the game.


Product key is located here.

Edit: Supernatural also requires you to enter the product key when installing from backup.

Also, for some reason, Pets didn't install after the download and I had to install it manually, using the installer in the The Sims 3 Pets folder.

That aside, the process went pretty smooth. Until Electronic Arts builds a backup program into the Origin client, this method will have to do for backing up the game installations.

I'd like to thank judewright for the inspiration for this how-to. I'd also like to thank Trouble Girl for her blog post How to backup Origin games that got me pointed in the right direction. And thanks to MrsFlynn for helping me keep notes and giving me ideas to try out, and just for overall encouragement.

I hope this helps out anyone who wants to back up their games to re-install without having to re-download everything. Let me know if anything is unclear or confusing and I will do what I can to help you out.

Happy Simming!

Flynn
Check out Flynn's Fineries for houses, Sims and helpful articles.

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