Author Topic: Dynamic Challenge files in Installed Content tab Causing Launcher to Crash- Mac  (Read 873 times)

Offline ZacSz

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So I definitely have looked this up and seen some discussion on this issue, but nothing that really yielded much of a satisfactory answer as of yet. I thought I'd post a new thread and see if anyone knows what to do.

I've obviously been playing TS3 for a while and I can't particularly remember having this problem before, but it seems relatively common among Mac users. The "dynamic_challenge" files that (sometimes? usually?) show up in the "installed content" tab of my launcher continuously cause an Exception Raised crash. I can go into my Installed Content tab and I can scroll until I hit the first dynamic challenge file and then it immediately crashes. As of now, I can go into the other sub-tabs and view everything. The "Downloads" tab is not affected.

This happened right after I installed a few worlds from the exchange but I'm not 100% positive that has anything to do with it, as I also downloaded a bunch of official store content in the last few days and don't think I actually viewed my upload tab since then.

I deleted the dynamic challenge files manually through my Finder but that didn't take them off the launcher, and I can't uninstall them from there because of the crash. Any ideas that doesn't involve having to uninstall and reinstall all of my store content or games? I don't use mods or non-store CC* but I have literally about 75% of the store content and in the past I've had trouble getting it all back, just things not all showing in my history. Honestly this issue doesn't seem to be affecting anything but my viewing of the Installed Content tab and I can still view most (or all) other content there in the category tabs.

*A separate, but related issue I'd love some advice or reassurance on: I don't purposely use CC in my game but at least one of the worlds I downloaded came with a bit, and that was my fault. Nothing seems to be giving the game problems but one strange thing popped up and it's the kind of thing that will drive me crazy not knowing. At the moment, for example, if I go to give a male sim body hair, the option to remove all body hair (the X) has the custom color save icon on it. Does anyone know why this could be? Could it be a skin mod from one of the worlds or something? How could I possibly remove it, if I wanted to?

Very last thing: any advice on finding store content that appears to be installed but isn't showing up anywhere in the game? It's the "Beachy Board Shorts" from Life's a Beach-- can't find them anywhere!

So sorry for the lengthy post. I've just been playing TS3 TONS again after a few month break-- busy building building building-- and there's always bound to be some little issues when that's the case.

Please let me know if there is any more info or any photos/screenshots I can include.

Thanks in advance!

TLDR: "Dynamic challenge"/badge achievements in "installed content" tab of launcher is causing an immediate exception raised error/crash but doesn't seem to be affecting my game in any other way.

Offline Candyd

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"Exception raised" bugs mean that your game is running out of memory, as the game will inevitably crash once it reaches 2 GB of RAM. It's specific to Mac, it's unavoidable especially if you have a lot of store content or CC, and there's nothing you can do against it except using Bootcamp to install the Sims 3 on a Windows partition. Only then the Sims 3 will run fine, if your Mac is powerful enough. I had the same issue in the past, I tried everything including the more experimental solutions like Wine, but there's nothing stable enough other than Bootcamp on Mac. If you're interested in this solution, ask me, I can help you.
You can delete dynamicchallenge files as you wish, they're useless.
There isn't any issue with the "custom color" content you've noticed, but I strongly recommend to delete any content that you download that may have bad CC. In particular, don't download anything from the exchange unless if it's CC-free or play tested with checked CC. The exchange is by far the place where you'll find the largest quantity of bad CC.



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Offline ZacSz

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I actually have Bootcamp/Windows up and running already for another game, but I'm out of space on the partition. Theoretically it's an option if I can pare it down, but it's pretty bad. I only ever intended to use the partition for the one game.

To be clear, I'm not getting the exception raised in-game very often at all. Every once in a blue moon, no more often than usual. JUST in the Installed Content tab of the launcher, and JUST when I hit dynamic_challenge etc. I mean if it stays relegated to there it's NBD, but I'm not certain it will.

I try not to download ANYTHING with CC from the exchange but honestly the worlds caught me. I just wasn't even thinking; historically I only ever downloaded houses from the exchange and those are much better about specificying when No CC is used. There's also a Sim I downloaded from the exchange that may have had some of the CC tied to him. will removing the sim remove the CC, or will the CC stay?

So again right now it's more of an issue with viewing Installed content, and again if the issue stays there it's not really a huge deal but I have no idea if it will ultimately start to affect my game/prevent me from adding any other store content? I added a few more items recently without issue but can't recall if it was before or after this started happening.

Any tips on finding bad CC, or just CC in general on the mac? I still don't see a Mods folder in Ts3 so I've no idea where it is. Is there any way to prevent something from showing up in the launcher without having to use the launcher? I.e. will deleting files from anywhere on the Mac actually prevent them from appearing in the launcher or will they still have to be manually removed? It does seem to be just the dynamic_challenge files causing the launcher to crash and I already deleted the files themselves but they still show up in the launcher so... :/

Thanks, very helpful!

Offline Candyd

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I see what you mean about small partitions, I did the same before, once you add a game it's so tempting to add a whole collection LOL !
Anyway, if you experience occasional exception raised bugs, know that if you install any more CC whatever it is, your game will crash more and more often to the point where it becomes unplayable. dynamicchallenge files are only the tip of the iceberg, and if you experience exception raised errors from time to time, it means that your game has already reached the limit it can bear and isn't far from the stage where it won't be playable any longer. You can check its memory use with more details with Activity monitor. If your game crashes with specific files, even when they're removed, it will crash again, sooner or later, when you add new stuff. Especially new worlds. Worlds are the kind of CC that requires the most memory, and your Mac will struggle with that.
http://nraas.wikispaces.com/share/view/78782729
Igazor is very helpful, he plays the Sims 3 on a Bootcamp partition too. I'm glad that I eventually followed his advice, not only bugs have now become rare, but now I can play the Sims 3 with much better drivers which take care of graphical issues that Mac drivers have such as the "no fluff" bug on pets. The game runs smoothly, there's no more lag, and it looks totally gorgeous.
So if you want my personal opinion, I'd say backup your Bootcamp partition with Winclone, erase it so you can make a larger one.

Crinrict has a site where the most common bad CC is listed, but it's only a small part of it. There are also many tutorials that show how to get rid of bad CC.
http://sims3.crinrict.com/en/custom-content-cc/bad-cc
There are plenty of tools that manage and edit CC. Some of them work on Wine and / or Mono, I remember I manage to run S3PE with Wine for example. Some others require Windows but they're tiny applications so they won't take much space on your Bootcamp partition. Here are the most useful tools below.
- Custard
- S3PE
- S3OC

Offline ZacSz

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Thank you again. You pretty much confirmed my suspicions but it was still very helpful.

I actually have a bit more headroom in the game than I expected; it's using 1.72GB. Not great if it maxes out at 2GB, but not awful. I'm not adding anymore worlds or SC at all right now.

In all honesty, I probably just need to figure out how to get it to run as well as it will on the Mac for the time being. I don't have the terrible issues some Mac users have had; beyond this problem the game honestly runs pretty smoothly. I get an exception raised error maybe once a month or two when the game has been running for, you know, fifteen hours straight. :)

I don't want you to feel like your advice just went in one ear and out the other, though. I'm just due for a new computer probably by year's end and it's not going to be a Mac, so I just have to decide whether I want to go through the trouble yet, especially since I can't just install it in Windows without serious cleaning or redoing the partition entirely. I don't even have that much extra room on the Mac side at this point!

I would/will do it if and when the bugs become unbearable, but this post was more about trying to head that off for as long as possible, realizing it may not be that long. Sounds like the best way to head off the problem is to stop adding store content for now-- and I'm pretty well saturated-- and following the links to try to remove what CC I can remove. Thankfully there is really not much unofficial CC in my game.

On a related note, will it be easy enough to switch over my games (I.e. re-download/re-install) on a PC after them being on a Mac? I kept using discs for a REALLY long time and I still have all of them and the serial codes, but I did finally switch over to Origin/downloaded files about a year ago and certainly the easiest thing whenever I switch to PC will be to just re-download if I can...

So... yeah. This was extraordinarily helpful and illuminating and I guarantee none of the answers I found on this situation addressed it as thoroughly as you have, so I really appreciate it. I'm still going to do some thinking about the best plan of action. Right now it is totally relegated to the one tab of the launcher, and the times I get an exception raised *in game* are as infrequent as they've ever been. Obviously if it starts getting more frequent, I'll have to think a little harder about what to do. But I'm also going to stop getting store stuff until I DO get the game up on a PC, whenever that is.

Ironically, because my Mac is pretty powerful, I have WAAAAYYYYYY fewer problems with my game than my partner who runs it on a PC with fewer EPs/SPs and a lot less store content than I have. But I do realize that doesn't really mean much, and my computer has better specs. Just kind of funny because I know Mac-based TS3 players have had a real time of it, in general.

Offline Candyd

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If ever it can help, replacing your hard drive would be better value for money than any other solution, on short or long term. My local Apple reseller replaced it with a larger one and it was quite affordable, especially if you compare to buying a new computer. I remember the whole price was about 180 €. The full backup and transfer, the new hard drive and everything was included in the service. 3 days later, it was done.
As long as your games are registered on the Sims 3 website, you have them all available on Origin. Origin will download and install them for you on Windows. But they include the 1.69 patch which makes it almost impossible to play offline and it can be quite annoying at times. If you have all discs, don't install through Origin and keep the 1.67 patch, use the super patch instead of Origin for patching, and use NoCD on NRaas which will make you bypass the launcher ; extract your new downloaded Sims3packs with SPMI (works great with Wine) and put the extracted packages in your mods folder so you don't need the launcher to install anything, and your game will have a much lower chance to crash because of the launcher. Many people who went from 1.67 to 1.69 regretted it (me included), and if you can install the super patch with NoCD instead, go this way.
It's not just an illusion that the Sims 3 runs better on Apple hardware (but more smoothly on a Bootcamp partition than on OS X), with about the same specs as on another PC, it does run much better. I don't know why, but it does. At least as long as you have a NVIDIA GPU. But the exact same GPU will give you more on Apple hardware.

Offline ZacSz

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This is all so interesting but also confusing. I really thought I was all patched up but I'm on 1.67.2, so it sounds like there's at least one more patch I don't want.

Also, are you quite certain the 2GB max on Macs wasn't patched out or otherwise addressed? The only reason I ask is that I have been keeping an eye on my usage through Activity Monitor and at one point at the end of a long session, it spiked up to 2.3GB but I was still able to save and exit normally without an exception raised.

Unfortunately I have one of those macs wherein everything is soldered onto the body, so I can't replace the hard drive which I really shouldn't be taxing as much as I am anyway. Actually, I honestly believe about 30-40GB on the Mac side may be wayward EA/TS3 Document files that I saved to the Desktop during reinstalls and never got around to deleting, so I should have a look later today. I guess I'm also not positive if it's totally impossible to have the HD replaced but it sure wouldn't be inexpensive. I think in that case I almost would be better off with a new computer, apples to apples, especially if I wasn't going for another high end Mac (I don't love the direction the laptops have gone in but that's a totally different story.) Actually, my ultimate goal with the new computer is to see if I can have someone install MacOS on an extremely inexpensive PC and then get a better one for gaming. I'm totally aware that MacOS-on-PC isn't supported the way Windows-on-Mac is, but I'll do some research.

I don't know what will ultimately happen though so all that advice is really very helpful, especially with regards to the 1.69 patch and avoiding it. I need to be better about keeping my TS3 discs physically with me so if something like this comes up I don't panic. I know just where they are, but they're at my parents' place. I'll be there next week though so I'll nab them then, just to have.

The only thing I don't have from the store that I'm dying for still is Monte Vista, but I know that will add a bunch to the game. As a result I'm especially curious if you have any info on why my game was able to exceed 2GB used RAM and still save normally. I didn't want to take the risk of seeing how much it functioned beyond that.

Thanks again!



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Offline Candyd

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The 1.69 patch is for Windows only, and the Origin version. People who play on Mac or with the Steam version stay on 1.67.
The maximum memory use is approximative. It doesn't always cause problems saving but it will cause issues interacting with random objects or displaying sims or items in CAS, this is where it crashes most often in my experience. Opening CAS causes most exception raised errors especially if you have CC or store content. If you have MasterController, don't forget to purge your saves by resetting the town from time to time. Smaller saves = lower risk of crashing. And MasterController can also display items in CAS in compact view, which uses much less RAM, it can avoid disasters on Mac.
Anyway, don't count on a patch. The game will never be updated. The problem comes from two issues :
- the Sims 3 is 32 bit only, which limits its memory use to about 3.7 GB on Windows, and a 64 bit version wouldn't have that issue ;
- there is actually no Mac version of the Sims 3 as it was written for Windows only and the only thing that makes it run on Mac is Cider, which is a proprietary version of Wine. For some obscure reason, Cider allows only about 2 GB of memory. The only possible reason I can suppose is that the unpatched base game uses considerably less memory than the patched and complete game and they totally underestimated memory use with the final game.
And to make it even worse, drivers installed on Mac can be very unstable. Some don't even work with the Sims 3 and the only options then are downloading and installing some beta, which might cause damage and will be erased every time you reset the NVRAM.
I often hear about Hackintosh but with a low end computer (Apple or not) Sierra will be unsupported anyway, and El Capitan and Yosemite use too much cache. I'd rather install something like Snow Leopard on a low end machine. Or even Linux as it's not unlike some older versions of Mac OS X. Or why not, try with a higher end computer and with several partitions on it. I'd like to try a triple boot with Ubuntu one day...

Offline ZacSz

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Thanks, I just misunderstood that the 1.69 patch was windows only. I am definitely not counting on a new patch; I meant "newer" and was referring to that one!

I don't actually have any mods, even game-performance mods, but it might be time. (I have the CC accidentally added through worlds and sims but those aren't really mods anyway.) I'll look into Master Controller. I just did some manual cleanup that helped usage some. It seems to vary a lot.

Ok, so there *is* a (higher) limit on Windows, not just Mac? But I can imagine if my game is currently running at usually under 1.75GB usage with all of my store content and save files that a 3.7GB limit doesn't pose much of an issue. Or am I misunderstanding again?

Also that makes sense about the approximate 2GB limit and where the exception raised tends to show up. 9/10 times it does indeed happen in CAS for me, but almost every other time it's during a save.

I'm clearly not super savvy about all of this stuff but I was somewhat aware of how Sims 3 runs on Mac (especially originally through a universal DVD) with Cider, but not its limitations.

I don't really have a problem going backwards in OS for a Hackintosh (I'm still on... Yosemite I think) BUT I also have no problem doing a multi-partitioned drive. Idk why I didn't say that, I just meant I'm keeping my options open and that probably buying a low end Hackintosh and a higher end gaming PC would still be less money than a Mac laptop I genuinely want. I mean I understand truly high end gaming PCs can be crazy $$$, but that's not what I'm talking about. So yeah, I'll do whatever I can/have to do in order to ideally get some Mac OS running on some PC machine. Actually if you are at all familiar with what might be involved (and I'm super likely to shore it out if I can), I'd super appreciate a PM? But not trying to overask; you have been so helpful already.

Offline Candyd

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NRaas mods are life savers. Even more on Mac. Your game will run much better and you can almost eliminate lag with MasterController, Overwatch and ErrorTrap all together. Other than "reset town" from time to time, you don't even need to pay attention to them as they simply run in the background and won't do anything you haven't asked them to do when it comes to gameplay. But there are plenty of others that include bug fixes, such as Traffic, Register, Traveler, or even mods that allow you to create your own settings to fix potential issues like Retuner... But these modify gameplay in the same time.
There is a limit for Windows too but it's very hard to reach. Right now I play with more than 8 GB of CC, about 50 huge saves and I still use about 2 GB of memory in game on Windows. I've also noticed that the launcher itself can be more problematic than the game. I have less problems loading packages than sims3packs for this reason. I think that it can be easier to reach the limit if you play in very high resolution, with HQ mods. I play in windowed mode and the game runs much better like this, it isn't laggy and loads quickly, I have to cap the FPS to prevent it from burning the computer because it runs too well !
I agree about Apple laptops, they're so expensive right now and much too weak. I don't know if I can give advice specifically about a Hackintosh as I haven't done much research about it, I know a bit more about dual boot / triple boot with rEFInd or rEFIt, and installing Linux. But if ever you have a question, ask me, I don't know if I can answer you but I'll do my best :)