Author Topic: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall  (Read 130711 times)

Offline MoonsAreBlue

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Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« on: October 30, 2011, 11:24:17 AM »
Hi everybody,

I thought I would share what a factory reset is. I haven't posted anything about it earlier, because I could have sworn I read about it here, but now I know it was on the official forum. A factory reset is completely safe, and it will fix your game 90% of the time as long as you don't have a corrupt save. This process creates a brand new Sims 3 folder that is just as empty as if you had reinstalled your game. So if you're at the end of your rope with a glitched game, and you're thinking about reinstalling, try this first.

To get to the Sims 3 folder:
1. Click Start and click Documents.
2. Click Electronic Arts.
3. There should be a folder titled "The Sims 3."
Path: C:\Users\Username\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3

What to do with your folder:
1. Rename "The Sims 3" to something like "The Sims 3 Old" or "The Sims 3.1." Anything will do.
2. Start your game normally, and once the main menu comes up (where you select a town to play in) exit out of your game.
3. Go back to the location of your "The Sims 3 Old" folder.
4. There should now be two folders (more if you have other EA games). One should be named "The Sims 3" and "The Sims 3 Old."
5. If you open the new folder, you will see that it is completely empty of player content. No saves, no downloads, no screenshots, nothing. The game created a new, clean folder, just like it would have done with a complete reinstall.
6. Edited to include easier solution: Now, go to your "The Sim 3 Old" folder. Copy the folder titled "Downloads." Go to your new "The Sims 3" folder and paste the "Downloads" folder. If it tells you that the folder already exists, you want to delete the old folder and replace it with the new one you are currently pasting. You will have to open your launcher and install this custom content. Scroll down to see my tip for people with a lot of custom content.
7. Once your downloads are done, go into your "The Sims 3 Old" folder and go to the folder titles "Saves." Copy or Cut these files and Paste them into "Saves" under the new "The Sims 3" folder.
8. Once your saves are moved, start your game.
9. Congratulations! You have just done a factory reset!

Warning: Showtime added new data to The Sims 3 folder, and doing a full "factory reset" will cause you to lose data relating to your in-game SimPort progress.

Go to Documents \ The Sims 3 \ Downloads and find the folder named with a number (your user ID). Make a backup of that folder before you do anything. If you use the Factory Reset method for different challenges, you might want to move this folder around whenever you use a different The Sims 3 folder, so you can keep your progress. (Thanks NonaMena)

If your games work in this new folder, you are safe to completely delete "The Sims 3 Old" folder. But when I do a factory reset, I keep my "The Sims 3 Old" folders in a separate location, just in case I come to need the other saved items in them, such as previously exported lots.

When you patch your game, keep in mind that the patch will apply to all of your Sims 3 folders. There is no way to have different patches in different folders. Additionally, now that we are speaking of mods, this trick is an excellent way to keep your challenge files separate from your non-challenge files.

If you have any questions, ask away!

P.S. If anyone is having problems about not being able to delete files due to an error saying that the files are currently being used (or something of the sort), make sure the launcher and Origin are NOT open in your taskbar. You may have closed the game, but you will not be able to change any files if the launcher or Origin are open and running in the background!



Edited to reflect change in step 6: In step 6, it is wise to make a copy of this new "The Sims 3" folder after your downloads and before your saves. Paste this copy to some other location on your computer. For example, I created a folder on my desktop titled "Sims Stuff" just for things like this. The reasoning behind making this copy is if you ever have to do another factory reset, you now have another copy of that clean folder, but with your downloads. So in the future, you can save yourself from having to copy and paste the "Downloads" folder again. This will also save you time  by not having to boot up the sims to make a new folder again.


Last Edited 8/16/2018

Offline Metropolis Man

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2011, 11:41:51 AM »
Super info, MoonsAreBlue. Thanks.



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Offline Jancy

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 11:48:28 AM »
This does work and I have tried it before.  Also the UserPreset.package file can also be put back in. (if there is a new one in there after doing it just replace it with the one from your old game file) This file contains your custom colors and patterns that you saved in CA Style, CA Sim and build and buy mode

Offline skybaker

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 10:11:33 PM »
I would make a copy of newly created "The Sims 3" folder instead of regenerate it. I use this copy to replace the original folder once my game is getting slower.
Furthermore, the "SavedSims" stores your created or downloaded "Sims". Copy this folder also if you have any.
Now I realize playing the Sims 3 on Mac is playing the game of installation and uninstallation...

Offline BellaClo

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 09:53:36 AM »
This is a great tip Moonsareblue. I use it all the time too. It helps me keeping all my Sims stuff and saves organized. Right now, I have several "The Sims 3" folders under Users\...\Documents\Electronic arts:
 
  • The Sims 3 - Decadee
  • The Sims 3 - Isbi
  • The Sims 3 - Mad max
  • The Sims 3

 
The last one (no renaming) is the folder I've been using for the last week, playing with Pets and Apaloosa Plain and doing my own little ranching program, like many of us :-) The other ones are used for my townie deca dynasty ("Decadee"), a spin off of a legacy challenge ("Isbi") and the 'Mad max" one was used for the tournament challenge, and now that it's over, I could delete it. 
 
To have each "type" of game in its own Sims 3 folder helps me to have everything organized easily, with a minimum of effort, and to reduce the risk of any goofy action on my part! The only requirement is to have enough free space on your main hard drive (C:\). Providing it's ok, this system has many advantages:
 
1. Graphic settings can be different for each of the folders: as high as possible for the stories to have nice looking pictures, rather low for the tournament challenges because it's more about performance than pretty shots.
 
2. Age settings can be different too: Normal for dynasties/legacies, long for tournament challenges... And no risk to forget changing this whenever I switch from a "long aging" game to a "normal aging" one :-) 
 
3. Store content: I don't need it when I play a tournament challenge for instance (besides the few EP registration sets maybe). No need to risk an over load of the RAM for my poor computer. But I've put a nice assortment of store stuff for the dynasty, because after all, if I've bought those shiny goodies, it's to use them.
 
To add on store stuff, there is indeed no need to re-download all you purchase each time you do a factory reset. I have created a kind of "Sims 3 stuff Library" on another hard drive and each time I buy and download something from the store, I copy its Sims3pack to this external library. Then, whenever I do a factory reset/create a new Sims 3 folder, I select the Sims3packs I want to use in my library and simply copy/paste them to the Download folder of the freshly created Sims 3 folder. And I install them through the Launcher. 
 
4. Other content (CC, mods): For players who want to use them, doing a factory reset is also a good way to test those CC/mods before you add them to another Sims 3 folder where you have important saves you don't want to risk loosing. 
 
5. Screenshots, saves: If you take a lot of screenshots and do a lot of "save as", it's much easier to have all the ones related to the same subject in the same folder. Again, no risk of deleting something by mistake.
 
So, altogether, I find this helps me a lot to have all those different "Sims 3" folders and it doesn't require much much work to set up. The only thing I have to remember is to rename them before I launch the game. Add any description to the folders I don't want to play, and remove those extra words in the name of the folder I want to be launched by the game.
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Offline MoonsAreBlue

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 11:27:06 AM »
@Bella

I had the same set up as you for a while! I only had two folders, but I had a separate folder for challenges and for fun. I sometimes play on different life spans in my for fun games, and accidentally playing my Dynasty on Long would ruin it! However, I had the Hunting glitch in my challenge files, so I moved them over to my for fun folder, and the problem was fixed! I find this to be a very effective way to organize games. You just have to remember to switch to the correct one before you play.

Offline CreativeCrayola

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2011, 03:59:48 PM »
I've just done a factory reset, and would like to know if it's normal for on step 2, it's very slow in loading?



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Offline BellaClo

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 04:20:07 PM »
Yep, the very first time you load the game it's always slower than usual. All the thumbnails and other various files are recreated.
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Offline CreativeCrayola

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 04:25:00 PM »
Yep, the very first time you load the game it's always slower than usual. All the thumbnails and other various files are recreated.

Ah! Thanks

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2011, 02:45:20 PM »
This is a great idea! I did this for the Pets demo, but I never realized I could separate my story files from my challenges and other files. No more suddenly realizing that the age-setting is wrong, plus I can have advanced rendering for my screenshots.
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Offline AnnBeiFong

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 10:17:28 AM »
Would this also work with a patch problem? Or will I still have to do a complete reinstall?

Offline sdhoey

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 08:46:14 PM »
This is a great tip Moonsareblue. I use it all the time too. It helps me keeping all my Sims stuff and saves organized. Right now, I have several "The Sims 3" folders under Users\...\Documents\Electronic arts:
 
  • The Sims 3 - Decadee
  • The Sims 3 - Isbi
  • The Sims 3 - Mad max
  • The Sims 3


When you do this, like you have it listed, how does it know which folder to use? It's late, I'm probably having another blonde moment.. LOL

Offline Seabody

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 11:08:51 PM »
It will automatically use the folder titled "The Sims 3".
So if BellaClo wants to play her Decadee file, she renames "The Sims 3 - Decadee" to "The Sims 3", and "The Sims 3" to something else, like "The Sims 3 - Casual".

Offline Esther1981

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2011, 08:05:38 PM »
When I was playing VF(Virtual Families) I would do this. I had LDW, LDW 1,2,3 etc. I never realized you could also do this for The Sims!! This is awesome information! Thank you so much!!

Offline sdhoey

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 08:32:14 PM »
It will automatically use the folder titled "The Sims 3".
So if BellaClo wants to play her Decadee file, she renames "The Sims 3 - Decadee" to "The Sims 3", and "The Sims 3" to something else, like "The Sims 3 - Casual".

Thanks Seabody, I might start doing this for my games.

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2011, 02:28:53 PM »
I have a question~

I am following the instructions, and when I change The Sims 3 folder to casual, and go to start the game (with the Pets icon on my desktop), it asks me to reinstall the base game.

What am I doing wrong? Please help~ :D Thanks!

Offline BellaClo

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Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2011, 03:54:23 PM »
Are you sure you changed the name of your user sims 3 folder (in "Documents") and not the one in Program files?
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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2011, 07:57:19 PM »
I'm a little confused on the CC part. So if we have our seperat folder (Sims 3 stuff) we just copy and paste that into the new Sims 3 folder, and that will make it show up in the launcher?
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Offline BellaClo

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Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2011, 02:20:50 AM »
Copy the sims3packs from one Download folder to the new one, then reinstall them with the Launcher. Delete the .package files in DCBackup after (Not the ones in DCCache).
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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2011, 02:03:08 PM »
Are you sure you changed the name of your user sims 3 folder (in "Documents") and not the one in Program files?

Thank you! I was in the wrong spot, geez  ;D My mistake!

Offline Esther1981

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2011, 09:49:03 PM »
I have a problem. I am trying to do this to help a game issue, but every time I right click and try to change the folders name, it says I need permission. I click ok as in I authorize it, but it keeps saying try again, try again. I might end up cutting the folder and than pasting it on my desktop, does anyone know if that would work or hurt my game in any way?

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 11:25:13 PM »
@BellaClo
Using your method, I could (in theory) run mods in one game folder, but keep the other ones clean of all Mods and CC so I can play challenges and my Dynasty, right?

Offline BellaClo

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Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2011, 03:49:43 AM »
@seabody: Yep, that's it exactly! Once a Sims3 folder is renamed to something else, the game doesn't see it anymore. This is some kind of 100% protection of whatever is in renamed folders while you play.
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Offline Esther1981

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2011, 03:55:53 AM »
Any idea why my folder won't let me change names? I just tried it again to no avail. I'm the administrator of my computer and don't have authority to change it?? I don't really want to open my game again til I fix it. It's either this or a complete uninstall, reinstall and this is quicker and easier lol.

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Re: Factory Reset: Fix Your Game with 1/4 the Time of a Reinstall
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2011, 04:39:26 AM »
Hi Esther,

This is some Windows issue and I don't understand either why you can't rename your user's folders as Administrator. When you right click on the folder, there is a "Properties" option in the list, you can check there maybe. In this property window, there is a "security" tab. Check that you have full control for it. I hope this will work for you. Otherwise, cut and paste will do the same trick, yes.
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