The Sims 3: Q&A [For Windows]

Why when I place disc in drive nothing happens?

  • Manually Start Disc

1.  Double click “My Computer”
2.  You will see your drives listed in the window that comes up.
3.  Locate the CD/DVD-ROM drive that contains the CD/DVD you are attempting to install.
4.  Right-click on the CD/DVD-ROM drives, and choose “open”.  This should start the auto-run process.

If you do not get an auto-run screen after opening the CD in this manner and your game came with multiple CD’s, you may want to repeat the steps above with another disk

In addition, if your computer has multiple CD/DVD-ROM drives you might try repeating the steps above with the other drive.

My CD/DVD is in the drive but installation still asks to put disc in drive, why?

  • Troubleshooting DVD/CD

Sometimes installations will ask for a previous or next CD/DVD.  Be sure that the CD/DVD you have inserted into the drive is indeed the CD/DVD that the installation is asking for.  If it is, you may need to wait up to a minute before pressing “ok” to continue installation.

Sometimes the computer needs a minute to register that the appropriate CD/DVD is in the drive.  If the disk still cannot be found try minimizing the installation and checking through ‘My Computer’ to see if the disk was recognized.

To do this:

1.  Minimize the install by clicking the minimize icon.  You can also minimize by right clicking the installations entry on the task bar and selecting the option to minimize.
2.  Click “Start” then click “My Computer”.
3.  Locate your CD/DVD-ROM drive.
4.  Double click the drive letter corresponding to your drive.  If Windows allows you to do this it means that the OS did detect your CD/DVD-ROM.  Maximize your install and click ok to proceed with the install.

Why does my game locks up and the game audio repeats over and over?

Repeating sounds with a game often are indicative of an issue with your sound card driver or possibly a background task that is using a resource the game may need.  To address this issue, please try the following:

You may need to adjust the acceleration for your sound card.

1.  Left-click “start”
2.  Left-click “run”.
3.  Type DXDIAG in the box that appears
4.  Click “Ok
The next panel that should appear is the Directx Diagnostic Tool.
5.  Left-click the “sound” tab
In the center of this screen, you will see an acceleration level.  By default, this level is set to “full”.  Left-click and hold down the slider bar and move it until the setting above says “basic”.
6.  Click on the “exit” button.

Once you have done this your sound  acceleration will be “basic”.

  • Update your sound card’s driver.

To update the driver for your sound card, first determine what type of sound card you have. This information can be found in the Directx Diagnostic Tool panel.  To run the Directx diagnostic tool and determine which type of sound card you have, follow the steps below:

1.  Click the “start” button on your Windows system tray.
2.  Click the “run” option.
3.  Type DXDIAG in the box that appears
4.  Click “ok”.
The Directx Diagnostic tool will appear on your screen.
5.  Left-click the “sound” tab.

On this tab you will see an area labeled “Device” in the top left-hand corner of the panel.  Your video card type is listed in this section under “name”.  Also, on the right, will be the driver version number – make a note of this. Each sound card manufacturer has a different website, and a quick web search for name of your sound card should direct you to their site.

Once there, look for a “download driver” section, and follow the steps on the web page for updating your sound driver. The company may list the latest driver version number – check this against the one you have to see if you actually need to download a new driver.

  • Close background applications

For best results, you will need to end most programs on your computer before installing or running this program.

To do this, please follow the steps below:
- Hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys on your keyboard.
- Tap the Delete key one time.
The Windows Security window will appear.

Click Task Manager.  The Windows Task Manager will appear.

There are three tabs on this screen – Applications, Processes and Performance.  In the Applications screen, click on each of the entries and then click on End Task.  Once you have closed all entries and the list is empty, click on the Processes tab.

In the Processes screen, click on any entries that are not listed below and click on End Process.
NB: Do not click on End Process for any of the processes listed below.
System Idle Process
System
winlogon.exe
services.exe
svchost.exe
spoolsv.exe
csrss.exe
hidserv.exe
MSTask.exe
WinMgmt.exe
taskmgr.exe
IEXPLORE.EXE

Explorer.EXE

Once you have closed all your Applications and Processes as just described, your system is free of any background programs that may be causing problems with your game.

Why does my game crash after a random amount of time?

You may not have enough disc space to run the game or there are programs interfering with the game itself.

  • Make sure you have enough disc space

If you do not know how much hard drive space you have, follow the steps below:

1.  Double-Click “My Computer”
2.  Right-Click on the drive on which you want to install the game.  (Usually C :\)
3.  Left-Click “Properties”.

You will see the properties panel for the drive you are viewing.  On this tab you can see the current hard drive space free and hard drive space used.  If the amount of hard drive space free is lower than the minimum required to the game, or within about 100MB, you may experience issues installing or running the game.  To make more hard drive space, you can follow the steps below:

1.  Double-Click “My Computer”
2.  Right-Click on the drive on which you want to install the game.  (Usually C :\)
3.  Left-Click “Properties”.

You will see the properties panel for the drive you are viewing.  Simply click the “Disk Cleanup” button.  This will take you to a panel that lists the files on the computer that are safe to delete.  From this panel you see the option to delete these files.

  • See above for tips.

I get an error message when my game crashes, why?

  • See above also for tips.

Depending on the error message you are receiving, there could be a number of things that might cause this issue.  If you are receiving a data transfer or disc read error then it’s probably the CD/DVD itself causing the issue. You could try cleaning it, using a different drive if you have more than one or installing on another machine. If you get an invalid page fault, you may want to end the other programs running at the same time as the installation.

My installation is taking a long time, why?

  • Installation help

Some installs are quite large and may take a bit of time to install.  Before trying to troubleshoot this issue, be sure that you have given your computer some time to complete the install process.  Look for activity from your computer before taking action.  Look for the Hard drive CD/DVD-ROM drive lights flickering, listen to hear if the drives are busy and most importantly look at the install progress indicators to see if these are moving.

If the install is still slow or does not seem to be responding check the following:

  • See above for tips.

What is DirectX?

DirectX is a utility made by Microsoft that allows your software, hardware, and computer to speak a “common language”.  DirectX is an update to your Operating System that allows the most efficient graphics and sounds to be utilized.  Like most software, programs for Windows DirectX must be installed to your computer.

If you experience issues installing DirectX to your computer, try the following:

The two most common causes for the installation hanging when DirectX tries to initialize itself is lack of hard disk space and problems with your video and sound card drivers.  While DirectX itself doesn’t take up that much hard disk space, you must compensate for the fact that Windows is using some hard disk space for virtual memory (a swap file).

Get information from Microsoft on DirectX. http://www.microsoft.com/directx

I get the Splash Screen then an error message, any reason why?

Sometimes while running a game, other processes or applications that are running can interfere with the game and causes it to crash or to receive an error message. Check above for tips. If this fails to resolve the issue, take a look at the “Details” of the error message.  Often there will be reference to a file that is causing the issue.  Sometimes it can be linked to another program on the system that need not be installed or running at the time of playing the game. A search for this file will give you an idea of what it is. You can then disable or uninstall this program if possible.

Do I have enough Hard Drive space?

  • If you do not know how much hard drive space you have, follow the steps below:

1.  Double-Click “My Computer”
2.  Right-Click on the drive on which you want to install the game.  (Usually C :\)
3.  Left-Click “Properties”.

You will see the properties panel for the drive you are viewing.  On this tab you can see the current hard drive space free and hard drive space used.  If the amount of hard drive space free is lower than the minimum required to the game, or within about 100MB, you may experience issues installing or running the game.  To make more hard drive space, you can follow the steps below:

1.  Double-Click “My Computer”
2.  Right-Click on the drive on which you want to install the game.  (Usually C :\)
3.  Left-Click “Properties”.

You will see the properties panel for the drive you are viewing.  Simply click the “Disk Cleanup” button.  This will take you to a panel that lists the files on the computer that are safe to delete.  From this panel you see the option to delete these files.

Can I configure my monitor settings?

  • Yes you can and here’s how…

To configure your monitor properly for the game:

Check the Display control panel and make sure your monitor type is not set to VGA 640×480 256 colour. If it is, try changing it to support the specific model of your monitor, or try using SVGA 800×600 (16-bit colour).

If this fails to help you, try updating the driver for your video card by checking out the manufacturer’s website.

Can I update my Video Driver?

  • Yes you can and here’s how…

1.  Click the “start” button on your Windows system tray.
2.  Click the “run” option.
3.  Type DXDIAG in the box that appears
4.  Click “ok”.
The DirectX Diagnostic tool will appear on your screen.
5.  Left-click the “display” tab.

On this tab you will see an area labeled “Device” in the top left-hand corner of the panel.  Your video card type is listed in this section under “name”.  Also, on the right, will be the driver version number – make a note of this. Each video card manufacturer has a different website, and a quick web search for name of your video card should direct you to their site.
Once there, look for a “download driver” section, and follow the steps on the web page for updating your video driver. The company may list the latest driver version number – check this against the one you have to see if you actually need to download a new driver.

What type of Video Card do I have?

To find out what type of video card you have installed in your computer follow these directions:
1.  Click “Start”.
2.  Click “Run”.
3.  Type “Dxdiag” in the box and click “Ok”.
When the DirectX Diagnostic Tool panel appears, click the “Display” tab on the top.  Then locate the “Driver Name” which is usually the second line down on the left side.  The “Driver Name” is usually the manufacturer name.  For example, if your driver name is “NVIDIA Geforce 4”, then you have an NVIDIA card.

To update your video card driver, simply go to the website of the company that makes your card and look for an “Update Driver” section.

Warranty?

If you have determined that your CD has been damaged, you can return your CD for a sealed copy.  To replace your software you will need a sales receipt dated within the 90-day warranty period. Electronic Arts warrants its software to the original purchaser that Electronic Arts’ software is free from defects for a period of 90-days as stated in the manual. If the disk has been misused, or the 90-day warranty has passed, then a fee will be assessed to replace the software.

FEES:
PC products:
£7.50 per CD
All console game discs:
£10 per disc
All manuals:
£3.00 per manual
(details subject to change without notice)
ADDRESS
EA Customer Warranty
P. O. Box 181
Chertsey
KT16 0YL
United Kingdom
Please send the disk, a brief note describing the defect and a sales receipt dated within the 90-day warranty. If a fee is applicable, please include a check or money order payable to ELECTRONIC ARTS for the corresponding amount to replace the disk.

Hope that this Q&A has helped some. I know how frustrating it can be to anxiously want to play a game just to have to get out the bugs, errors, glitches first.

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