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Old 11-24-2008, 10:52 AM   #1
Miros1
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Default Reinstall? Why? Rose/Miros's Thoughts on the Subject (and other Musings)

IMHO, reinstalling is pointless! Errors hardly ever affect the files in Program Files/EA Games/The Sims 2 (etc.), with very few preventable exceptions. Yeah, it'll get your game running... then you'll put your backup back in... and the game won't work again, because the problem was in the My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/ folder. Or you've lost all your neighborhoods and downloads and get to start over, because you didn't make a backup. If we all wanted a game that you have to start over, we'd play an First Person Shooter, not The Sims!

Follow my tutorial on preventing file corruption, and you should never need to reinstall again, since the game cannot corrupt its own files.

Most likely really corrupt file: groups.cache. Suggested fix: go to My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2 and rename groups.cache to groups.cache.bak. Run the game. You'll be surprised at the number of times this fixes your game! And you've got your old file on the odd chance that it was something else.

Next most likely corrupt file: NeighborhoodManager.package This file can be deleted without harming your game in any way. Apparently the game ignores it except to crash if it's corrupt.

Miros' #1 Rule: Don't delete! Just drag stuff out of your game!
Reasons: 1) It's probably perfectly good, so why delete it? 2) You might not be able to get another copy of it, so it could be gone for good...

After that, if your computer crashed during a save, it might manage to corrupt real files in My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2. You can simply rename that folder and let the game create a new one. You can even attempt to salvage your old 'hoods and Downloads if you like once you have a functional game again.

Do you hate ugly Townies? Try my tutorial on ugly townie prevention. Do this before you start making new neighborhoods!

As for face templates, although you can only have one set installed at a time, there's no law that says you can't have several sets and switch them from time to time or even create your own set by using single templates from each set. Switching your templates or sets will have no effect on Sims generated from the templates that were switched out. All needed information is copied into the Sim at creation. By their nature, all face templates are "genetic," if you mean the children will inherit a blend of their parent's faces.

Greg's suggestion for skinners (and people attempting to install missing meshes): Every time I make new or install new clothes, I delete the CASthumbnails.package from My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Thumbnails so that the game will regenerate the preview pictures of the clothing. The entire Thumbnails folder can be deleted if it's a suspect in crashes.

Do make backups. You can use SimPE, or you can simply right click on your Neighborhoods folder (or a single neighborhood inside it) and choose to Zip it. I like to put the date in the file name instead of relying on the creation/modification dates. I also like to drag them to a different disk partition or an external drive or another computer on your network or burn them to CD or DVD.

(Written so I don't need to keep retyping the darn thing every time someone says why do you tell people reinstalling is pointless?)
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Last edited by Miros1 : 09-17-2009 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Added backup and Neighborhood Manager info
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:21 AM   #2
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Now that you mention it, the last time I reinstalled the game was when I moved to a new computer.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:24 AM   #3
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People on Insim keep asking me why I don't recommend reinstalling to "fix" their problems... and then someone sensible asked me what I do recommend!

Oh, another thought...

Don't delete! Just drag stuff out of your game!
Reasons: 1) It's probably perfectly good, so why delete it? 2) You might not be able to get another copy of it, so it could be gone for good...
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:27 AM   #4
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Yup. The first thing to try is to delete that pesky groups.cache file. For me, that has never failed to get the game going again.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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Good point... lemme put both our bright ideas in the first post...
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:04 AM   #6
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I thought of another one: Every time I make new or install new clothes, I delete the CAS thumbnails packages from ...\EA Games\The Sims 2\Thumbnails so that the game will regenerate the preview pictures of the clothing.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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Another good one! Especially important if you've just installed meshes to try to get existing clothes to appear correctly.
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I'm spreading the addiction by corrupting all my friends (and attempting to make in-game money when they try the game).
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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This is a good info post!

I think the reason so many of us did the "re-install" thing was it just seemed like the thing to do...I mean, it sounds kinda logical to re-install something that you think is installed funky, right?

Well, not really, as you have pointed out so well in the opening post; because of the way the game files "work", there is really no need to do a re-install when just re-generating the game files does the trick & with a lot less work.

Thankfully, I (finally) know that now...
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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I've added the information I've learned the hard way about NeighborhoodManager and backups to the original post.
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http://www.puzzlepirates.com/?affili...163251&lang=en
I'm spreading the addiction by corrupting all my friends (and attempting to make in-game money when they try the game).
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