Sims UC crashing, here's what I tried so far
#51 31-01-2018 
@Epi7 that still doesn't explain, though, why the XP version shows a different graphics card!

#52 31-01-2018 
@BoilingOil that's because how VirtualBox works. It emulates GPU (this case NVIDIA GeForce 6800) as it doesn't have direct access to the real one. This seems to be true with most virtual machines - they just can't access GPU directly, probably because graphics drivers are not designed to run two computers at the same time.

#53 31-01-2018 
Ah, good. That explains a lot, thank you!

#54 31-01-2018 
@Epi7 - @SomeRandoChick - Those were some interesting posts. I would love to look at DxWnd, given time. Don't know if I can, but very good to have those links, thank you!
I wonder if I can get my hands on an nvidia driver from before 2016? I read 355.60 and 362 something were stable, were those pre 2016? The guru3d site has older drivers but I don't think they go back much before 37x.

[edit] I saw that guru3d does have nvidia drivers 362.00 (from 2/23/2016) and 355.60 (from 8/6/2015). The 355 one predates the 2016 Wave of Pink. However, both drivers are for the 400 through 900 series of cards. I have a 1060. Can I even use those older drivers with my newer card?

[edit]I googled 'dxwnd how to'. There seem to be several videos although the one I watched first didn't give as much info as Epi7 did. Maybe others are more detailed. The forums Epi mentioned are on my list of things to look at, in time.

[edit] About that 1024 question I meant to look into. I forgot, was it showing 1024 for video memory or RAM?

[editty edit edit!] Nvidia 390.77 came out 1/29, I haven't tried it yet.
(This post was last modified: 31-01-2018 09:14 PM by CatOfEvilGeniu.)

#55 31-01-2018 
@CatOfEvilGeniu and why not for everyone else who might be interested too.

With DXWnd you should first go to File -> Import... and then choose The Sims 2 (crack) from the list. I would also recommend to turn on the "Expert mode" from options and also go to Options -> Global settings and set the Debug mode on (these open more variables in Modify).

After those steps you can right-click the game icon and choose Modify. From the Main-tab you have to correct the path for the game exe. If you would like to run the windowed mode through DXWnd you should also choose "Run in window" and check the resolutions from both Main- and Video-tabs (and of course also apply the same resolution to the Graphic Rules.sgr).

I also turned on the "Fake version" for Windows XP from the Compat-tab, but I don't know if this is needed. It's also possible to change DirectX version manually from DirectX-tab, but I just let it detect my DirectX automatically and the program did recognize it right.

But that's kind of a "quick start" for the program. After that there's plenty of variables to run tests with. Remember to save (File -> Save) after every change you like to keep. I also recommend to export the settings after getting the game run stable by right-clicking the game icon and choosing to export, and saving the file with a different name. I noticed myself that the program may lose the saved settings if closed incorrectly, so exporting the main settings is more secure way than only saving.

//@gwynne would you be also willing to try this? Your game seems to be more broken than mine, so it would be easier to say if this helps with the crashing.

//I'd also like to add (as I forgot to mention this) that the idea is to run the game exe through this program. You can run the game by double clicking the game icon in the program or right-clicking it and choosing Run... -> Run hooked. This is neat because it's possible to try all kind of things without actually changing anything in the game exe, and because of this it's also completely safe to go through different variables.

Also always remember that this only works with noCD exe. I'ts also possible that it needs specific noCD exe, as I know that there are couple of them for The Sims 2. I'm not sure which one I'm using but in my case the program worked straight away without any problems.
(This post was last modified: 31-01-2018 11:57 PM by Epi7.)

#56 06-02-2018 
@CatOfEvilGeniu - yeah, it was me who mentioned about the caches, and I have some new information to share about the matter. I don't want to fill Giveasmile's thread with my theories, so I hope you don't mind that I use your thread instead (I have not talked about the crashes in my own thread so the chances are that any information there would not reach the people who might need it).

At the moment I'm 100% sure that the caches have an impact to my game's crashes. But I was wrong when I earlier said that it might be that the game fails to generate the Groups.cache correctly, and thus crashes.

Accessory.cache generates right away when the game is opened. I have not noticed this failing ever. But the Groups.cache only seems to generate when the game is closed correctly. That's why after a crash it's very likely that there isn't one. Also it's worth noting that many people always remove both caches before opening the game, and that means that the Groups.cache is never present while playing for those who do so.

The interesting part is that the Groups.cache seems to prevent the crashes when it's already present when opening the game. I have pretty solidly confirmed this with my game - it's literally almost impossible for me to get my game crash if I already had it when I opened the game. Without it my game WILL crash randomly at some point. As always this might be system specific, but it's worth considering for those who suffer from crashes.

This might be something which is only true for Win10 (1709) users with noCD exe, 4GB patch and possibly also have enabled the driver to manage its own memory. My game didn't almost never crash before 1709, so this is new to me too.

When I have time I will try does the empty Groups.cache (mentioned here) also help with the crashes. Would be nice if it does, as it doesn't get corrupted, and thus it would be a very easy way to keep Groups.cache always around. Because of the way the caches work I'm a bit skeptical about it, as I can't see how empty cache makes difference to not having a cache at all, but (as I keep saying) it's still worth trying.

#57 08-02-2018 
@Epi7 - Thanks for the more detailed feedback! I recalled reading some of your thoughts on the cache files in another thread and had been habitually deleting after closing/crashing so after reading your "lead" I've also been experimenting with this with similar results.

At the moment, my game is the most stable it's been since installing. I no longer delete the caches. Like you mentioned, I notice the accessory.cache is generated almost immediately on load - I found it in the program files and the timestamps match so the game pulls that file straight from the program files. There is no groups.cache in the program files, and I can also confirm it is ONLY generated on a successful close of the game. I sometimes had crashes while exiting the game and the groups.cache is not generated when exiting causes a crash.

I've also found the general game stability closely related to the presence and health of the groups.cache. So much so, that I've started purposefully generating them when I HAVE to delete those files to get the game to load. What I do when I have to delete the files is load the game and then load a neighborhood and pick a random house to load. If all loads well and I have no display issues, I save on the lot, exit to the neighborhood, and then quit the game so the groups.cache is generated. This has significantly reduced crashes.

It is occasionally tricky to get to this point though, so I may also experiment with an empty file or making a backup of a "healthy" file. I've had times after having to delete the files where the game crashes on the first lot I try to load. Sometimes I crash two to three times trying to get into a house. This is why I try to enter and save on a lot before exiting to the neighborhood and quitting to generate the groups.cache. Once it's there, the game is so much more stable. At the moment I've has TS2 up and running for more than 2 days with very few issues - I run in windowed mode so it's just running in the background while I am doing other things. No crashes (obviously), and the pink flashing has also toned down some. I've done tons of house switching/lot loads and visited some community lots - for me those loads are some of the "crashiest" functions when the game's not running well.

I am still having random issues with lost textures and pink flashing, but this is almost always correctable with some combination of toggling graphics settings and reloading neighborhoods/lots. For those with similar issues, I've found a personal go-to that may help - I have a nearly empty test hood always loaded in my game, and when the pink gets to be too much in some other hood I'm playing, loading my test hood generally fixes it. I suspect this is because there's so little to display there's less chance of failure. If my test hood displays correctly, I can then reload the hood that was giving me trouble and it's generally "fixed". If my test hood displays with pink flashing, it's time to quit the game and reload because there is no fix I can find at that point.

Nightfall is the most likely time for the pink flashing to start - small interior glitches can sometimes be fixed by manually toggling all the lights on the lot to on, and a bad room can sometimes be fixed by adding a new light source. Not always, but if only one or two objects start flashing, it can help. My sims houses are probably overly bright, but it works.

Also, the batbox's "fix" -> "regenerate portraiture" is invaluable for fixing sim icons when the sim is actually displaying correctly. Some stubborn cases require an actual "change appearance" via a mirror. Catalog and CAS thumbnails often go pink too, but if the object is displaying correctly when placed/worn, then the usual ctrl+right click fixes the thumbnails. I don't think that's at all important to display, but it bugs me so I fix 'em as I find 'em.

#58 08-02-2018 
I had at least one iteration of testing where I randomly decided to *restore* a bunch of deleted cache files, and the game suddenly worked again without crashing. But it was just one step of many I tried during that particular session, and it's buried somewhere in my thread. (I'm not even sure which machine it might have been on.) I'm sure it included a 'non crashing' groups.cache.

#59 08-02-2018 
The observation you've made about the groups cache could explain why it helps me to start the game, exit, load a neighbhorhood, exit, load a lot, exit. Somewhere in there, I generated a good groups cache. Will test more.

#60 08-02-2018 
I'm still testing, but my game's been open with the empty Groups.cache for several hours now. No crashes so far. This does look very promising at the moment.


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