BEFORE YOU SPEND MONEY ON A NEW LAPTOP!!!
#1 12-02-2019 
I try to get the word out that if you have the funds, you need a machine with the following specs, unless otherwise noted, HD, on board graphics only:

Kaybe Lake (7thGen).... MSI ONLY, and NOT guaranteed!
Skylake (6thGen.... HP15, Alienware, certain Dell models, or MSI. only, Win8.1 ONLY).
Broadwell (5thGen).
Haswell (4thGen, this is best).
Ivy Bridge (3rdGen. On board, with work, or nVidia NVS5200m).
Sandy Bridge (2ndGen, i7, nVidia NVS4200m graphics ONLY).
Core2Duo, of at least 2.53Ghz, AND ATI Radeon 3650m graphics, or BETTER.

If your GPU, or O/S (Win10, later builds) are not compatible with DirectX9c, and you can't get DirectX11 to work, you're pretty much out of luck.

NEXT:

6gb/RAM at a minimum. 8 is better, 12-16gb is BEST.

Windows 8.1
Windows 7
Windows VISTA
Windows XPpro (Max, 4gbRAM, unless you know how to get around the 32/64bit licensing issue. It's a PAIN)
I recommend Win7Pro, or Win8.1Pro for TS2.

SSD HIGHLY recommended! Turns loading times from minutes, to SECONDS.

Here is the on-board graphics that work with TS2:

HD3000. Sandy Bridge, 2ndGen. Ummmm NOPE! Unless you overclock your CPU, or have a higher end i7/12-16gb/RAM, AND at LEAST a 7200rpm Mechanical drive. Takes for EVER to load. SSD is really necessary here. Runs TS2 poorly, and can produce some nasty "artifacts". If this happens, discontinue using TS2, as it will burn out your on-board, GPU, bricking your machine. DO *NOT* try this with an i3, or i5 Sandy Bridge (2ndGen), without nVidia graphics. You will RUIN your machine!

HD3000 will WORK (PITA), but I do not recommend it.... At all.

HD4000. Ivy Bridge, 3rdGen. You NEED an SSD with this, as the game runs "fair" (with work), except for some "stop-and-go". an SSD, and 8gb/RAM helps this TREMENDOUSLY.
HD4200. Ivy Bridge (some). Same as HD4000, with slightly better results, but still only "fair".
HD4400. Ivy Bridge (some). Runs "fairly" with 7200rpm mechanical drive, better with SSD, otherwise, longer load times, but still only "fair". definately playable.
HD4600. Haswell Bridge. This is a "sweet spot" here. 8gb/RAM, and 7200rpm mechanical drive work fine here, with Fair load times. SSD is certainly welcome.
HD5500. Broadwell Bridge (5thGen). About the same as the HD4600. No better, no worse.
HD520, or 530. Skylake (6thGen). Not a lot better than the HD4600, but definitely NO worse, however, these systems REALLY need Win 8.1!
HD620/630. Kaybe Lake (7thGen). Yes, I've had great success with this, with my Win10, MSI. I do not guarantee it will work for your 7thGen, Win10 machine.

A higher AMD8, with the best R5 graphics, run TS2 "ok". Acceptable. However, most R5 graphics REALLY struggle with it. R7 graphics are better.

These are the following laptop, dedicated GPU's that will run TS2:

ATI Radeon 3650m with 256gb VRAM (at a minimum). I have a Lenovo, ThinkPad, T500, Core2Duo, with this video chipset. I've had great success running TS2 on this machine. It runs TS2 quite a bit better than the HD4400 graphics, but not QUITE as good, as the HD4600 graphics.
nVidia NVS4200m. MINIMUM for good gameplay with nVidia).
nVidia NVS5200/5400m. Better for TS2, Lowball for TS3. Runs TS2 on high.med/high graphics. runs TS3 on medium.
Any of the "K" series nVidia chipsets. K1000, K1100, K2000, K2100. These are great for Sims2. Basically found in the ThinkPad, "W" series computers (W530/W540). There are some Dell machines with this chipset also.

In addition, any GPU listed in your VideoCard.sgr file should run fine, or at least "adequately".

What will NOT work, at least without a GREAT deal of difficulty:

GMA-4500m on-board graphics (Core2Duo) will NOT run TS2, no matter what you do. Even Kiri couldn't help me here.
nVidia GT 730m, and higher:
Many "R5" Radeon graphics.
GMA-4xxxm graphics.
HD2000/3000 graphics.

You don't NEED to use the newer nVidia/Radeon graphics. Sims 2 doesn't need them to run optimally.[/b]

As a matter of fact, my T440p, has nVidia GeForce GT 730m Graphics, AND HD4600 on-board graphics. I can get TS2 to run on the nVidia graphics, but it actually runs WORSE than the HD4600 gpu.

Use your HD graphics to run TS2, use your nVidia graphics for games that can properly utilize it.

I recommend running TS2 between 1360x768, and 1600x900.

Do *NOT* purchase a newer computer, especially a new, expensive gaming machine, and expect to play TS2 on it, you'll be *VERY* disappointed!! If you do, you'll have much better luck playing TS3.

Just like people with old cars that they love, you NEED to learn to do some basic things with your older laptop. Find a You Tube video that covers your model, and use it.
You need to learn the following:

Upgrading your HDD, or SSD. This includes cloning your drive, and/or pulling/pushing an image.
Upgrade the RAM.
Cleaning out the fan/inside of laptop.
Basic software maintenance.
AVAST AntiVirus.
MalwareBytes.
CCleaner.
USE them!

Also, it wouldn't hurt to learn how to re-gel your CPU/GPU. A little learning curve here, and attention to detail is very important, but not all THAT difficult to do. Especially on the Lenovo T440p.

An external drive. Even if it's only 500gb. This is NECESSARY!!!!
Use MACRIUM REFLECT for backups. Even if you have to pay for it. It's not expensive, it's reliable, and very easy to use. There is a free version of this program, that's more than adequate.
Norton Ghost works well, but it's complicated.
I like Acronis True Image, however it CAN be unreliable, and changing your license to another computer, is like pulling teeth.

Avast! AV, has been PROVEN to be the best AV out there, and it plays well with TS2, and games in general.

Back up your entire EA Games folder in Documents.
Back up your VideoCards.sgr, and your GraphicRules.sgr. Keep it with your EA Games backups.

If you CAN, go NoCD for your TS2. This will alleviate a MYRIAD of issues.

I have a '72 Mustang. Even though it's out of my comfort zone (I do NOT like getting greasy!), I do all the work on it myself. No problems.

If you WANT to continue playing TS2, you need to get out of your comfort zone, and learn which computers work with TS2, and how to upgrade/maintain them.

It's inevitable. I know. I've built over 500 laptops, over the last three years. I've tried TS2, on all of them!

Just as a side note: DON'T be afraid of a QuadCore processor, I've installed TS2 on every Quad Core, from a Q6600 Core2Duo Quad, to a i7-7700qm, and everything in between, with no problems. If you DO run into a problem, there are easy work arounds out there.

If you need any assistance doing this, just ask. I have 41 years experience working on/building computers.

===================================================================================================

Finally, here's a list of recommended laptops for playing TS2:

All these should have at least 8gb/RAM.
320gb 7200rpm mechanical drive MINIMUM!
SSD recommended.
Win7, or Win8.1Pro.

Lenovo ThinkPads T400, T500 with ATI Radeon 3650 Mobility graphics, or better ONLY! Win7, or Vista.
Lenovo T420/420s with i7, AND nVidia NVS4200m graphics. Win7.
Lenovo T430/T430s with i5/i7 AND nVidia NVS5200, or 5400m graphics. Win7, or Win8.1Pro
Lenovo x230/x240. with i7, and Win7 or Win8.1.
Lenovo W530/W540. Both have either nVidia K1100, or K21000 graphics. Win7, Win8.1Pro.
Lenovo T440p/T540p, with i5, or i7. Win8.1 HIGHLY recommended for this particular machine.
Lenovo T440, however the ram is maxed out at 12gb. Should work fine. Win7.
Dell E6430 with nVidia NVS5200m graphics. Win7, or, oddly enough, Win10.
Dell E6440 (has on-board HD4600 graphics). Win8.1.
Any other 4thGen Dell. Stay AWAY from the "U" designated processors. They tend to have poorer video.
HP15 with the i5/i7 4th, 5th, or 6thGen processors. Win8.1. Stay AWAY from the "N" series, or i3 processors.
Any Asus, or Acer, 4th, 5thGen, i5/i7 processors. Win8.1.
Any 4th, or 5thGen Alienware, i5/i7.
Any laptop with AMD A8, or A10 with either high end R5, or lower end R7 graphics.
Any laptop that has the video specified in your VideoCard.sgr.
HP15 f0387wm, with A8, and mid range R5 graphics. Runs TS2 "adequately" on medium settings, at 1366x768. Win8.1.Keep your "Hoods" on the small side.

Other laptops I've successfully run TS2 on:

Dell 3521 i5.
HP DV7000 MultiMedia series, with Turion/Vision processor, and Radeon video.
Toshiba Satellite, 755D. A8/R5 graphics.
Toshiba Tecra i5/i7.
Toshiba Portage i5/i7.

ANY computer with these specs should work. However, outside this list, NO GUARANTEES! YMMV. Keep a couple of 2 liter bottle caps around, to place under the rear of your laptop, in order to elevate it, and allow better air flow.

An example of what kind of money we're talking? Here is a Lenovo T430 i5 system with nVidia NVS5200m graphics. $170 USD. They CAN be had for as little as $135 USD.

Use Win7Pro, or Win8.1 ($30-$50), unless you already have a copy, or have an "alternative" way of obtaining it.

Drivers are easily found on Lenovo's website.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-T430-Thi...cX0f6:rk:5Tonguef:0&LH_BIN=1

It already has adequate ram. The CPU can be upgraded to i7, if you choose to do so.
Has a 500gb Hard drive. You'll probably want to upgrade that to a 256gb SSD, for $42 USD. Get a USB3 to SATA adapter cord ($12 USD), and use it to connect the old drive via USB3.0.
Re-format the old hard drive, and use it with Macrium Reflect, to image your new SSD, and also to save your EA Games folder in Documents.

For between $180-$240 USD, you have a nice little Simming machine!

Now, with a T440p, You'll spend between $250-$300 USD, and get even much BETTER results!

Much cheaper than a new machine. Just requires a little research, a good YouTube video, and a little elbow grease.
Kunder, proud to be a member of LeeFish since Feb 2016.

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#2 12-02-2019 
Good, informative post, @Kunder. Perhaps @leefish should consider making you the resident hardware Guru. Big Grin

2
#3 12-02-2019 
Thanx! I appreciate the vote of confidence.

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#4 15-02-2019 
DISCLAIMER!

Doing this COULD leave you vulnerable! (not likely though), so do it at your own risk.


Here is how to turn Windows 10 updates OFF and ON.

Download all three files, then RENAME

NoUpdates.txt
to
NoUpdates.reg

Do the same with, AllowUpdates.

"Services".txt, are instructions. do not change. Make SURE you read this first!

NOTE:

Shutting off the services, may not be necessary. you can try it without turning off services, but I recommend you do.

I would at LEAST turn off windows update.

What this does, is makes your computer "invisible" to Microsoft. As far as I KNOW... They have no countermeasure.... yet.

I will return this evening to upload the actual files.

Lat'r

Ok, I'm back. Here they are:

WINDOWS 10 ONLY!!!

In addition, here is the .rar file, containing the actual .reg files. You will need WinRar in order to unpack it. I will leave the .txt files here, for those who do not have WinRar.

Attached File(s)
.txt  Services.txt (Size: 946 bytes / Downloads: 26)
.txt  AllowUpdates.txt (Size: 91 bytes / Downloads: 30)
.txt  NoUpdates.txt (Size: 298 bytes / Downloads: 27)
.rar  NoUpdates.rar (Size: 695 bytes / Downloads: 21)
(This post was last modified: 28-02-2019 01:07 AM by Kunder.)

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#5 15-02-2019 
Here are my PERSONAL (current) "Simming machines". TS2 runs well on all these. You can use them as a guideline. I'll list them from best, to least:

YOUR cost may vary!

This is my BEST "Simming machine"
1) Lenovo T440p
i7-4700mq (4thGen QuadCore)
16gb/PC3-12800 ram
500gb Samsung EVO 860 SSD
1tb HGST 7200rpm mechanical drive in the DVD/optical drive bay
HD4600 on-board/nVidia GeForce GT730m graphics (I use the HD graphics for TS2).
Win8.1Pro
1600x900 Display
Backlit keyboard
Total USD invested= $300
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2) Lenovo T440p
i7-4600 (4thGen DualCore)
16gb/PC3-12800 ram
480gb SanDisk Ultra II+ SSD
1tb 7200rpm Western Digital "black" Mechanical drive in the optical drive bay
HD4600 on-board/nVidia GeForce GT730m graphics (I use the HD graphics for TS2).
Win8.1Pro
1600x900 Display
Backlit keyboard
Total USD invested= $275
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3) HP15 Gaming "Green Machine"
i7-6700mq (6thGen QuadCore) "SkyLake" processor
32gb/DDR4 ram
960gb SanDisk Ultra II+ SSD
1tb 7200rpm Western Digital "black" Mechanical drive in the optical drive bay
HD530 on-board/nVidia GeForce GTX 950 graphics (I use the HD graphics for TS2).
Win8.1Pro
1920x1080 Display
Green, backlit keyboard!
Total USD invested= $600
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This computer is old, but it's a GREAT "Simming machine!"
4) Lenovo T500
2.53Ghz Core2Duo T9400 (soon to be 2.8ghz T9600) processor
8gb/PC3-1333 ram (Max ram for this machine)
256gb SanDisk Ultra SSD
500gb Seagate 7200rpm Mechanical drive in the optical drive bay
ATI Radeon Mobility 3650 graphics (I use this for TS2).
GMA-4500MHD on-board graphics. COMPLETELY useless for TS2, but pretty good for the original Sims.
Windows 7 Home Premium
1650x1080 Display
Non-backlit keyboard, but GREAT for typing!
Total USD invested= $90
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5) Lenovo T420 "Dora" (At one time, I had 12 of these.... ALL just for playing TS2Big Grin)
i7-2640m (2ndGen DualCore)
16gb/PC3-1333 ram (Max ram for this machine)
HD3000 on-board/nVidia NVS 4200m Graphics (I use the nVidia graphics on this machine)
480gb SanDisk Ultra SSD
1tb HGST 7200rpm mechanical drive in the DVD/optical drive bay
Win7Pro
1600x900 Display
Non-backlit keyboard, but GREAT for typing!
Total USD invested= $100

I buy ALL parts, and ALL broken/barebones laptops from Ebay!

I also have a 4tb External USB3.0 drive, JUST for keeping my NoCD Sims games, Graphics tools, and EA Games folder backups for each machine. EVERY SIMMER (or anyone with a computer for that matter) SHOULD HAVE AN EXTERNAL DRIVE!
I also have another 4tb external drive, that I image ALL my machines C: drives to, with Macrium Reflect. I ALSO image the C: drive to the mechanical (D) drive on each machine. Once again, I use Macrium Reflect.

Redundancy is a GOOD thing.

You don't NEED to do this, but I disable my "SwapFile". With enough ram, and a SSD, TS2 doesn't need it. As a matter of fact, it runs smoother without it. I also never use the touchpad. I HATE them! I use a good, inexpensive, Logitec mouse.

I hope this helps someone!

*EDIT*

I now have a new, "Simming" machine. After three years of happily using the ThinkPad, T440p, I've put together a better machine:

Lenovo ThinkPad W540, Portable Graphics Workstation!

Intel i7-4800 Quad Core that is CURRENTLY running at 3.7Ghz
nVidia Quadro K2100m graphics with 2gb GDDR5 Vram.
Intel HD4600 on-board graphics, running on 1gb RAM (Shared)
32gb PC3 12800 RAM
Dual 500gb, Samsung EVO 860 SSD's (Drives, C, and D)
15", 1920x1080 IPS display
4 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port
The NICE 3 button trackpad transplant
Backlit keyboard
Win7Pro

Under Windows 7, the nVidia Quadro, K2100m graphics chipset runs TS2, with little effort!

The downside? Even USED, it isn't a cheap machine. You get what you pay for.
(This post was last modified: 20-04-2019 03:53 PM by Kunder.)

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#6 15-02-2019 
The T440p, running Win8.1, does have one "quirk".

When you first load TS2, and you choose a hood to enter for the first time, your screen may go "black", but you still hear the music. This is scary at first, but has a simple work around.

When the screen goes "black", just hit your "Windows" key. It'll take you to the desktop. Look in the taskbar next to the start button, click on the TS2 icon, and you'll go immediately into your neighborhood. This only happens one time when you first start the game (but it happens every time). Once you're back in the game, you can switch Hoods normally with no problems.

This may be because I use "Classic Shell" for Win8.1. Maybe not, IDK. It's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned, as other than that, it doesn't effect game play at all.

IF you're using the HP-15 with Win8.1, as long as you don't switch monitors, you're GTG. However, if like me, you use both an external monitor, and use the laptop display when you travel, Keep your DirectX 9c install handy. Sometimes, you'll get the "Direct X *.dll "missing" error". Just re-install your DirectX 9c, you'll be GTG.

ALL LAPTOPS (as far as I know)

If you use an external monitor as I do (32" HP32 Gaming monitor), then unplug to use your laptop display at a lower resolution (I do), you can have the following issue:

TS2 will load, then load a Hood, but when you try ANYTHING, you go BLACK. Here's the work around:

Change the resolution to 1366x768. Each click will bring a black screen. Keep hitting the windows key each time you get a black screen. Eventually, you'll get there, and when you change resolution to 1366x768, it no longer goes black. You can then change to whatever resolution is compatible with your laptop display.

This ONLY occurs after you disconnect from a higher resolution monitor, and try to use your laptop display. Once you know how to do it, it's not much of an issue.

Here's an even simpler solution:

Change your display to 1360, or 1366x768 BEFORE shutting down, and disconnecting from the external monitor. However, being the idiot I tend to be sometimes, I forget to do this, and have to use the work around. Tongue
(This post was last modified: 28-02-2019 01:15 AM by Kunder.)

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#7 15-02-2019 
Let's talk a little about SOFTWARE.

WinXPpro
Vista
Win7
Win8.1

These all work well with TS2. Win8.1 can be used with "Classic Shell" (google it). It makes Win8.1, work like, and look like Win7.
Windows 8.1 is the fastest, stablest, most reliable windows to date for the most part. Not kidding here. If you're on Win10, you really should give Win8.1 a second look.

AVAST! AntiVirus. This is FREE and it is the highest rated AV out there, and it plays well with any game. I MUCH prefer this, over Windows Defender, or ANYTHING else for that matter!

MalwareBytes. Best all around MALWARE remover. I install, use then uninstall when not needed. Best of all, it's FREE.

Macrium Reflect. I can *NOT* say enough good about this piece of software! This is hands down, the easiest to use, most reliable imaging software HANDS DOWN! The basic version is FREE, and I HIGHLY recommend it! Do NOT update this after install! It works fine, as is.

CCleaner. FREE software for cleaning up your computer. BEST all-around, cleaning tool out there. EXCELLENT tool! Highly recommended!

Every computer user should have these tools. Using these will help your computer last a VERY long time, trouble free!

The BEST protection, amongst ALL else..... SAFE SURFING HABITS!

Other GREAT pieces of software:

Mini Tool Partition Wizard FREE. I can't say enough good here. GREAT piece of software. Do NOT update this after install! It works fine, as is.
Your Uninstaller. BEST "uninstaller!" (floating around on the internet. Google to find it. look in the right place, you may find it "free").
IOBit uninstaller (despite the nagging).
BelArc Anti Beacon. Tames Win10 telemetry!
HWiNFO64. Great tool for checking out your hardware, and running some tests.

The reason I say NOT to update Mini Tool Partition Wizard FREE, is that it updates to a "buggier" version. The original hasn't any bugs I'm aware of.
Free Macrium Reflect, updates to a 30-day "trial" version..... BUMMER, so don't update.
If you happen to find "Your Uninstaller" free, don't update that either. You'll be sorry.
(This post was last modified: 28-02-2019 01:21 AM by Kunder.)

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#8 24-02-2019 
@Kunder thank you so much especially for that tutorial on how to force Windows 10 updates to stop! My sister has tried every damn tutorial she found to get them turned off and none has worked so far but this did.

2
#9 25-02-2019 
@digi

You're very welcome. Smile

Hopefully, it will continue to work. I don't think Microsnot can bork it....... Yet.

What it does, is makes your computer "invisible" to Microsmurf.

As far as I can tell, there aren't any countermeasures that they have to contravene it. I have one computer that is for Win10 experiments. It didn't update for two years (July-2016 to July-2018), until I turned updates back on. I allowed updates over a seven day period, then shut updates back off. It hasn't updated since.

If you DO allow updates, be prepared to spend a few days/week updating. As far as I'm concerned, Updates on my "Wraith" computer, are now permanently "off".

You NEED to tell your sister to get an external hard drive, download Macrium Reflect, and image her drive to the external drive. This is because Windows Updates can SERIOUSLY bork her machine, and she'll need something to completely restore her computer back to normal, if it does!!!

I HATE to sound like a broken recording, but Backup, BACKup...... BACKUP!
(This post was last modified: 25-02-2019 09:56 PM by Kunder.)

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Sorry, that is a members only option