Okay, so despite what some people say there is an issue with installing Sims 2 on Windows 7. For days I was stuck with it, looking on forums for answers which no one had, so I reverted back to just fiddling with everything until I got somewhere.
I might not be right on this, but I think there is only an issue on 64bit systems as I’ve heard it installs fine on some machines.
The issue appears to apply only to the original 4-disc base game on 64bit W7 machines
So anyway, this is how I got over the compatibility issue…
(If you would prefer to read this on the Exchange, please click HERE.)
UPDATE JAN 2014:
I’m very sorry to report that I no longer reply to comments on this tutorial and have not done so for a while. In fact, when installing the game on my own computer I have to check through this to do so. My knowledge of the compatibility issue is exhausted on this page. I know nothing more than is here. Kim very helpfully commented with a new location for patches which can be found here (thank you!).
This tutorial still receives between 1000 – 2000 hits a week which is really great, I’m glad it helps, but I cannot keep up with the comments and questions. I’m not an expert, I wrote this years ago, I really don’t know much about this anymore. I’m sorry I can’t be more help than that, life is very busy right now and tutorials were never really my thing.
EA have openly admitted that Sims 2 has not been tested with Windows 7 and don’t appear to be in any hurry to try and rectify some of the problems users are facing. Initially there is installing, then running, updating, adding Expansion Packs (EP’s) and adding Custom Content (CC), I’ve found all of these things to be huge issues.
First things first, install your base game, obviously this takes time so I would be downloading the patches for the base game and EP’s which you would like to install. That will save time in the long run. You need the patches so don’t go trying to cut corners and leave them out, download them if you want your game to run.
UPDATE JAN 2014: Sims 2 Patches can now be found here (thank you Kim!)
As you can see I’ve finally got Sims 2 to install however it will not run. When I try to run it there is a compatibility problem, it will tell you in a pop up if this applies to you. If so then follow the next steps, but if there appears to be no problem with your game this tutorial probably doesn’t apply to you.
Sims 2 was not designed to run on Windows 7, yet we know that it can run on Windows Vista and XP. Therefore, we know what to change the compatibility to. Do this by right clicking on the shortcut and selecting “properties”.
The properties window should open. Select the “Compatibility” tab. Tick the boxes “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and “Disable visual themes,” and “Disable desktop composition”.
In the box under “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” I’m going to select Windows Vista (Service Pack 2), you should then have something which looks like…
Press “Apply” and then “OK” to close the tab.
The game will now run but you will not be able to install the patch or add a new EP. This is because each EP checks for an update which Windows 7 will not co-operate with. To change this, find the patch for the base game and right click. Find “properties” and then select the compatibility tab. Follow the previous steps.
In my experience I still wasn’t able to install the patch. Don’t worry about this, we changed the settings as a precaution. To install the patch properly you must restart your PC/Laptop in ‘Safe Mode’. I do this by holding down the power button until the power goes off, and then press it again to reboot.
You can also turn your machine off properly and not damage it, then press F8 when it’s starting up.
When you’re all loaded up in safe mode find the correct patch. In safe mode everything is a lot bigger… and bleaker, but everything is still in the same place.
The patch should install properly. Once it has restart your PC/Laptop.
Now that you’ve logged back in and everything has loaded, run the base game. It is important that you don’t install EP’s just yet in case something hasn’t worked, though you will physically be able to install them. Without patching the game not only do you run the risk of it not running, but when installing EP’s you will only be able to get so far, and when it searches for an update and cannot find or retrieve one you have basically wasted your time.
As you can see, my base game runs. I recommend going into a town and a few families just to check all is as it should be. I usually use a household with a mixture of genders and ages to get a good idea how things are running.
For example the Pleasant family runs fine for me.
Now the base game is lacking in… well… a lot. Most of my favourite cheats don’t work with only the base game, some of my favourite CC outfits and everything is much more limited than it is with EP’s. To install EP’s you follow the same steps as the base game…
1) install – this will work if the base game is patched, if not it will fall at the last hurdle
2) Alter the compatibility of the EP
3) Alter the compatibility of the patch
4) Start PC in Safe Mode
5) Install patch
6) Restart and run game
One glitch which I have noticed with Windows 7 and Sims 2 is that it likes to produce two EA folders, I only have Sims installed on this PC so I know it’s for Sims. Going into the folder they both have sub-folders for “Sims 2″, one will be empty, the other is the actual folder your game requires. Don’t bother deleting either as the ‘fake’ folder will only reappear.
After (presumably) a long time, you’ll have installed all of the EP’s that you want. Then the next step (after checking everything runs) is installing CC.
All of my CC that I want is in my recycle bin, however, it’s not as simple as just restoring. On my laptop, or possibly W7 64bit in general, when I move more than 10mb per load into my game… it breaks. For instance, it all runs, until I want to change someone’s appearance and then “the application has crashed”.
So I install only the most important CC, and for me that’s the default replacements – for pretty much everything. Every time I install new CC I have to go into ‘change appearance’ on a male and female, click all the tabs, all the hair colours and just generally make sure it doesn’t break. However, given how fast Sims loads it’s not a problem.
That may or may not apply to you.
EDIT: If you have Mansion and Garden stuff or Apartment Life installed, the game won’t crash and you can chuck in as much CC as you want at any given time
Anyway, that’s how I’ve installed both my game and CC on Windows 7 64bit, I hope this tutorial was helpful in some way.
Usually I’d say contact me with any questions, but this is seriously all I know about resolving the problem :(.
Thanks for reading guys x x