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Regenerating Characters & Resetting the Neighborhood

 
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XANA
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:09 am    Post subject: Regenerating Characters & Resetting the Neighborhood Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I'm having a really annoying problem with my The Sims Complete Collection video game wherein at random the entire neighborhood gets reset.

What I mean is, the townies get regenerated completely - as do the Magic Town visitors, Superstar visitors, and Vacation families - and all of my houses lose their families and become vacant.

Not only do my houses become vacant but also the sims on the Family Creation screen (ones that are not moved in yet) are lost as well.

My sim families can be restored to their houses by using the family import feature (by copying the FAM files from the Export folder to the Import folder) but this problem seems to happen at random and there is no good indicator that I've found - so this is a very frustrating issue that just started this week.

However, I have not added any new downloads/skins/globals etc since two weeks (and the game ran just fine at that point up until this week) and this isn't the only problem I am facing here.

The other problem is that sometimes, when I go to move in a family (or just return from Downtown/Studio Town/etc) that when I arrive on the selected lot my family is nowhere to be found and the Live mode button is un-selectable.

At that point, when exiting out of the house to the neighborhood and viewing the lot it acts like a vacant house and the family is lost in-game ( but still exists within the Export folder out-of-game). The first problem seems to occur right after this one here, but not always afterwards (like I said, it's rather random).

I've tried searching Google for results that might have solutions but everything just talks about later games and I have not been able to find anything remotely similar.

I was hoping this forum might have a solution (or at least be better at searching Google for results :) ).
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XANA
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've managed to find out more about this problem that is affecting my game so severely through painstakingly importing every one of the FAM files that are in the Export folder, as well as fix both problems.

It seems that about 5 of the families' FAM files had gotten some sort of corruption and the regenerating characters problem that I had described (the first problem) was the game's way of trying to remove/fix that corruption.

Of course, it is strange that the game went to regenerating ALL of the character IFF files (in the UserData/Characters folder) and not just the corrupted ones - but this is what I had observed when I tried a clean new neighborhood, that is the corruption followed those FAM files over.

Except for those 5 family files that don't work properly (just importing one of them is enough to cause the game to regenerate all the characters), the rest of my FAM files work in addition to the skins, downloads, etc.

I originally thought it was a problem with permissions or a problem with the SKN/CMX/BMP skin files, though it didn't seem linked to any common skin files (and the problematic characters/families used skins that were in use in working characters/families too).

After I narrowed down the broken FAM files and the working files (I successfully imported the latter as well as their houses), I can simply recreate different Sims to match the ones in the broken families.

As for the second problem, which was the houses not saving/not keeping families when using the sub-neighborhoods and subsequently returning (basically, the Live mode becomes greyed out etc.) it seemed that was a permissions/owner problem.

I had setup my new laptop on a Windows domain, not using local users/groups but different ones on that domain, and it seemed that the files for The Sims became owned by a nonexistant local user instead of the correct user. The permissions also didn't allow non-owners to save their game.

I was playing The Sims under my domain user who did not have enough permissions to save the game, and that is why the houses kept losing their Sims and why the game sometimes said 'there was an error saving the house'.

I hope this information is helpful in case someone else develops this problem with The Sims Complete Collection!
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bruja
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

XANA wrote:


I had setup my new laptop on a Windows domain, not using local users/groups but different ones on that domain, and it seemed that the files for The Sims became owned by a nonexistant local user instead of the correct user. The permissions also didn't allow non-owners to save their game.

I was playing The Sims under my domain user who did not have enough permissions to save the game, and that is why the houses kept losing their Sims and why the game sometimes said 'there was an error saving the house'.

I hope this information is helpful in case someone else develops this problem with The Sims Complete Collection!


Thanks, Xana, for taking the time to describe your problem and its cause.

What version of Windows are you using? I don't quite follow the paragraphs above. Are several people all using a single copy of the operating system?

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purplewowies
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I obviously don't know the OS or anything, but the way I'm following Xana's paragraphs is that the folder the Sims was installed/saved in was given to a user (e.g. macbookwindows/milkawhat, where macbookwindows is the individual computer and milkawhat is the user) who either never existed, existed on a previous setup and the files were copied over or something, or existed on the new domain but was deleted. Though the account (in this example "milkawhat") didn't exist, the computer was still somehow more than happy to assign ownership of the Sims to them, along with also not allowing anyone but them to save to that folder.

Of course, I don't have very much experience with this in action (or on a domain) so I could be wrong; I've only had a few times where I've just been blocked out from some folders by the system despite being the sole user of the computer in question. (And that wasn't for the Sims; I've not had permission issues with them since I stopped using a limited account on XP.) It does sound from the description that maybe Xana's installation is in a network location so multiple computers on the network could theoretically access it.

*waits to see if Xana can explain*
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XANA
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I forgot to mention what OS and such, didn't I? Oops... Hopefully this really long explanation will clear it up...

Well, this Sims Complete Collection install (Downloads, GameData, UserData, etc.) was directly copied over from my older laptop, running Windows 7 Home Premium, to my newer laptop that I got in June (running Windows 7 Professional). I used FTP to do the copying since I didn't have any flash drives with me at the time.

When I copied the Sims files over, they became owned by the user on my newer laptop, LAPTOP/XANA (the common machine-name/username ID). I copied the files over a basic game install from the CD, which was performed using that account as well.

These copied files were stored directly on my laptop's hard drive, and not any sort of network share/drive. I am the only user of my laptop, and no one else uses it all.

However, I later decided I was going to learn about managing a domain of computers (a few Windows servers + my Windows 7 Professional laptop) since I had started my Masters in September, which had some Microsoft certifications as part of the curriculum.

In order to link my computer to my new home domain, I needed to have domain users (as local users/groups won't work with Group Policy) - however that also meant that I had a new user profile plus username (DOMAIN/XANA instead).

The files which made up the Sims installation were still owned by my local user (who now did not exist on my laptop because I deleted that account after getting my domain ready for everyday use).

The permissions were still set up for the local users group (LAPTOP\Users) and not the domain users group (DOMAIN\Users) because the game was installed before I started the whole domain thing.

They were still owned by that non-existent local user (LAPTOP\XANA) because that was the account I used to perform the install from the CD and copy over my downloads, skins etc.

I did not realize that the files which made up my Sims installation did not have proper permissions to save - because I was administrator for the domain and could create new files that would subsequently become owned by that domain administrator.

I only realized this fault after the second problem described in this topic manifested itself. My account (DOMAIN\XANA) could not modify those files since the permissions were wrong and the domain account was not inheriting the owner attribute on the existing Sims files (only newer files added specifically by the new account were correct). To correct this, I made the domain account take ownership of the game folders.

As to why the game made some corrupt families (as described in the first problem) I still had not figured that out - I only went around that problem by deleting those FAM files and creating look-alikes for those missing families.

I hope this cleared up the confusion regarding my references to domain usage. I don't think I can be any more thorough with my explanation. :)

I suppose it is rather confusing, because I just took my laptop that was already set up the way I liked it and added domain stuff to it instead of starting completely over and doing it right.
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bruja
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, I can (almost) follow that. Enough to know that this isn't a problem most of our members are ever going to encounter laugh
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XANA
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good enough for me! laugh

I certainly hope that I don't encounter the dreaded corrupted families problem again, though.
I have no idea what sort of factors cause it.

I just had to recreate the affected families, which I guess is the only way to 'fix' it, though it isn't like I had broken skins or anything. The names I had used on the corrupted families were common and I hadn't even moved them into houses yet.

When I remade the 5 broken families exactly as they were before, the issue did not reoccur and everything has working just fine since. Pretty strange. surprise
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