If your screen goes black while playing, read this

#1blindsenseiPosted 3/19/2008 11:48:37 PM
While playing Sims 2 on my pc, I noticed a while back that after a bit of game play, my screen would go black and the system would freeze up. Other times the screen would black out and you could still hear the sound, and pressing the windows key, returning to the windows screen and then restoring the Sims 2 icon would often return tohe game to normal.

With some of the new expansion packs, this problem began to increase in frequency making it so the game was virtually unplayable, for system freezes, and screen black outs.

I did some research and alot of Sims 2 players were complaining about this, to the point where I thought "Wow, Maxis really outght to be making a patch for this problem" I continued researching to see if other simmers were able to find any solutions. Updates of drivers, parches for the game, nothing helped.

One day, I was looking into this and ran across a little article about screen blackouts in the sims 2, this occured with everything from night life, to pets, to seasons all the way up to free time and bon voyage. Cursom content, no custom content, all kinds of system architechtures experienced this problem and here is what the article said to do.

The article says first that sims 2 is a graphically intense game which demands alot of system resource, therefore, putting additional strain on the graphics hardware. Playing the game on a freshly booted system is one way to reduce the frequency of the problem. That is only the begininng. "Sure, been there done that" was my thought but I read on.

Scandisking, and defragging the hard drive as well as hard drive cleanup of unnecessery files is another way to reduce the problem of video blackouts. This is due to the fact that reduction in file fragmentation causes additioinal seek time for image files and what not, making more demands on all around through put in the system.

"OK I had not tried that one" I thought "but it sounds like another grasp at straws" But I tried it anyway. I scanned my hard drive for errors, deleted unwanted files, and uninstalled some stuff I dont use, then went on to do the defrag. The first day, after that, since my hard drive hadn't been defragged in about 8-10 months, it took several hours to degrag it, so I went to bed, then tried the game the next morning. Already my play time went from 1 to 5 minutes BEFORE all this to about an hour or two of gameplay before the system locked up or my screen went out, putting my monitor in to sleep mode. This was a 60 fold improvement over what it was before. I tried one other thing.

I uninstalled and reinstalled free time to see what replacing the installation of the latest expansion pack would do. I had some reasons why I did this, I had tried putting the game in windowed mode instead of full screen in one of my previous efforts to make the game run. I put it back to full screen mode and the cumulative effect was to give me that one minute of gameplay. For whatever reason, changing the mode made things worse, so I just reinstalled free time.

Let me tell you WOW! Now, We have gone from an hour of choppy but playable gameplay, to actually fairly smooth gameplay and reduced laoding times for game scenerios. Also, my overall palyability can be from a few hours to 12 hours. My wife can sit at sims 2 for 12-15 hours if allowed to do so, and she is back at it again. Sometimes after eiht or so hours, we see ghosts of the old problems but noting like what we had before.

If you are getting that problem, read through this post and try what I did, remebering to back up your game data it's in the EA games folder under sims 2 in my documents, just copy and paste all the files and folders there, to some other folder so you'll have a backup. uninstalliing an expansion pack will get rid of your game data, so keep that backup, and then try what I did, it was like night and day!
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Masterharper of the Veterans Imperial Family
#2FatalIncidentPosted 3/20/2008 2:12:29 AM
Sum it up.
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*is distracted*
*walks away*
#3blindsensei(Topic Creator)Posted 3/20/2008 1:16:34 PM
do a backup, uninstall, reinstall, scandisk and defrag.

The long wall of text is written in hopes of convincing others that this REALLY worked for me, when I thought it was hopeless, I was running out of ideas.
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Masterharper of the Veterans Imperial Family
#4hihellloPosted 3/20/2008 8:55:26 PM
TO MANY BIG WORDS =/
#5el_flelPosted 3/22/2008 5:45:37 PM

^Wtf?!

Thanks for that info, that's actually very useful. I seem to be getting this a LOT since installing FreeTime so may give that a go. At first I thought it was because I was using hacks that weren't compatible (Squinge's pregnany wear any clothes hack, and InSIM), but it continued even after I removed said hacks. Then I was getting scared, because the things that occur when this happens (the screen goes blank and looks like it is on standby, and the only way to remedy this is to restart my PC) are very, very similar to when I blew up the motherboard on my old PC, and I was thinking that perhaps I done that again (lol), but I am actually really relieved to know that other players are experiencing this, and it is not my computer breaking.

You may want to post this on the main Sims 2 board as well, as you get more people on there, and it might come in useful to people who don't venture onto this board.

#6LinktheduelerPosted 4/12/2008 11:04:48 PM
This was very usuful. i was at a point to where it would black out every 1-5 minutes, and now my old monitor doesn't even work right. But i took your advice and whenever it looks like it might black out again, it doesnt. and it only does it ever 1-3 hours or so. So thanks, now i can continue not having a life :D Oh and for the confused ppl, its really not that difficult...but i don't feel like explaining so just press F1 on your computers and i'm sure you can find help on how to defrag and stuff.