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How to install The Sims 2 on Windows 8, 10, and 11

The Sims 2 tends to have many bugs on newer Windows, like Windows 8, 10, or 11. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install The Sims 2 (TS2) on Windows 10 (and 11). With this tutorial you will get the most stable The Sims 2 has ever been.

Prerequisites

Understanding aliases

There will be a few aliases used, such as:

  • The Sims 2 -> TS2
  • Mansion and Garden Stuff -> M&G
  • Expansion Packs -> EP
  • Base game -> BG
  • Ultimate Collection -> UC

These will be used frequently in the tutorial, so please remember them. If you forgot these, you can hover your mouse pointer to the aliases,

If you have played the game before...

Backup your existing save files if you don’t want to lose your game progress, see this tutorial. Then uninstall TS2 completely, refer to FAQ for more info. Be careful that the save games may or may not be compatible with the ‘new’ installation of TS2, unless you’re using UC.

Installation

Although the file doesn’t contain any kind of virus, Windows 10 is ‘picky’, so the antivirus may flag the setup files as a virus. This is a false positive. Paranoid about Virus? Go upload the file on VirusTotal and see the result.

Method 1: Install Base Game + Mansion and Garden Stuff EP

I’m sure many of you guys are wondering “why I have to install TS2 M&G, even though I just wanted the base game (for now)? The reason is because to install the newest update you need to install the latest EP (which is Mansion and Garden Stuff).

This method is suitable if:

  • You want the latest TS2 (contains all fixes from previous patch)
  • You want to install EP/SP one by one
  • You have a small space on hard drive or SSD
  • You have PC from 2015 or later

Requirements

Download the following items:

  1. The Sims 2 base game (mirror)
  2. The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff (mirror)
  3. Grumpy Loader (mirror)
  4. TS2 base game patch

Installation Process

The first step is to extract all .zip to one folder (using 7zip or WinRAR, so it will look like this:

downloaded file showed in one folder
Extracting and combining downloaded file into one folder

Second, go to The_Sims_2_Win_ISO_EN > game files > and mount the .iso files (CD icon), by right clicking at the .iso then select mount.

Attention: The mount context menu is only available on Windows 8/10/11. If you have Windows 7/Vista/XP, you need to install Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel or PowerISO to be able to mount them.

position of mount iso menu on windows 10
Mounting setup .iso file

Third, open the .iso then right click on AutoRun.exe > Properties > go to Compatibility tab > check the mark “run as administrator”. Click apply then press OK. Then run AutoRun.exe

showing compatibility mode in windows 10
AutoRun properties window
If you can't find serial key in your downloaded file, use this:

5GGG-XR4L-6845-R845-6845

Step fourth, follow the setup process. Press next when prompted, and enter the product key when prompted. When dialog “The Sims 2 will install an additional 324 MB of data on Drive C:. Proceed with install”, press Yes.

While installing, you can play a mini-game from TS2 while installing. In this game you can watch sneak peek of the game there. If you don't like it, just close them.

Fifth, after installation is complete, DON’T copy the No-CD crack from The_Sims_2_Win_ISO_EN to Installation folder! Open Grumpy Loader, then click “Load…”.

showing file menu
Grumpy Loader main interface

Select The Sims 2 patch (.exe) then press Open. Then wait for the update to be installed.

selecting the patch on folder view

In the middle of installation, you will prompted by error dialog, press “Yes”. If the installation is successful, you will get “Client application exited”, press OK. Then un-mount The Sims 2.iso file. It is important!

-Detected Error in Client Aplication- dialog appeared. There are yes/no/cancel button
Error dialog showed when installing patch

Step sixth. Run the .iso files from “The_Sims_2_Mansion_and_Garden_Stuff_ISO_EN.zip and mount it. Set AutoRun.exe to run as administrator. Then open it. If you get an error “The application has blocked for your protection” like this image below:

Windows showed dialog titled User Account Control saying -this application has been blocked for your protection-
UAC Error dialog

Then you need to disable User Account Control. Open Registry Editor, and navigate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Policies > System.

showed where EnableLUA entry is and highlighting the value
EnableLUA default value is 1 which mean the option is enabled

Go to EnableLUA registry, and right click on them. Press Modify… and change value data from 1 to 0. Apply the changes, and restart the computer. Open AutoRun.exe again, and follow the on-screen instruction. When the installation finishes, select quit and press “Finish”.

Step seventh. Go to The_Sims_2_Mansion_and_Garden_Stuff_ISO_EN\Game Files\No-CD, and copy “Sims2EP9.exe” to this path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff\TSBin

And paste the file right there. When prompted, select “Replace file in destination”. (Disclaimer: If folder Program Files (x86) is not there, then check Program Files (without x86)

Step ninth. Right click on Sims2EP9.exe, select “Send to”, then press “Desktop (Create shortcut)”.

The last step is to run the game! First time starting the game, it will look frozen at the black screen. At this stage, do not press anything until The Sims 2 loading screen comes up. If the game loads, see After Installation section. If the game crashes, see that section too.

Method 2: Only install the base game

This method is suitable if:

  • You want the original TS2 aura (or feelings, or whatever)
  • Your computer have Celeron/Pentium processor
  • You have slower internet connection

Requirements: The Sims 2 base game (mirror)

Mount The Sims 2.iso by right clicking and pressing mount. Then run the AutoRun.exe. After installation is completed, copy Sims2.exe crack from the files to C:/Program Files (x86)/EA GAMES/The Sims 2/TSBin. Click replace when prompted. Then restart your computer.

Now, mount the .iso files again, then launch the game from desktop shortcut. You need to mount iso everytime you want to play, otherwise the game will throw error about "please insert DVD-ROM".

(Disclaimer: If folder Program Files (x86) is not there, then check Program Files (without x86))

After Installation

Congratulations! You have successfully installed The Sims 2 on Windows 10/11. Now what we need to do is configure the game to run stable, so the game does not crash to desktop while you’re playing. All of this step is essential, don’t skip them!

1. Graphics Rules Maker

This app will make The Sims 2 recognize your graphics card properly, so the game can know the GPU is able to run TS2 and give you the best images quality and effects in the game. To use this tool, first download the app here (64-bit) (32-bit). Then open the setup and follow the instructions on screen. Open them, and you will be greeted by this screen:

showing main interface of graphics rules maker
Graphics Rules Maker Interface
Press ‘locate game’ button on the upper right screen. Now click ‘Auto-detect’ button. Press OK when asked. Now you’ll see that some options have changed, make sure the amount of ‘Force texture memory’ is the same as your card VRAM.

Attention: -If you have VRAM more than 2GB, set it to 2048, else the game will crash! -If you have Intel HD/UHD (integrated) graphics, set it to 256 if you have 4 GB RAM or 512 if you have 8 GB RAM or more. Do not leave it as 2048 MB!

After ensuring that the option is correct, press ‘Save Files…’. When asked, click Yes/OK. Then close the app. Now run the game, and enjoy the performance boost! You may want to set all of the in-game graphics quality to high (unless you’re on integrated graphics, it is best to leave it on low).

2. 4GB Memory Patch

If you play for a long time (more than 1 hour), it is suggested to apply 4gb patch to Sims2EP9.exe. This patch is useful to allow the game to use up to 4gb ram instead of 2gb ram. Of course, you need to have 4GB RAM or more, or you will run out of memory and having a BSOD. Here’s how to apply 4gb patch to The Sims 2:

  1. Open C:/Program Files (x86)/EA GAMES/The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff
  2. Right click on TSBin file, choose properties
  3. In "Attributes", uncheck the read-only box, and press OK.
  4. Now open your browser, and download 4GB patcher
  5. Extract it onto desktop/anywhere you prefer
  6. Right click on 4gb_patch.exe and press 'Run as Administrator'
  7. Navigate to C:/Program Files (x86)/EA GAMES/The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff/TSBin, and select Sims2EP9.exe. Press OK after that
  8. If this dialog is shown, that means the 4GB patch has successfully worked:
4gb patch dialog with text saying 'executable successfully patched

There are more things that you need to do, such as installing essential mods. But the very "basic" thing you need to do is completed now.

How to install EP/SP?

List of all TS2 expansion with links provided:

  1. University (mirror)
  2. Nightlife (mirror)
  3. Open For Business (mirror)
  4. Pets (mirror)
  5. Seasons (not available yet)
  6. Bon Voyage (mirror)
  7. FreeTime
  8. Apartment Life (mirror)

For this EP & SP you need to disable UAC before installing them:

  • Bon Voyage
  • Teen Style Stuff
  • FreeTime
  • Kitchen and Bath Stuff
  • IKEA Stuff
  • Apartment Life
  • Mansion & Gardens Stuff

After downloading them, just mount the .iso, then run AutoRun.exe (remember to set “run as administrator”). Then after installation is complete, download the appropriate patch, and apply them. Make sure to download the CD patch/Disk patch, dont download DD Patch.

Apply the patch using Grumpy Loader the same way as patching the base game. After that, DO NOT copy crack from the files, just run the game using the existing Sims2EP9.exe.

*Notes*:

  1. NightLife and Open For Business EP use .bin file, you need to convert them into .iso file (tutorial)

  2. For Apartment Life EP, patch already included and automatically applied when installation is in process, you don’t need to download separate patch.

  3. If you’re using method 2 above, then i can’t guarantee this method will work for you. Although you can try copying the needed crack to the appropriate folder. (University crack is broken)

  4. Delete shortcut created from each EP from your desktop, except the M&G one to avoid confusion in the future.

  5. For SP, download them from OldGamesDownload sites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Black square shadows under sims when shadow is set to 'high'

This is a known issue. There are 3 ways to fix it, the first is to use Sim Shadow Fix mod by Nopke in MTS. The second is to just set shadow option to medium. The third option (only for advanced users) is to wrap D3D9 (TS2 renderer) and convert it to Vulkan (modern renderer).

Windowed Mode

Since Windows 95 you can switch between apps by pressing Alt+Tab. Some older games, like The Sims 2 will have weird issues after Alt+Tabbing, so we need to run TS2 in windowed mode. Also, if you want a fast switch between apps, then you need to do this too. Be aware that this may slightly reduce performance, depending on your graphics card.

If you have dual GPU configuration like Intel UHD + Nvidia etc, this will not reduce performance at all.

This is how to enable windowed mode in TS2.

  1. Right click on The Sims 2 shortcut on your desktop, then click properties. In “Target:” section, scroll until the right section. write -w after the .exe”, so it will look like this:

C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Mansion And Garden Stuff\TSBin\TS2EP9.exe” -w

  1. Click OK and run your game. Yes it is as simple as that. If you want to run the game without windowed mode later, just delete the -w text you've wrote before.
  2. If you want to run the game in borderless windowed, which is like fullscreen, but you get the fast alt+tab switching, take a look at a program called Borderless Gaming.

How to uninstall TS2?

To uninstall the game completely, use uninstallers like Revo Uninstaller or IOBit Uninstaller. If you don’t want to add another program to your PC, then before uninstalling the game from control panel/settings disable UAC. After uninstalling the game, enable UAC again.

Disable DEP to improve game speed

Lag when going into community lots? It's noticeable when you move into different lots (especially big community lots), because the game need to read a lot of data from the disk, and Windows will notice it. After that, Windows will increase protection by scanning every single files that the game processed. That's where the lags came from. We can fix that by disabling DEP, or Data Execution Prevention, the feature that will allow Windows to scan for deep-malware in an app that you are currently running.

To disable this thing, go to Control Panel (not Settings), and go to System and Security > System. At the left pane, press Advanced System Settings. In Performance section, press Settings, then to “Data Execution Prevention” tab. Select “Turn on DEP for all applications except those I select”, and press “Add…”. Go to your Sims 2 executable C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff\TSBin and then select “Sims2EP9.exe, press Open. Press OK 2 times and restart your computer.

data execution prevention window opened

I have other question, how do I contact you?

You can send me an email or sending DM on my Discord Disil07#1481. I'll try to help you to fix the problem and it's free, so why not :)

This guide is updated on 08 June 2022:

  • Adding internal links for FAQ
  • Adding 'Disable DEP' info on FAQ
  • Minor grammar fix

#apps #windows #tutorial #the sims 2

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