View Full Version : Completely Unable to Load Any Saved Game - "A Serious Error Has Occurred" no matter how many times I start new games
7th Jun 2012, 4:55 PM
All of my problems started when I got a new computer and tried to move the saved game files over from my laptop. After reading all the forums and playing around with the save files for forever, I finally got the old files to load successfully and kept playing. Yay!
However, soon I started getting the same error messages again. Now, every single time I try to load any saved Town, I get the "A serious error has occurred with file "SunsetValley.sims 3". It is recommended that you reload the application" notice. What I was able to do while it was working was upload the household to the Exchange- so what I did was simply download the household again, start a new town, and move that household back in. Doing this creates a perfect copy of the Sims I started with, with traits and household items and skills intact. But, all of their Wishes, Motives and Relationships disappear as it is a new town. Now, when I do this, I'm able to play the game, and I saved it under a new file name. But, when I try to load that Save file, I get the "Serious Error" message every time. The game itself loads correctly, and I have no problem starting a new game. I am just unable to load any save. I had three towns saved, and none of the others will load either.
Here's what I've tried so far:
1. Replaced original game file with Backup game file
2. Deleted cache files the way they recommended in the FAQ
3. Removed and Uninstalled all Custom Content (the only content I had downloaded was things I had bought off of the Official Sims 3 Store with the free Simpoints they give you. I couldn't find the Mods/Packages folder anywhere, though, so I uninstalled it all from the Game Launcher itself. I've also tried with the "Run Without Custom Content" option checked.)
4. Checked System Specs
5. Completely Uninstalled and Reinstalled the game- twice. One of these times I did a manual uninstall using the guide that EA gives you.
I am completely stumped. I've been crawling over forums for weeks. The EA help guys can't help me. I have no idea why my game is suddenly just unable to load saves- especially when I have done it successfully on this computer before. I hate having to upload my household and start a new town with it every single time I want to save. Can any of you brilliant folks help me? :help:
7th Jun 2012, 5:33 PM
This is caused by the game's user folders' permissions being stuffed up. Usually, closing the game, making sure you don't have any TS3 folders (such as Mods/Packages or the Screenshots folder) open, then right-clicking Documents -> Electronic Arts, going to Properties, and unticking Read Only fixes it. If that doesn't work, try restarting, and again never start the game with any game folders open. :)
7th Jun 2012, 6:51 PM
It worked!!! :'D Thank you so, so much! I can't believe it, you have no idea how long I've been trying to fix this problem... it's literally taken me weeks. I cannot thank you enough!
8th Jun 2012, 12:14 AM
I swear I'm cursed. Doing what you suggested with a computer restart worked perfectly the first time, but when I saved and quit the game a bit later to re-download my Shop purchases, I hit the same wall again, and this time unticking Read Only and restarting didn't fix it. It seems like every time I untick Read Only in the Properties box now, it's ticked again immediately when I check Properties again, even a second after I unticked it. I made sure to close out all the files before trying to load the game. Am I doing something wrong that's making this keep happening? Will it help to Uninstall and Reinstall it all again?
8th Jun 2012, 8:46 AM
If the files are immediately becoming read-only again, you probably have a stuck application handle. Download and install the Unlocker (http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/), right-click the Electronic Arts folder, and go Unlocker -> Unlock All (not Kill Process!).
8th Jun 2012, 7:09 PM
You cannot view or change the Read-only or the System attributes of folders in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, in Windows Vista or in Windows 7 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326549)
9th Jun 2012, 6:21 AM
I usually take the ownership if it won't let me access or change something but that is a bit over the head of the "normal" user how to do that.
Also i rarely use Explorer for my file handleing mainly because of issues like decscribed in the link above, and also becaise it's to integrated and to "stupid", i suggest TotalCommander (http://www.ghisler.com/) for file handleing instead.
13th Jul 2012, 8:45 PM
Does anyone know why this started happening? If I can't open any save files because of the "Read Only" attribute that I can't change, why doesn't that happen on everyone's computer? Why wouldn't reinstalling the game fix it? I don't understand why I wouldn't be able to play this game on my computer. Shouldn't there be something I can do? For a little while, I was able to get around the fact that I couldn't change the "Read Only" check box permanently (As soon as I open up the Properties folder again after closing it, it's checked "read only" again no matter how many times I uncheck it) by hitting "Apply" instead of "OK", which leaves the box open while I load the game. For a while, that worked, and as long as I did that every time before I started up the game, I could play it normally, but this morning for no reason that I can see that doesn't work anymore.
So, I found this page > http://www.modthesims.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:A_Serious_Error_Has_Occurred and now know that I caused the problem by trying to play the game while I had game folders open. Derp. I downloaded the unlocker as you suggested, but it isn't really working for me. It's telling me that there are no locked files in that folder. Sigh. So, while I have now identified the problem, I still can't really solve it. Does anyone know if it would help to uninstall and reinstall? Again? I've done it a few times but that was before I knew what was causing this problem, and I may have tried running it with game files open again since then. Or would the problem still be there, since I'm still using the same save game files? Am I just doomed?
14th Jul 2012, 10:44 AM
Do you use Launcher to start the game or bypassed it? Game Help:TS3 Bypassing the Launcher
Setting it to "Read Only" whenever you play the game is an automatic thing. You cannot turn this off. This setting is flagged each time the game is started, by the game.
So Unlocker cannot find any locked folders and you absolutely do not have any opened Sims Folders in Windows Explorer? Is explorer.exe still running in Task Manager?
And also check that if you use Launcher, once it calls TS3W.exe, that the Sims3LauncherW.exe dies off in Task Manager.
Just to iterate, starting new games is fine. When you save and quit, the next time you load that Save, you get this error?
This is with the restored Saves folder you transferred from a previous install?
Have you tested with a totally clean setting with new User Folders? Does it still happen then?
Makes me thing you have a background process that is scanning your folders constantly in real-time and locking it up as "being in use". What do you have running in the background? Antivirus? Syncing to dropbox/Google drive or somesuch? Backup? Does it have a Game setting where aggressive scanning is suspended while you play?
FWIW, my explorer windows are always opened, just not in the Sims 3 user folders, I make sure before I double-click on TS3W.exe that the folders are on the parent EA or MyDocuments folder. It is only when I forgot to do this, right after I test a mod or install new CC and the explorer window is on Mods/DCCache/whatever, that I get this error.
15th Jul 2012, 3:42 AM
That's the funny thing. The Save folder that I'm using at this point isn't technically from a previous install, I uploaded the household itself awhile ago to the Exchange and then downloaded it, and this is the version I've been playing. I think I might have screwed it up since doing that by having game folders open when I played the game, I had no idea that you shouldn't do that. And yes, the last time I uninstalled/reinstalled I tested it with brand new everything, starting a new game from scratch, and it still wouldn't let me open up the new game save file. I'm not sure whether or not I had game folders open when I did that though, I'm thinking not but again this was before I learned that that was a problem.
I do have an antivirus and Dropbox sync going on in the background. I'll trying turning those off and see what happens. Maybe I should try (yet another) reinstall, and download the household again from the Exchange. In theory, that would give me fresh files, and as long as I don't keep game folders open anymore, maybe that would work?
explorer.exe is indeed still running in task manager. Do you mean while the game is running? Should it be running or not be running? I'll try bypassing the launcher, I always use it.
Okay, I checked and Sims3Launcher does die off in Task Manager once TS3W is called. explorer.exe was still running. I tried killing Dropbox and then opening it up, but I still got the error. Damn.
I read that page about bypassing the Launcher, mine is set up a little differently, there is no folder called "Game" or "Bin" in my Electronic Arts folder. I clicked around and searched every folder but I couldn't find the TS3W executable file, so I haven't been able to try bypassing the Launcher yet.
15th Jul 2012, 5:39 PM
Have you read the Site Policies, by chance? It's called Site Rules and Guidelines under the Site menu.
We prefer for folks not to double-post so as not to bump and give other threads a chance. Only if 6-10hrs have passed, say (or 24hrs and no one else responded to it), and the thread is in page 2 or further down, then we'll accept the double-posting. If your thread is still on page one, double-posting is not allowed.
You have to have the ts3w.exe or the game won't start at all.
Right-click the Launcher shortcut on the Desktop, and click on Properties (last option at the bottom of the context menu). Then on the Shortcut Tab, click on the "Open File Location" button. Do you see a ts3w.exe now, in the window that opened?
While we're doing all these troubleshooting, make sure explorer.exe is NOT running. And any Syncing process is also Stopped or Suspended.
And don't use any files from the Exchange. The objective of a fresh set of user folder is to rule out broken files. Files on the Exchange can get broken/corrupted during the uploading/downloading process. Not to mention, the "fresh" Sims 3 folders won't be having any of the CC you may have used on the Household you uploaded, would it?
Best procedure is to
- do step#3 of the Game Problem FAQ
- start new game in Sunset Valley, select a default EA Household, play a while
- reload the game and select the Save.
Do you still have the error, now?
13th Aug 2012, 2:38 AM
I apologize, I wasn't intending to bump. I just posted information as it became available. Thanks for the heads up :)
I followed all of the steps that you mentioned. I killed off explorer and everything that might be syncing, created fresh user files they way they recommend in the FAQ, and tried to reload the new save, but it didn't work. I got the same error.
The first time I tried this, it did work. I was able to load in my previously corrupted save file and play that way for a couple of days, but after a few times reloading the save it stopped working again. That's when I tried to repeat the process, doing everything the same way, creating fresh user files. This time, loading the save didn't work. Whatever the problem is, I don't think it's with the individual save file itself.
14th Aug 2012, 4:16 PM
Are you still using files brought over from the laptop? In that case, have you checked what others have mentioned about permissions and taking ownership?
But if you had renamed the user folders and already created new user folders while logged in as the User in the new PC, and you're still having issues with brand new Saves? ie doing the "Best Procedure" steps I listed above? Then, maybe the User account is messed up? Try creating a new User Account?
Incidentally, is the user a Standard account or an Administrator account?
15th Aug 2012, 2:40 AM
Administrator. No, I am no longer using the files that I brought over from the laptop. Today, for good measure, I did a complete uninstall and reinstall of the base game and expansion packs that I've been using and tested it again, creating a brand new save and trying to reload it, and it did not work, I still have the error.
I did follow the advice they gave me before about taking ownership and checking permissions. I downloaded the Unlocker that whiterider suggested, but it appears that it isn't locked. I checked and I am indeed the System Administrater, there is only one user account on this computer. Whatever the problem is, it must be with my computer itself, not the file. I *have* succesfully opened and played the save that I brought over from the laptop a few times, I few times the fixes they have suggested worked once or twice but then seemingly randomly stopped working. A month ago I could get it to load saves by opening Properties and unchecking "Read Only" and leaving the box up so that it wouldn't automatically check itself again as soon as I closed, but after a few times that stopped working. A few weeks ago I could get it to load saves by killing explorer.exe and all the syncing processes, but then for whatever reason that stopped working too. I have been careful not to have game files open while I try to play. I'm completely baffled.
I could try creating a new User Account and making it the Administrator. I have not tried "taking ownership" of the file, that is a little over my head but I could try to figure it out. Maybe there is a guide somewhere
15th Aug 2012, 8:22 AM
To "take ownership" of a folder or file, is actually quite simple, the reason i said that it's over the head of a "normal" user is because it's an advanced option that shouldn't really be used, some files & folders aren't meant for the normal user to be able to touch.
Now with the warning said (bold text)
How to do it:
Right click on the folder or file, properties, choose the security tab (there you'll see a list of all the users/accounts that have access to the file/folder), click on the edit button, then the add button, a new window will popup click on the advanced button, click find now, scroll to your user name (account name), select it, click ok, ok again, then tick the full control box under allow, apply (to make sure it "take") ok, ok again.
Your account/user now have full access to the file/folder, no matter what computer have decided the permission should be.
To be able to do the above account one do it with must be administrator.
There's a "deeper" option also but i won't mention that for now, since doing this is usually enough.
Some Windows version might not have the security tab.
16th Aug 2012, 1:44 AM
WAIT WAIT HOLD UP GUYS
Ok, so there's this thing about certain computers with a certain virus scan that causes it to get the "a serious error has occured..." messages. As far as I know, it's only affected windows 7 64-bit computers; at least those are the ones I've fixed with it. It probably affects more than just that. My two closest friends and I all play on Windows 7 computers with the same virus protection (we bought a group antivirus package, hehe) and we all had the same problem, tried everything, then tried this and found it magically worked again.
So if you have McAfee virus scan on your computer then there should be an easy way to fix this problem.
What McAfee is doing is being a butthole and not letting The Sims 3 create the "currentgame.sims3" information that it reads off of while you're playing the game or something like that. It seems to think EA is some kind of malignant malware monster creating files all over your computer that it cannot explain. Of course, it doesn't alert you of this buttface blockage so it's just chilling in the corner and leaving you to be miserable and scratch your head, confused.
All you have to do is go into the McAfee setting whenever you start loading your game and go to "real-time scanning settings" then click the "turn off" button. It just has to be off for loading saved games, it doesn't seem to cause an issue any other time.
I hope that helps because it sure rescued my game. (:
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