First, make sure your graphics card is supported. It must be listed in the system requirements
. If it's not supported, the game might work, but there's no guarantee that it will - in fact, it's quite likely it will not
. Also remember that some cards, the non-T&L ones, will always require at least 2.0 Ghz processor power to run properly.
See the system requirements
page to find out if your computer is good enough to run the Sims 2. Many problems are related to computers that are not good enough to do so.
If your system does meet the requirements, it's necessary to make sure your graphics drivers, DirectX and Windows are up to date.
The following instructions assume you have an internet connection available on the computer you're playing the Sims 2 on. If it doesn't, download the necessary files on another computer, and transfer them to the other computer using a burnt CD-Rom, USB Pendrive, or some other medium.
First go to www.windowsupdate.com
and install all necessary updates. For Windows XP, getting Service Pack 2 is recommended (if it's not already installed). Also look for other updates in the "Recommended Updates" section, and install at least all security fixes listed there.
Next are the graphics card drivers. To find out what kind of Graphics card you have, click Start, Run, and enter 'DXDiag' (without quotes). Click the Run button. Let DXDiag finish loading, then go to the "Display" tab.
Before installing new drivers, it's recommended to uninstall old ones. DriverCleaner from http://www.driverheaven.net/cleaner
might help with that. For support with removing ATI drivers, see this thread at Rage3D
. For nVidia drivers, check this thread at Guru3D
On the Display tab you'll see the name and manufacturer of the graphics card. First try to download and install new drivers from the manufacturer of the graphics card
. Here are some common manufacturers:
Creative Labs: www.creative.com
MicroStar Int. (MSI): www.msi.com.tw
XFX / Pine: www.xfxforce.com
If there are no improvements after installing the new drivers, you can try to download and install the drivers from the manufacturer of the chipset
on the card. For instance, Radeon (ATi) and GeForce (nVidia) are chipsets of graphics cards. Here are a few common manufacturers of chipsets, and their most common chipsets:
ATi (Radeon): www.ati.com
Intel (Extreme Graphics): www.intel.com
Matrox (Millennium, Parhelia): www.matrox.com
nVidia (TNT, GeForce, Quadro): www.nvidia.com
PowerVR (Kyro): www.powervr.com
S3 (DeltaChrome, Savage, ViRGE): www.s3graphics.com
SiS (SiS, Xabre): www.sis.com
Look for "Graphics Drivers" or "GPU Drivers" or something like that on all of these sites to find the drivers for your card.
After downloading drivers, install them by running the downloaded file. For more instructions also see the website you downloaded the drivers from.
If updating your drivers still doesn't work, you might have faulty installation of DirectX. Try the following to fix that:
- Make sure the Sims 2 CD is in the drive
- Open My Computer.
- Right click on the Sims2 icon (of the CD-rom drive) and choose Open.
- Double-click on the DirectX folder.
- Right-click on the DSETUP.dll file and choose Copy.
- Close this window.
- Open My Computer again.
- This time, open your C: drive (usually called Local Disk).
- Now open the WINDOWS folder (Sometimes also called WINNT).
- Open the SYSTEM (Windows 98/ME) or SYSTEM32 (Windows 2000/XP) folder.
- Right-click on an empty space in the folder and choose Paste.
It the issue persists, you might have to reinstall DirectX 9.0c. This is located on the Sims 2 CD, or you can download it from the following website:
To install it from the CD, make sure the CD is in the drive, then follow these steps:
- Open My Computer
- Right click on the Sims 2 icon (of the CD drive) and choose Open
- Open the DirectX folder
- Double click the DXSetup icon to run the DirectX installation.
- Follow the instructions on your screen. You might need to reboot after the installation has finished.
If that doesn't work either, a final solution is to run the Sims 2 in Windowed mode instead of Full Screen. To do this, follow these instructions:
- In the Start Menu or on your Desktop, click the shortcut (icon) with the Right
mouse button (Left mouse button if your mouse settings are set to left-handed). A pop-up menu should appear.
- Choose "Properties" from this menu.
- Go to the Shortcut tab.
- Click in the "Target" box, and set the cursor to the end of the field (using the "end" key on your keyboard).
- Add "-w" (omit quotes) to the end of the text. Make sure there's a space between that and the last double quote that's already there. It should now be like:
"C:\Program Files\EA Games\The Sims 2\TSBin\Sims2.exe" -w
- Click OK
Thanks to OzWiz, the manual and the official site
for parts of this answer.
Answer updated on 3 January 2005, topic cleaned up as well.