Sims 2 Ultimate Collection Resolution & Graphics Fix

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by SrslySims, Jul 3, 2016.

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  1. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Is your game stuck in low resolution (600x800), or you may even not be able to launch the game at all?
    Maybe you can get it running but the graphics look terrible?
    Not a problem! Here is how you can fix your game!

    This may also work for the non-ultimate edition of the game, but I have not tested it.

    I am also using windows 10 to write this tutorial, but it tutorial will work for Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this tutorial I will teach you how to:

    Part One:
    Fix low resolution graphics & Fix Direct3D error: E_INVALIDARG! for Dual Graphics cards.
    Part Two: Fix shadows for sims and pets (no more black squares)
    Part Three: Fix low quality neighborhood terrain (water/grass/concrete)
    Part Four: Run Sims 2 in windowed mode

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you have any questions about this tutorial, or need help to fix a problem with your Sims 2 Ultimate Collection feel free to post here and I will try to assist you.

     
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  2. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    Is your game stuck in a super small resolution (such as 800x600)?
    No problem! Lets fix that!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this section I will go over:

    Step 1 :
    Updating your Graphics Driver
    Step 2 : Backup your Graphics Rule.sgr
    Step 3: Install Graphics Rule Maker
    Step 4: Create a New Graphics Rule (for Single video cards)
    Step 5: Create a New Graphics Rule (for Dual video cards)

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


    [​IMG]
    Before we start the troubleshooting steps to fix your game, the first thing you need to do is check to see if your video driver is up to date! This can sometimes fix your problem with a lot of the graphics issues!​

    Not sure what graphics card you have in your computer?
    You can download this free program called Speccy, once you have it installed go ahead and launch the program. It will take just a moment to get all the info about your computers hardware. Once it is done, on the first tab "summary" you will see Graphics, underneath the "Graphics" text you will see your graphics card.
    [​IMG]

    Now that you have the name of your graphics card you can just google to find your driver.
    (Example: I would look up > AMD Radeon R9 380 Series Driver)

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Alternatively, you can install the free program Driver Booster from Iobit,

    Once you have installed Driver Booster, go ahead and launch it. When it opens it will take a moment while it scans all of your computers drivers for updates (it will check everything, not just graphics driver).
    [​IMG]

    Once it is finished scanning you will see a notice in the top right hand corner saying "Attention! 'X' outdated Device Drivers. If you have any outdated drivers you can select them individually in the list or update any outdated drivers at one time by pushing the "Update Now" button in the top left hand corner of the screen.
    I recommend updating any outdated drivers that you may have!
    Be sure to RESTART your computer if you updated any drivers.
    Once you have restarted go ahead and test your game to see if this fixed your problem. If not continue to step 2.
    [​IMG]
    The next thing we need to do before we get started troubleshooting your game, is backup the current graphics rule file. As we will be editing this to fix your game. This way if you make a mistake you can replace it with a copy of the original and try again.​

    First, make two new folder on your desktop. (Right Click anywhere on the desktop > New > Folder)
    Name the 1st folder: Config Graphics Rule
    Name the 2nd folder: CsConfig Graphics Rule

    Now we need to grab the old graphics rule.

    The first Graphics Rule file is located:
    Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun With Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Config

    Right Click the Graphics Rules.sgr file > Copy
    Then go to the 1st folder "Config" on your desktop and Right Click > Paste.

    The second Graphics Rule file is located:
    Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun With Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\CsConfig

    Right Click the Graphics Rules.sgr file > Copy
    Then go to the 2nd folder "CsConfig" on your desktop and Right Click > Paste.​
     
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  3. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    [​IMG]


    Now we need to create a new graphics rule for your game!

    1. Download this Graphics Rule Maker program from SimsNetwork.
    Be sure to download the newest version (as pictured below)

    [​IMG]

    2. Once the graphicsrulesmaker-1.1.0.exe has finished downloading, go ahead and install the program.


    A. An administrator popup will appear, just click yes.

    B. The install window will pop-up, just click Next.

    C. The License Agreement Window will prompt, just click I Agree.

    D. Choose Install Location, It will prompt with a default location, or you can choose another destination.
    Once you have the destination location chosen, just click Next. (as pictured below)

    [​IMG]
    E. The next window will install a start menu folder so you can quickly get to the program.
    If you do not want it to install to the start menu, click the checkbox "Do not create shortcuts".

    [​IMG]
    F. On the Choose Components window, un-check the box SimsCity4.
    After you have it un-checked, click install.

    [​IMG]
    G. Once it is done installing, check the box "Run Graphics Rules Maker"
    Then Press Finish.​
     
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  4. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    [​IMG]

    Now that you have the Graphics Rules Maker program installed, It is time to create a new graphics rule.

    if you have dual graphics cards skip this step and go to Step 5!


    [​IMG]

    Now I am going to explain the program to you. (as pictured above)
    It will be up to you on what you choose, but be sure to read the steps to understand what you are clicking.

    1. Game: - be sure this says The Sims 2 and not SimsCity 4.
    (just in case you did not un-check the box when installing)

    2. Path: - This should auto generate to your Sims 2 folder.
    If it doesn't make sure it navigates to:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Game\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\Sp9

    3. Force Texture Memory: If your game is running in low quality you can change this to whatever your graphics card will allow. For high quality graphics, set this to 128 Mb or higher.

    You can check how high you can set this by clicking the "Device Info" tab. (as pictured below)
    Your stats will be different depending on your graphics card.


    [​IMG]


    4. Disable Sim Shadows: - This will remove all of the shadows from pets and sims in your game.

    5. Fix AMD Radeon HD 7000 series recognition: - Check this box only if you are using a AMD Radeon HD 7000 series graphics card. As it will make the game recognize your card to allow better performance.
    If you do not have an Radeon HD 7000 Series video card, just leave this box alone.

    6. High Quality on Intel Graphics: - If you are using an newer Intel graphics card, (ex. on a laptop), or if you have dual graphics cards. Be sure to click this box. If you have an older Intel card you may want to test this, if you run into problems and have performance issues, just open this program again and un-click this box and create a new rule.
    If you do not have an Intel card, just leave this box alone.

    7. Support Vsync on Intel: - If you have an Intel video card, and experience the game "flickering" you can check this box to fix your problem. If you have an older Intel card you may want to test this, if you run into problems and have performance issues, just open this program again and un-click this box and create a new rule.
    If you do not have an Intel card, just leave this box alone.

    8. Default Resolution: -
    This is the default that your resolution will be when you first start the game after creating the new graphics rules. Depending on what type of monitor/TV you are using will limit how large you can make the resolution. I have my default set to 1024x786.

    9. Maximum Resolution: - This is the maximum size that you can use once you get in game, You can set this to the largest item in the list (last size in the list) Depending on what type of monitor/TV you are using will limit how large you can make the resolution. I have my Maximum set to 1600x1200.

    **Note - Resolutions: High resolution may cause performance problems! So if you are unsure what your monitor/TV allows, you will need to play with the resolution presets once you get into your game.

    10. Once you have all of the settings set to your liking, click Save Files... (as pictured below)
    If you have dual video cards, do not click save yet, please skip down to Step 5 in this tutorial.

    11.
    After you hit "Save Files..." to finish up your new graphics rules. You may encounter a popup "Add Devices?" saying 'The following devices are still missing in the video card database. Do you want to add them?' If you get this prompt, just click yes.
    This just means that your graphics card will now work properly with The Sim 2.

    12. Now you are finished creating a new graphics rule.
    Launch your game and make sure if it is working properly!

    [​IMG]

    If you have dual video cards you will need to do a few extra steps to get your game working properly.

    For example, this fixed a laptop that had both an Intel on board graphics as well as a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M.

    We ran into the issue that the game refused to load with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M card.
    So sadly, if you have tried using this card to launch your game and received the error :
    Direct3D returned an error: E_INVALIDARG! The application will now terminate.

    You will need to use the Intel on board graphics and not your dedicated card.
    At this time I have not found a fix that works with the dedicated cards.

    1. Open Graphics Rule Maker, if it is not already open.

    2. Click the "Device Info" tab, and under the "Device Drop down box" Select your Intel (on board) graphics card.
    Do not select the dedicated (secondary) card, or you may continue to have issues/errors.

    3. Go back to the "Settings" tab. and set your settings as pictured below.

    [​IMG]
    This is how your settings should look. Below is a brief summery of the items you should have checked. Be sure to read theses before saving.

    a. Game: - The Sims 2

    b. Path: - c:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9

    c. Force Texture Memory: - 512 mb (*recommended) You can set this up to 1024 mb, but no higher.
    As this can cause graphic issues in you game. (pick hue on screen during game play.)

    d. Disable Sim Shadows - You can check this box, or fix it later in game. If you have an older computer you may want to go ahead and check the box and remove the shadows completely.

    e. High Quality on Intel Graphics: - Check this box only if you have a newer computer, as this can cause graphics issues in older computers.

    f. Support VSync on Intel: - Check this box only if you have a newer computer, as this can cause graphics issues in older computers. (You can check this, and if you have issues after running your game you can make a new rule with this box unchecked)

    g. Default Resolution: - This is the default that your resolution will be when you first start the game after creating the new graphics rules. Depending on what type of monitor/TV you are using will limit how large you can make the resolution. 800x600 Recommended*

    h. Maximum Resolution: - This is the maximum size that you can use once you get in game, You can set this to the largest item in the list (last size in the list) Depending on what type of monitor/TV you are using will limit how large you can make the resolution. 1024x786 Recommended*

    **Note - Resolutions: High resolution may cause performance problems! So if you are unsure what your monitor/TV allows, you will need to play with the resolution presets once you get into your game.​

    4. Once you have your settings setup, you can now click "Save Files...".
    5. After you hit "Save Files..." to finish up your new graphics rules.
    You may encounter a popup "Add Devices?" saying 'The following devices are still missing in the video card database. Do you want to add them?' If you get this prompt, just click NO.
    If you input both the on board graphics and the Nvidia card, you will continue to have issues.

    6. You can now close the Graphics Rule Maker and run your game!
     
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  5. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    [​IMG]
    This is a common problem. So don't worry we can fix it!
    This issue occurs when you run The Sims 2 on new computers, as we did not have such sophisticated hardware when Maxis was supporting Sims 2.

    Follow the steps below to remove the black squares under your Sims & Pets feet!

    [​IMG]
    1. Open your game, and open your neighborhood that you want to play in.

    2. Go to options (three dots) > then Click the first Icon that looks like a computer screen called Graphics/Performance Options. (as pictured below)

    [​IMG]

    3. Once you are in the Graphics/Performance Options, go to "Shadows" in the top left corner and change Shadows from 'High' to Medium'. Then click, Apply Changes. (as pictured below)
    **Note: If medium still shows the shadow blocks then you can also turn shadows off while in the same menu.

    [​IMG]
    4. Yay! Those pesky black boxes are gone and you have normal shadows again!


    Alternative Method

    If the above method does not work and you continue to have the block shadows under your sims/pets feet. There is one more option to fix this.
    1. Open your Graphics Rules.sgr with Notepad/Notepad++ so that we can edit it.
    Location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Config\

    2. Once you have it open hit 'CTRL+F' to open the find window. Then in the "Find What:" box type in SimShadow. Then click Find Next.

    3. You should now see a list with the sim shadows and three settings as pictured below.
    Change boolProp simShadows True to False in all three setting categories.
    (You can also turn off object shadows if here as well if you are having issues with them.)


    [​IMG]
    4. Once you have changed the settings for all three ($Low/$Medium/$High) changed, go ahead and save the new graphics rule.

    5. Now you can open your game and the shadows should be gone!
     
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  6. SrslySims
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    [​IMG]
    While in the Neighboorhood mode are your shores choppy? The water have no texture and just looks like a blue blob? Even the concrete downtown looks like it was drawn on?
    No problem! We can fix that too!

    [​IMG]

    1. Make sure your game and any other software that needs to access your game files is not running.

    2. Next, make a backup of your Graphics Rules.sgr. As seen in Part 1, step 2 in this thread.
    Location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Config\

    3. Now right click on your Graphics Rules.sgr file that is in your game's config folder and select 'Open with... ' and open the file with Notepad or you can download and open with Notepad++ (DO NOT open with wordpad).

    [​IMG]
    4. Now that your Graphics Rules.sgr is open in Notepad/Notepad++ hit 'CTRL+F' to open the find window. Then in the "Find What:" box type in SimpleTerrain. Then click Find Next.

    5. Now you should have boolprop simpleTerrain True showing. Change True to False.


    [​IMG]

    6. In the "Find Window", click find Next again. Change the next boolprop simpleTerrain True. Change True to False.

    7. One last time In the "Find Window", click find Next again. Change the next boolprop simpleTerrain True. Change True to False.

    *Note: There should be Three boolprop simpleTerrain lines that you need to change.

    8. Now save your edited Graphics Rules.sgr file, and run your game!
     
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  7. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    [​IMG]
    Do you want to run your Sims 2 game in windowed mode so you can multitask like the best of us? Well you can!

    [​IMG]
    1. Right Click on your The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection shortcut on your desktop, then select 'properties'.

    2. Once Properties is open, click the 'Shortcut' tab.

    3. Find the line that says "Target:" and it should say:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSBin\Sims2EP9.exe"

    4. At the end of the target line add a space, and then put -w. So now it should say:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSBin\Sims2EP9.exe" -w
    [​IMG]

    5. Click Apply in the bottom right hand corner, then click OK.

    6. Run your game and now it should be in windowed mode!​

     
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  8. SrslySims
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  9. SrslySims
    Dazed

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  10. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    The thread is now open for any questions, comments, concerns, or help!

    If you have any issues feel free to ask and I would be happy to assist you! :hearts:
     
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  11. Eca
    Fine

    Eca Ultimate Member
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    I can't fix my shadow problem with what you said in part 2. I use boolProp simShadows false command instead.
    :thumbsup:
     
  12. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    I totally forgot to add the option! Glad you got it fixed, I'll be sure to add that :)
    (was 3 am when I rushed to finish :p)
     
  13. mrnhmath
    Fine

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  14. Margarita Sepulveda

    Margarita Sepulveda
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    For the water shore thing does it fix as well for the beach lots...?
    (Sorry for asking, but I wanted to ask before I do this to my game o.o)
     
  15. Evalyn326

    Evalyn326
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    I have accidentally add my 2 graphic cards (Intel and Nvidia) to the database. Does anyone know how to fix this?
     
  16. Margarita Sepulveda

    Margarita Sepulveda
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    Just press the Defult settings.
    It'll get rid of what you added along with the previous settings so you might need to at least back it up a bit.
     
  17. Krisxx

    Krisxx
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    This helped me out so much! But I cannot for the life of me get it to play in windowed mode. I have a windows 8 laptop and I've done the necessary steps to add the -w and -window in properties but all it does is add space on the side of the game window, I can't see my desktop. If anyone could help I would seriously appreciate it! ♥
    [​IMG]
     
  18. SrslySims
    Dazed

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    I don't have a pc that has windows 8, so I can't really help here. But I did find info here that may be of some help.
     

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