The Sims 2 tend to be buggy on Windows 10. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install The Sims 2 on Windows 10 (and 11). With this tutorial you will get the most stable The Sims 2 has ever been. So, let’s get started!
There will be a few aliases used, such as:
- The Sims 2 -> TS2
- Mansion and Garden Stuff -> M&G
- Expansion pack -> EP
- Stuff pack -> SP
- Base game -> BG
- Ultimate Collection -> UC
These will be used frequently in the tutorial, so please remember them.
If you have saved games..
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 number 8 for more info.
Be careful that the save games may or may not compatible with the ‘new’ installation of TS2, unless you’re using UC.
How to install?
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 Viruses? Upload the file on VirusTotal and see the result.
Method 1: Install BG + M&G SP
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? 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 v1.18 (contains all fixes from previous patch)
– You want to install EP/SP one by one
– You have a small space on HDD/SSD
Download the following items:
- The Sims 2 base game (mirror)
- The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff (mirror)
- Grumpy Loader
- TS2 base game patch
The first step is to extract all .zip files to one folder using 7zip or WinRAR, so it will look like this:
Step 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 from soggi.org or PowerISO to be able to mount them.
Step third: open the disc file, and then right click on AutoRun.exe > Properties > go to Compatibility tab > check the mark “run as administrator”. Click apply then press OK. After that open AutoRun.exe
If you can’t find serial key in your downloaded file, put this key when asked:
Fourth, follow the setup process. Press next when prompted, and enter the product key when prompted. When the dialogue below appeared, press Yes.
While installing, you can play a mini-game from TS2. In this game, you can watch sneak peeks of the game there. If you don’t like them, just close them.
Fifth, after installation is complete, DON’T copy the No-CD crack from The_Sims_2_Win_ISO_EN to the Installation folder. Instead, open Grumpy Loader, then click “Load…”.
Select The Sims 2 patch (.exe) then press Open. Wait for the update to be installed.
In the middle of the installation, you will get prompted by an error dialogue, 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!
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:
Then you need to disable User Account Control. Open Registry Editor, and navigate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Policies > System.
Then 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)
– You have very small free space on your HDD/SSD
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))
Congratulations! You have successfully installed The Sims 2 on Windows 10/11. Now what we need to do is configuring the game to run stable, so the game does not crash to desktop while you’re playing. All of these 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 knew 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:
Press the ‘locate game’ button on the upper right screen. Now click the ‘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.
-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 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 have a BSOD. Here’s how to apply 4gb patch to The Sims 2:
- Open C:/Program Files (x86)/EA GAMES/The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff
- Right click on TSBin file, choose properties
- In “Attributes”, uncheck the read-only box, and press OK.
- Now open your browser, and download 4GB patcher
- Extract it onto desktop/anywhere you prefer
- Right click on 4gb_patch.exe and press ‘Run as Administrator’
- Navigate to C:/Program Files (x86)/EA GAMES/The Sims 2 Mansion and Garden Stuff/TSBin, and select Sims2EP9.exe. Press OK after that
- If this dialog is shown, that means the 4GB patch has successfully worked:
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?
Here is list of all TS2 expansion with links provided:
- University (download here or here)
- Nightlife (download here or here)
- Open For Business (download here or here)
- Pets (download here or here)
Seasons (download here or here)I can’t provided the link because it has viruses. You can search it on Google but be careful.
- Bon Voyage (download here or here)
- FreeTime (download here)
- Apartment Life (download here or here)
For this EP & SP you need to disable UAC before installing.
- Bon Voyage
- Teen Style Stuff
- 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, patch them. Download the patch here: https://modthesims.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:TS2_Patches, make sure to download the CD patch/Disk patch, don’t 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.
1. NightLife and Open For Business EP use .bin file, you need to convert them into .iso file (tutorial here)
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 btw)
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 site.
Frequently Asked Question (F.A.Q)
If the setup hangs/error
Run the setup with compatibility mode set to Windows XP Service Pack 2. If it still does not work, ask in the comment section + screenshot of error.
Graphics Rules Maker (Essential)
This app will make TS2 recognize your graphics card. By default, TS2 does not recognize graphic cards that were released after 2008. I do very recommend you to use this app, even though you do not have issues. It will reduce out-of-memory errors. It also gets rid of pink flashing issues on the neighborhood view. Download it here.
In Windows 10 you can switch between apps by pressing Alt+Tab. Some older games, like The Sims 2 will have weird issues after Alt+Tabbing. Or you want a fast switch between apps, then run the game in windowed mode.
The first step is right click on The Sims 2 shortcut on your desktop, then click properties. In the “Target:” section, scroll to 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
Then click OK and run your game.
Also, if you have “Failed to find any Directx9.0c…”, then try to use windowed mode.
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 “Borderless Gaming” app.
How to install Mod and Custom Content
Read this tutorial: https://allaboutdisil.wordpress.com/2021/01/20/how-to-install-mods-in-the-sims-2/
Black square shadows under sims when shadow is set to ‘high’
Download and install mod from this page: https://modthesims.info/d/569585/sim-shadow-fix-updated-2-jan-16.html. You may also want to install skyFix mod to see the moon again. Nopke made some good mod, so check out her whole mod collection too.
My game is lagging, how to fix it?
Read this tutorial: https://allaboutdisil.wordpress.com/2021/02/17/boost-ts2-performance/
How to uninstall?
To uninstall the game completely, use uninstaller 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 (F.A.Q section 1). After uninstalling the game, enable UAC again.
Can I install TS2 to Windows 11?
There are almost no changes in compatibility between Windows 8/10 and 11, and TS2 are not affected at all by the changes. I have tried it on my laptop that I upgraded to W11. I don’t recommend upgrading (yet), because of the mandatory MS Account requirement and TPM 2.0.
Update: As of Windows 11 22H2 this game will probably playable, with no performance drop, so don’t be hesitant to upgrade to W11 if the only reason you have is to play TS2 :)
Congratulations! Now you can play The Sims 2 on Windows 10! If you have questions, please comment on this post. If you want to know how to install mods, click here. Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope this tutorial helps!
Update 13 October 2022
This update is a little enhancements after the EOS.
- Add a new info about running TS2 on Windows 11
- Change MS Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel link from the direct link to the original author website, by author request
- Removed useless ‘download here’ or ‘click here’ confusion
- Removed numbering in F.A.Q
Update 28 August 2022
This is the final update of this tutorial.
- Adding serial key for those who can’t get it (on method 1)
- Removed support request form, because I don’t play this game anymore
- Removed useless abbreviations
- Removed bias on methods used (Previously I always recommends the M&G method)
- Deprecated this tutorial (End of Support).
No more update will be issued unless something urgent happened here.
Update 15 May 2022
- This tutorial is now available on Bear with various visual improvements
- Various grammar issues have been fixed throughout the post
- Removed method 3
- Completed ‘After Installation’ section
Update 06 April 2022
- Discovered that Seasons EP contains a virus in the crack file. Although users don’t use the crack, it is still possible that the whole setup files contain the virus.
- Made the tutorial look generally better.
- Added a contact button for those who need help/assistance with this tutorial.
Update 11 March 2022
- Some people don’t know what F.A.Q means, so I changed the section name to the Frequently Asked Questions
- Adding tutorial to install EP/SP from Bon voyage and newer by disabling UAC.
- Adding suggestions on what to do after successfully launching the game.
- I found a proper way to uninstall the game, so I’ve included it in the F.A.Q
- Adding my opinion on Windows 11 compatibility with TS2.
Update 06 March 2022
- Remake of Method 1. Deleting useless stuff, like disabling antivirus and run-in compatibility mode. This stuff is moved onto the F.A.Q section.
- Grammar fixes here and there…
Update 23 February 2022
- Added information about mounting iso on earlier version of windows
- Certain EPs comes with .bin and .cue format instead .iso file. I’m aware that this is an issue, and will be working on tutorial to convert them soon.
Update 28 October 2021
Just to let you guys know, that I’m still working on this post. An update will come (very) soon, about the TS2 M&G. There are a lot of complaints about this, as they can’t run autorun.exe even though disabling UAC. I will bring a new tutorial on this. Today I also divide some post sections to make them neater.
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