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I’ve been having some MAJOR slowdown issues since installing Sims 3 Ambitions.

I have a sneaking suspicion the slowdown is being caused by incompatible/borked custom content and I’m in the process of testing to see what which is the culprit – I’ll write about that once I get a definitive answer.

At any rate, after uninstalling all of my games last night and then reloading them, I realized I hadn’t backed up any of my saved games. For me, that wasn’t a big deal since I didn’t really like any of those guys anyway. But, for you, losing years of games might leave you in a catatonic state.

If you don’t know how to backup your game, I’m gonna teach you.

The easiest and most freakin’ time consuming is to just back-up your entire hard drive. And, let’s be honest, you should have a backup of your hard drive anyway. Trust me on this. After I got a nasty virus, I lost everything and had to restore from a year old backup. Needless to say, that was a huge pain.

On a Windows machine, you can generally find the Backup/Restore program by just typing “backup” in the search window when you push the Windows button thingie. [I know you love it when I talk all technical and stuff.]

Your next – and much faster – option is to just backup your Sims game. Keep in mind this is all assuming you installed your game in the default location. If you didn’t, I can’t help ya.

I’m running Windows 7 but the paths should be close to the same. Your goal is to end up at Documents where your saved game goodies are hiding.

Find your The Sims 3 folder in Documents:

Once your The Sims 3 folder is chilling on your Desktop, right click on that folder and then click on “Properties” in the options that pop up. The point of this is to check out how big the game data is and see if you have room wherever you’re planning on sending the data.

Copy and send the file to the Desktop and check file size:

Check the available space in the destination:

I have an external hard drive that I save my game data to and I know I have plenty of room so I usually don’t worry about this step.

However, if you’re planning on keeping the backup on your hard drive then you need to make sure you have enough space. If you’re running low, do what I do and put it on and external hard drive – they’re cheap so you should get one – or you can burn the data to a CD/DVD. It’s up to you.

Now it’s time to backup those mods you’ve added to your game. If you haven’t patched to Game Update for 1.12/2.7/3.3, then go with the old mods location.

Find your Mods folder. It’s either in Program Files – pre new patch – or Documents – post new patch:

Look in the highest expansion you have installed since your custom content should live in your highest expansion. Note the custom content is chillin’ in Program Files in the old – prior to newest patch – version.

Once I’ve find the folder, I right click on it, copy it like I did The Sims 3 folder in Documents earlier and paste it to my Desktop. Then I move that bad boy to my external hard drive just like I did The Sims 3 folder.

If you’ve patched to the newest update then things have changed in a big way – I’ll write on the specifics on the patch later. Your mods now live back in Documents much like they did in Sims 2.

Go into the Mods folder and then right click on the Packages folder. That’s where your mods should live now. If you haven’t moved your stuff yet, move it now. Just take all of the stuff out of the old location [right click and cut] and put it in its new shiny home [right click and paste]. [Your custom content won’t show up if you don’t move it.]

Wherever your custom content is living, the end result is the same -> it ends up on your Desktop.

Move content to whatever destination location you’ve picked:

Make yourself a folder on your external hard drive and move your backup folders to that new folder. It might take it a bit to all get moved over – depending on how much stuff you have in the folders.

If you want to move the stuff to a CD/DVD, head over to this link and it’ll tell you all about it. I don’t use this way so not only do I not have experience doing it, but this guide does a much better job than I ever would.

To restore your game once you’ve throughly screwed it up and learned your lesson, go find where you saved your data, right click on it, copy it and then paste it back to where you got it from.

Remember, if you backed up your game with an expansion installed, you have to have that expansion installed once you restore your backed up content.

That’s what I do and what I’ve done and have managed to restore back to saves I was attached to.

Hope this helps.

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  • carrie

    I couldn’t follow you at all. I am trying to back up my game before installing the latest patch, so my approved mod folder is already on the desktop, waiting to be put back where it belongs when I get the patch successfully installed. I have no idea how to save a copy of it to the hard drive, and don’t have an external hard drive.

    • Amy

      Copy and paste “The Sims 3″ folder from My Documents to your Desktop. If your Custom Content is already hanging out on your Desktop then you don’t have to worry about that.

  • Accessorizer101

    Hi Amy
    So i’m not really good at these sort of things, but i was asking my step dad if he could make a copy of my Sims 3 CD so i could play on my laptop while my sisters played on the computer without having a CD in. Instead of burning a CD he did this back up thing. We did it without using your tutorial, but now I’m wondering do I still have to have the Cd in, and if not, which of the files in the Sims 3 folder do I have to click? thank you so much!

    • Anonymous

      You’ll still need the CD. All the backup does is save the stuff you already have done in game in case you bork something and need to get things back to where you were.

      There are a couple of hacks out there to make so you don’t have to have your game CD but you’ll still need to have the game actually installed on that system.

  • JustSaying

    You do realize that the mods folder is in the Sims 3 folder. So if you backup the entire sims 3 folder there is no need to also store a separate copy of the mods folder.  This is assuming you’re using the new way to install mods of course…

    • http://Sims3Gamer.com Amy @ Sims 3 Gamer

      Yeah, I do realize that. However, this was written last year before the Mods folder location changed and I haven’t had a chance to update it. But thanks for reminding me to put this on my list of stuff I need to take a look at.  

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