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Contents

Overview

The Sims 3 will crash if it reaches its memory limit. By default, this is 2048 MB on 32-bit Windows and 4096 MB on 64-bit Windows; however, the amount of memory available to the game is limited to how much is physically installed in the computer less the memory required by Windows and other applications. This article focuses on the 2048 MB, 32-bit limitation because it is something that can be fixed with a little effort.

Keep in mind that custom content and having many expansions installed requires more memory. Cutting back can delay/prevent crashes.


Applications That Can Diagnose Insufficient Memory Crashes


Step 1: 32-bit or 64-bit Windows?

Follow the instructions on the link above to determine if you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows.

64-bit Windows: You'll either have to install more memory into the computer or cut back on custom content. Cutting back on custom content is obviously cheaper and easier. If you wish to install more memory, see your favorite computer techy. Alternatively, you could search the internet for information on how to do it yourself. It really isn't very difficult but that topic is outside the scope of this article.

32-bit Windows: Continue on to Step 2.

Step 2: How much memory is installed?

  1. Open DirectX Diagnostic Tool:
    • Windows XP: Click Start, then Run..., type in dxdiag, click OK.
    • Windows 7/Windows Vista: Click Start, type dxdiag in the search box, it will appear under Programs, click on it.
  2. Once DirectX Diagnostic Tool is open, verify it is on the System tab in the top left corner of the window.
  3. The value after Memory is how much RAM is installed in the system. Either keep DirectX Diagnostic Tool open, write the number down, or memorize this number (it's very important!).

Less than 3000 MB RAM: You'll either have to install more memory into the computer or cut back on custom content. Cutting back on custom content is obviously cheaper and easier. If you wish to install more memory, see your favorite computer techy. Alternatively, you could search the internet for information on how to do it yourself. It really isn't very difficult but that topic is outside the scope of this article.

3000 MB or more RAM: Continue to Step 3.


Step 3: Allow more memory to applications

Follow the instructions below for your version of Windows to change how much memory Windows allows to an application. Keep in mind that if you have a 64-bit operating system, this is unnecessary.

Windows XP, Server 2003

  1. Open System Properties.
    • Right-click on My Computer and select Properties.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Startup and Recovery area, click Settings to open the Startup and Recovery dialog.
  4. In the System Startup area, click Edit to open the Windows boot.ini in Notepad.
  5. Make sure to disable Word Wrap from the Format menu (you do not want a check to appear next to it).
  6. Find the [Operating Systems] section. Each line below this header represents an operating system installed on your computer.
  7. At the end of each line under [Operating Systems] add the following after /fastdetect (or whatever is at the end of the line):
    • If you have 3072 MB of RAM installed: /3GB /userva=2560
    • If you have 4096 MB of RAM installed: /3GB
  8. Save the changes and close Notepad.
  9. Close all open dialogs and restart your computer.

In case of trouble

Repeat the above steps but instead of adding /3GB and /userva, remove them.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Server 2008, Windows 8, Server 2012

  1. Open the Command Prompt with administrative rights.
    • Open Start.
    • Open Programs.
    • Open Acessories.
    • Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
  2. Type the following and hit enter:
    • If you have 3072 MB of RAM installed: bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVA 2560
    • If you have 4096 MB of RAM installed: bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVA 3072
  3. Close the command prompt and restart your computer.

In case of trouble

Repeat the above steps but use the following command instead: bcdedit /deletevalue IncreaseUserVA