Windows Vista and The Sims 2 FAQ

The Sims 2

The Sims 2

Thinking about upgrading to Windows Vista or getting a new Vista machine? We’ve been extensively testing Vista with a wide range of hardware and came up with this handy guide.

Q: Is The Sims 2 compatible with Windows Vista?
A: Yes! The Sims 2 and its expansion packs run well on Windows Vista. If there is a problem, it’s mostly likely due to the Vista support of your graphics card. (See more details below).

Q: Will my computer be capable of running The Sims 2 on Windows Vista?
A: The required hardware for The Sims 2 on Vista is a 1.3GHz processor with 512MB of memory. The extra memory is needed is because 512MB is required for a Windows Vista Capable machine. Since Vista does use up more processor power, game performance will not be as good as on an equivalent XP machine.

Q: Ok, I’ve got that. What about my graphics card?
A: This is where it gets tricky. Because of new graphical features, Vista requires a DirectX9 capable graphics card. Here’s a rough guide of graphics card capability:


Best cards:
These cards will fully support DirectX 9 and should provide the best The Sims 2(and Vista) experience
ATI Radeon 9800 and above. (9800, X550, X600, X700, X800, X850, X1600, X1800, X1900, X1950)

  • NVidia 6000 series and above. (6600, 7300, 7600, 7800, 7900, 7950, 8800)

OK cards:
These are early DirectX 9 cards and budget cards that may not support all The Sims 2 graphical features.

  • ATI Radeon 9600, 9700, X300, X1300
  • NVidia 6200, 7100

Unsupported cards in Vista:
These cards aren’t DirectX 9 compatible and may actually work fine, but are not Vista capable. As a result, graphics card manufacturers are unlikely to support Vista driver updates for these cards.

  • NVidia FX5000 series (FX5200, FX5600, FX5900, FX5950) and earlier (GeForce 3, GeForce 2)
  • ATI Radeon 9500 and earlier, including 7000 and 8000 series

Q: Hey, I’ve got the right graphics card! I should be all set, right?
A: Unfortunately, there are still a few things to watch out for. Because Windows Vista was just released, a lot of the Vista drivers are still evolving toward stability and performance. You may see some problems with early versions of graphics drivers. Windows Update should automatically keep you up to date with driver updates, but it may be worth checking with your graphics card manufacturer for updated drivers if you are having problems.


nVidia Geforce Series

Problem: Stuttering sound during gameplay and lower frame rate and problems showing rain
Cards: Most Geforce cards
Please check for the latest drivers. NVidia is actively working on this issue.Problem: Sims, plumbob sim indicators, and other various objects appear corrupt in both the neighborhood and lot screens on Windows Vista
Cards: Geforce 7300

ATI Radeon Series

Problem: Gameplay does not meet the 15fps minimum requirement. Setting details to low and off allows an average frame rate of 24fps.
Cards: Radeon 9550XL
Please check for updated drivers. In the meantime, adjust your graphics details to improve your framerate.

Intel Extreme Graphics Series

Problem: Ground tiles flicker when panning or zooming the camera around and occurs more frequently with snow accumulation as well as blocky graphics for trees.
Cards: Graphics Media Accelerator 900, 950, X3000, Mobile 945GM (GMA 950)

S3 Chrome Series

Problem: Clothing textures on Sims will randomly disappear and reappear showing incorrect textures. Trees do not appear in neighborhood view.
Cards: S3 Chrome S27Problem: Mouse cursor is invisible, but only flickers briefly when user stops moving it.
Cards: S3 Chrome S27, GammaChrome S18 Pro and Ultra

Problem: Trees are not present in the neighborhood screen, however tree shadows are visible.
Cards: S3 Chrome S27

Problem: The fruit trees have large blocky spikes that appear on them when snow accumulates and framerate is slow.
Cards: S3 GammaChrome S18

Again, if you experiencing any of these issues, please check with your graphics card manufacturer for the latest drivers.


Q: Can The Sims 2 run under a Standard User account?
A: Yes. Although you need to have administrative privileges to install the game, you can run the game as a limited user. There are a few things to watch out for when installing and running the game.

  • Autorun: When you are logged in as a Standard User and you insert the game disc, you will be asked for Administrator privileges. If you are installing the game, you should enter the password and continue, because you need Administrator privileges to install. If you want to run the game, you should cancel and run the game from the Start Menu (Start > Programs > The Sims 2 Seasons > The Sims 2 Seasons).
  • When launching the game, always use the Start Menu, desktop shortcut, or Game Explorer so that you saved games are saved in your Standard User profile. If you run the game with Administrator privileges, then your Administrator profile will be used for saved games.
  • The Sims 2 Seasons will only appear in the Game Explorer for the account that you installed with, which is your Administrator account. You have to add a new shortcut for your Standard User account for it to appear when running as a Standard User.

Q: Can The Sims 2 be uninstalled for all users?
A: Yes. Although you need to have administrative privileges to uninstall, the game does uninstall for all accounts, including the Start Menu and Desktop Icons. Uninstalling will automatically delete the administrator’s save files. The save files for the Standard User folder, and any other users that play the game, will need to be manually deleted from each account.

Q: While installing a Sims 2 DVD product on a PC with Windows Vista, I ejected the DVD and now my DVD drive is not responding anymore.
A: Please do not eject the disc during the installation of any Sims 2 product. If you have already done so and are experiencing problems, you will have to restart the computer using a hard reset. Then you should manually delete the “EA GAMES\The Sims 2” directory, bypassing any warning prompts regarding deletion of important files (note: you should back up your Sims 2 user data to prevent losing it). After that, select the uninstall option for the entry in Programs and Features.

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