Saturday, April 23, 2011

How To overcome Save Error code 12 on The Sims 3

Hey Everyone, ZaccyM here

If you play The Sims 3 (like I do) you might have come across Error code 12 when saving your game. Just so you know, this has nothing to do with the state of your actual save game file, it actually has something to do with the world file your save game is based on! Actually, it has nothing to do with that either, more so, it has something to do with the copy of the world file that is stored within your save game file (which is actually a folder, but the game sees it as a file), which might have been corrupted or deleted or something which makes it unreadable by the game (renaming, deletion, corruption, etc.). By now you may be thinking "Oh great so my save game is permanently damaged", guess what, YOU'RE WRONG! The Sims 3 is so smart that when it loads the save game, it loads EVERY SINGLE FILE inside of the save game folder, so not all hope is lost, however, we have to manually trigger the restore mechanism, and I'll show you how to do that now:


  1. Switch out of the game (DO NOT CLOSE IT, just switch windows using Alt + Tab on a PC, or Command + ~ on a Mac)
  2. Open a Windows Explorer or Finder window (essentially just go to your Documents folder)
  3. Browse to where save games are, well, saved (If you don't know where these are look at the bottom of this post)
  4. Delete any folder that has a name ending in .bad AND has your save game's name at the beginning of it (e.g. Zac's Game.sims3.bad) (these are the failed saves)
  5. Cut the folders that have your game's name at the beginning and end with .sims3 or .backup (e.g. Zac's Game.sims3 or Zac's Game.sims3.backup) and paste them into a backup folder (maybe in a folder called "Sims 3 save backups" on your desktop) (these are the active save games that the game loads and their backups)
  6. Try saving again (don't worry about lost files, the game will automatically generate new ones, which may cause the save process to take longer than usual as more data is being copied from RAM into permanent storage)
  7. There is no step 7, you're done
  8. I said you're done, there's no step 8 either
  9. OK you want something to do, go eat a banana!
  10. QUIT ASKING FOR MORE STEPS I'M NOT YOUR FATHER!
  11. Good Boy/Girl/Other
So that should get you back on your feet! I hope this helped!

Peace everyone!,
Zac

SAVE FILE LOCATIONS:

Windows Vista and 7: C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves
Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves
Mac: Macintosh HD\Users\USERNAME\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves

49 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! I have had this game for three months and just finally got to play for over two weeks and... well, I played for 5 hours, saving whenever something happened, and then I didn't save for two hours. And I got Error Code 12.
    Long story short, you saved me from lots of tears, and I know it for future use. Thanks so much!! :D

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    Replies
    1. Anytime, always happy to help out another Simmer! Funny how actual players are more helpful then EA, you'd think they put out a support article by now! Hehe!

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    2. When you said cut I was looking too do that but because i'm on mac it was a little different then what you posted. thankfully it worked. I couldn't have done it without this post thank you so much

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  2. THANK YOU! The first thing that's actually worked!!!! Thank you so much!!! :)

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  3. Really? The first thing that worked? How funny, I would've thought someone else would've put out something that worked, hehe! Thanks!

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  4. Man, the saving takes forever after cutting the save files. Haha! But this is great! THANK YOU! :)

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  5. Ok, here's the thing, since it worked for everyone else I of course am probably doing something wrong, obviously. Can you tell me what I might be doing wrong, I followed everything step by step at least I thought I did? I would love an answer if possible thanks! :'(

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    Replies
    1. Hi GundropGirl,
      You wouldn't be the only one experiencing problems, a couple of others have been having problems as well. Could you please tell me which OS you're running (that is, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or Mac), which version of the game you're running (you can find this by hovering your mouse over the small picture in the lower left corner of the launcher) and which Expansion or Stuff Packs (if any), you have installed?
      Thanks, ZaccyM

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  6. Can you please tell me where is that "Sims 3 save backups" folder, I can't find it. :/ Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mellisa,
      It doesn't actually exist, you have to create it yourself, you can really paste them anywhere outside of your saves folder, I just used that name as an example, you don't exactly need an empty folder, put them in your documents, they named well enough that they distinguish from other files/folders.
      I hope that helps, :)
      ZaccyM

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  7. How do you cut items? I can't figure it out... :( I'm on a Macbook Pro v.10.8.3. (I also have 4GB of memory left, if that helps)

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    Replies
    1. Hey LaMe (nice username, by the way),
      On a Mac to cut items you hold down Command and X, and release them both at the same time, :)
      ZaccyM

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  8. AAAAAAH!! THE DEMON CHILD CRASHED MY GAME!!! OMFG FREAKING GAME!!

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  9. Hi, your trick does work but I've been trying millions of others and I've ended up Saving As and stuff like that and it's not possible to do this.
    Your solution makes a lot of sense (and I'm no Computer Wiz) and a lot of people are saying it worked for them.
    I wish I had come to you first :(

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    Replies
    1. Hi KatyCat,
      Thanks for the feedback, but as of late my solution hasn't been working for a few people. 'Tis unfortunate but no solution works for everyone, since different people have different setups, my one was designed to work for as many people as possible but there are still some people who'll experience issues, :(
      ZaccyM

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  10. Replies
    1. Hi Maevora,
      You wouldn't be the only one experiencing problems, a couple of others have been having problems as well. Could you please tell me which OS you're running (that is, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or Mac), which version of the game you're running (you can find this by hovering your mouse over the small picture in the lower left corner of the launcher) and which Expansion or Stuff Packs (if any), you have installed?
      Thanks, ZaccyM

      Delete
  11. Did not work. Another .bad is created and the Error Code 12 still shows up.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Unkown,
      You wouldn't be the only one experiencing problems, a couple of others have been having problems as well. Could you please tell me which OS you're running (that is, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or Mac), which version of the game you're running (you can find this by hovering your mouse over the small picture in the lower left corner of the launcher) and which Expansion or Stuff Packs (if any), you have installed?
      Thanks, ZaccyM

      Delete
  12. It didn't work sadly, I have windows XP, im running 1.57.62.023002, I have all the expansion packs but University life and island paradise, i also got outdoor living, town life and master suite stuff pack... Is there anyway you can help me???

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  13. this did not work for me either , and i am so far in my game. i cut the folders and then it another bad folder came up and it said error code 12 again.. Ughh helppp

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  14. It seemed like your method was going to work, and I believe I followed it correctly. However, when I tried to open the game again, all of my saved games were gone. I had to take the .bad folders out of my trash in order to get to my saved game again. Of course, it left off as recently as the last time I was able to save completely; not when I tried to save and got error code 12. So there goes 2 hours of play time down the drain..Anyway, I have a Macbook Pro, and the following expansions:
    -Ambitions
    -Adventures
    -High End Loft

    If you can figure this one out, you're my hero.

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  15. This doesn't work everytime u decide to save tho. And btw i noticed that it didn't make a backup file after the 2nd time saving i think.

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  18. Holla! I followed all the steps that you listed down. However, when I got back to the game and tried to save it again, error 12 still pops up. Memory's not an issue either since I have two running disk drives, both internal and external. I'm running Windows Vista OS and Sims 3 version 1.63.4.024002. I also have the following expansions and stuffs:
    - ambitions
    - generations
    - 70s 80s 90s stuff
    - diesel stuff
    - fast lane stuff
    - high end loft stuff
    - into the future
    - island paradise
    - katy perry's sweet treats stuff
    - late night
    - master suite stuff
    - movie stuff
    - outdoor living stuff
    - pets
    - seasons
    - showtime
    - supernatural
    - town life stuff
    - university life
    - world adventures

    I hope you can help me (and others who are still experiencing error 12) out.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Coleen

      My apologies but I can't help you, your best bet would be to post to The Sims 3 forums (here: forum.thesims3.com) and see if anyone there can help you. But here's some general advice: Do you have any mods? Mods can sometimes cause problems with the game if they aren't made for your version. A quick way of telling that a mod is causing the issue is if 1) The issue started right after you installed the mod or 2) The issue started after you patched your game.
      I hope you can get back to your game as soon as possible, :)

      ZaccyM

      Delete
  19. Also on Vista, and the fix doesn't work for me either. Running all of the above except... wait, people actually bought Katy Perry's Sweet Treats? Anyway, running all of the above except 70s 80s 90s, Diesel, Into the Future and Movie. And Showtime/KPST, evidently.
    What OS do you use, zaccym?

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    Replies
    1. Hi sachtastic

      My apologies but I can't help you, your best bet would be to post to The Sims 3 forums (here: forum.thesims3.com) and see if anyone there can help you. But here's some general advice: Do you have any mods? Mods can sometimes cause problems with the game if they aren't made for your version. A quick way of telling that a mod is causing the issue is if 1) The issue started right after you installed the mod or 2) The issue started after you patched your game.
      I hope you can get back to your game as soon as possible, :)

      ZaccyM

      PS: At the time of originally posting this I believe I was running Windows 7, can't quite remember.

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  20. FINALLY!!!!! something that actually works. Thank you for the steps XD

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  21. Please help me my game keeps bringing up error code 12

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  22. thanks so much! initially the fix did not work for me. however, i deleted the new .bad file and then moved all my saves over to the new folder on my desktop and it worked perfectly. super grateful for the good info since i just created outfits etc for all members of fam (i believe in save early and often, but between changes of hairstyles and clothes would take forever. ... you're awesome!

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  23. Of course I find this AFTER I've ragequit. I guess this means I'm doomed to losing my files?

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  24. Hey,
    I followed all the steps but it still showed the Error 12 and I don't even have any expansion pack. Does this mean I can't save my game now? I didn't even play for that long and I saved in between all the time! I only got it a couple days ago.. so annoying.
    Can someone please help?

    Julia

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  25. Replies
    1. What is this tool hack and why don't you post it somewhere for free download ?

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  26. Thanks ZaccyM but sadly your solution didn't work. Any other suggestions ?

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  27. it worked! Thank you! But all i did was delete bad files! I thought i was doomed but i wasent!

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  28. This is crazy I'm pretty good on comps I did everything u listed and it still didn't save. Now it has my saved game from 12/30/15 I had everything lost from china quest I had lv8 skills on everything now my second floor stuff is all gone. Thanks for helping everyone else out wish it wild of worked for me this is the 5th time I lost all my hard work.

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  29. Thank you!!!!!!! It worked like a charm, and I'm on a Mac. You are a Sim god in my book for posting this. This was the thing I hated most about being addicted to this stupid, stupid game. If I could sue EAGames to get back all the hours I lost to Error Code 12, I would. I'd get everything just the way I wanted and just when I decided to save to keep from losing my changes, I couldn't save it. Why it is that you know this but EAGames' tech support doesn't have a clue is beyond me. I'm just glad somebody FINALLY figured it out.

    Thanks again!

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  30. This deleted all of my sims worlds

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  31. This deleted all of my sims worlds

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  32. I'm on windows 7 it didn't work for me. I have every expansion, and also enough ram that this should not be an issue. It must be the game.

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  33. This is not working for me? I did exactly everything you said, and it just creates another bad file, including error 12. I am running Windows 8.1, I have Sims 3 ultimate collection, (cracked of course) with every expansion, I do believe. The game will sometimes save, but not a whole lot. I am currently trying too save a university game, just created. Any help! Please! Thank you!

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  34. This didn't work for me. :( I did everything you said, but it just created a new .bad folder. I run Windows 10 and have all the expansion packs (but none of the stuff packs).

    I've had this issue before, and normally, while it's frustrating to lose some data, as long as I delete the .bad file after quitting the game and convert the .backup to .sims3, I won't have any problems for awhile, but now it's not working.

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