MTS has all free content, all the time. Find out how YOU can help to keep it running. Tell me how...

TS3 Clean Start for Steam and Origin (PC only)

by Seraeya Posted 27th Jan 2019 at 11:02 AM - Updated 30th Jan 2019 at 5:00 AM by Seraeya : Updates to information.
37 Comments / replies (Who?) - 20 Feedback Posts, 5 Thanks Posts
Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
That's right, it's 2019 and I'm here to bring you a life-changing Sims 3 mod. Please read the full description!

If you've been playing Sims 3 for a while, you've inevitably run into problems getting the game to launch or load, and subsequently found the advice to delete the cache files. Ever since then, you've probably gotten used to going in and cleaning out those files when the game gets finicky, or even making it part of your routine every. single. time. you launch the game. At least, that's what I was doing.

Restrictions:

This .cmd file was designed to automatically purge your unnecessary cache files, which lessens the inevitable savegame bloat and helps reduce load times. The file as-is ONLY works for Steam on PC. Big thanks to mrcnlbyrk, who told me how to redeem my CD Keys in Origin. There is now an Origin version! It doesn't matter where your game is installed, but the program assumes your "Electronic Arts" folder is under your user profile, which is the default on Windows. It should look something like this: "[your username]\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3" This program absolutely will not work on Mac, sorry.

I've had a few people express interest in a version for an out-of-box game. I'm going to look into this as soon as I can find my CD copy (and an external CD drive...), but for now I have uploaded a version that only cleans out the files and does not open a launcher. You will have to manually launch the game after running the NoLaunch .cmd. If you have Steam or Origin installed, please read the instructions below to choose which version is best for you.

The attached images are the entirety of the code for this file. No more, no less. I know how scary it is to use new program files, so I want this to be as transparent as possible. You can use your favorite text reader program to open and check it yourself. I use Notepad++, and regular Notepad is another great option.

Installation/how it works:

Step 0: Make sure you have Steam or Origin running!

1. Extract the file from the .7z. You'll see a single file called "CleanStartSims3Steam.cmd" or "CleanStartSims3Origin.cmd"
2. Navigate to wherever you installed your game and put the .cmd into the "\game\Bin" folder with all the .exe files. (TS3.exe, Sims3Launcher.exe, etc.)
3. Double-click the Clean Start .cmd

At this point the .cmd will automatically delete the following items:
  • CasPartCache.package
  • compositorCache.package
  • scriptCache.package
  • simCompositorCache.package
  • socialCache.package
  • FeaturedItems
  • WorldCaches

AND, if they exist:
  • in DCCache: missingdeps.idx and dcc.ent
  • in Downloads: everything ending in ".bin"
  • in SIgsCache: everything ending in ".bin"
  • in SavedSims: Downloadedsims.index
  • IGACache
  • in Thumbnails: everything ending in ".package" and every associated thumbnail (thumb_*.png)

If you're using the Origin or Steam versions, it will then pull up the TS3 Launcher. This may take a couple minutes! Essentially, it just presses the "Run game" button you normally use through Steam or Origin, and the Launcher takes its own sweet time to pop up. This does not affect your game files in any way. In order to get it to work, you must run the .cmd directly. It can be run from the folder where you installed it, or from a shortcut placed anywhere on the computer. If you don't want the .cmd to pull up a launcher, see below.

4. Hit the "play" button in the Launcher. The game will create new, clean cache files.

For people who don't want to use this .cmd as a launcher: The game creating new cache files has absolutely nothing to do with the .cmd itself. If you'd prefer, you can download the file labeled "NoLauncher" and run it just to clean out your folders. This alternative simply removes the "run game" line from the end. The Steam and Origin versions are only tied to the game's launcher because it makes it so much easier and more convenient to remember to delete the junk files.

An additional note:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwofles
Just a little note for anyone who uses this, this will make your CAS and buymode a lot slower because it has to re-generate thumbnails every time you play. Might be worth not running it every time you play or taking those lines to delete the thumbnail cache out.


I put this together from the perspective of someone who does a lot of modding, so I prioritized clearing out redundant/broken images over these load times. I've added versions that do not delete the thumbnails (check out the "NoThumbs" versions on the download page). If you'd rather not wait for the game to repopulate the images every time you launch CAS (understandable), download one of those.

If you'd rather edit it yourself, right-click the .cmd, hit "edit" or open it in an editing program, and delete the lines:

cd "%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Thumbnails"
del /f /q *.package
del /f /q thumb_*.png

Then just hit "save" and the edits are complete! Thank you for the comment jwofles.

Uninstallation:

If you decide you don't want to use it, just delete the "CleanStartSims3.cmd" and start the game however you normally start it. Running this program is exactly like going in and manually deleting all the caches and junk files, just faster and more convenient.

I've been running the game through this .cmd for months now, so I can vouch for it wholeheartedly.

Optional prettification:

This is an addition by my roommate, who likes to have things look organized and pretty. If you'd like your icon to look this this:



instead of this:



here's how:

Right click the shortcut and go to properties. Under the shortcut tab, click change icon. Browse to your sims EXEs. Choose one of them or Sims3.ico, and hit OK.

These instructions are also included in the body of the program.
Tags: #clean start, #launch, #cache

Operating System: Windows

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 3
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
CleanStartSims3NoLauncherNoThumbs.7z | Clean Start .cmd that is not attached to a launcher and does not delete thumbnails

Size: 703 Bytes · Downloads: 890 · 29th Jan 2019
703 Bytes 890 29th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3NoLauncher.7z | Clean Start .cmd that is not attached to a launcher

Size: 706 Bytes · Downloads: 803 · 29th Jan 2019
706 Bytes 803 29th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3OriginNoThumbs.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Origin that does not delete thumbnails

Size: 725 Bytes · Downloads: 1,092 · 28th Jan 2019
725 Bytes 1,092 28th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3SteamNoThumbs.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Steam that does not delete thumbnails

Size: 716 Bytes · Downloads: 459 · 28th Jan 2019
716 Bytes 459 28th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3Steam.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Steam

Size: 723 Bytes · Downloads: 827 · 28th Jan 2019
723 Bytes 827 28th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3Origin.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Origin

Size: 732 Bytes · Downloads: 1,687 · 28th Jan 2019
732 Bytes 1,687 28th Jan 2019
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Quick Guide:

1. Click the file listed on the Files tab to download the file to your computer.
2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file. Now you will have either a .package or a .sims3pack file.

For Package files:

1. Cut and paste the file into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages folder. If you do not already have this folder, you should read the full guide to Package files first: Sims 3:Installing Package Fileswiki, so you can make sure your game is fully patched and you have the correct Resource.cfg file.
2. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

For Sims3Pack files:

1. Cut and paste it into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads folder. If you do not have this folder yet, it is recommended that you open the game and then close it again so that this folder will be automatically created. Then you can place the .sims3pack into your Downloads folder.
2. Load the game's Launcher, and click on the Downloads tab. Find the item in the list and tick the box beside it. Then press the Install button below the list.
3. Wait for the installer to load, and it will install the content to the game. You will get a message letting you know when it's done.
4. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).


Extracting from RAR, ZIP, or 7z: You will need a special program for this. For Windows, we recommend 7-Zip and for Mac OSX, we recommend Keka. Both are free and safe to use.


Need more help?

If you need more info, see:
 
37 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 27 Feedback Posts, 9 Thanks Posts
Hide Thanks Posts for this thread (Show only feedback)
Page 1 of 2
Lab Assistant
THANKS POST
#2 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 12:04 PM
YESSSSSSSSSSSS!
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#3 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 3:55 PM
Brilliant!! Thank you SO much!!!
Mad Poster
#4 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 4:40 PM
I'm all for automating chores like these :thumbsup:

insert signature here
( Join my dumb Discord server if you're into the whole procrastination thing. But like, maybe tomorrow. )
Inventor
#5 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 8:12 PM
I think instead of starting the Launcher you could make it so it runs TS3W.exe in "steamapps\common\The Sims 3\Game\Bin" folder and then runs "Steam\GameOverlayUI.exe -pid X" where X is the process TS3W.exe's ID. That way you avoid the super slow launcher.

PS: One BIG issue if you have Store content is that when you run the launcher it makes backup copies of everyone of those files (ebc and dbc files inside DCCache folder).
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 9:01 PM
In Steam library, select The Sims 3 and you'll see CD Key text on the right. You can access CD keys by clicking on it and redeem them on Origin.

Feel free to add me on The Sims 3 and to send me in-game gifts. ^^
You can also find me on The Sims Forums, but inactive.
Lab Assistant
THANKS POST
#7 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 10:37 PM
Just a little note for anyone who uses this, this will make your CAS and buymode a lot slower because it has to re-generate thumbnails every time you play. Might be worth not running it every time you play or taking those lines to delete the thumbnail cache out.
Alchemist
#8 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 10:48 PM
With the FeaturedItems folder within My Documents, it might be better to set it to read-only so it doesn't write anything to it (i.e. the Store thumbnails) instead of deleting it every time. Otherwise the game will keep writing to it while it's running.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#9 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 11:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcnlbyrk
In Steam library, select The Sims 3 and you'll see CD Key text on the right. You can access CD keys by clicking on it and redeem them on Origin.


I had no idea you could do that! Thanks! I'll update the upload with an Origin-compliant version.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#10 Old 27th Jan 2019 at 11:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naus Allien
I think instead of starting the Launcher you could make it so it runs TS3W.exe in "steamapps\common\The Sims 3\Game\Bin" folder and then runs "Steam\GameOverlayUI.exe -pid X" where X is the process TS3W.exe's ID. That way you avoid the super slow launcher.

PS: One BIG issue if you have Store content is that when you run the launcher it makes backup copies of everyone of those files (ebc and dbc files inside DCCache folder).


This is a smart workaround. I just have it pointed at the Steam ID because it seemed like the simplest solution. I'm getting a lot of good ideas for a Version 2 already!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetdevil
With the FeaturedItems folder within My Documents, it might be better to set it to read-only so it doesn't write anything to it (i.e. the Store thumbnails) instead of deleting it every time. Otherwise the game will keep writing to it while it's running.


I don't have a lot of store content, so you're all teaching me some important stuff. Folder permission are outside the scope of my program, but I can remove the FeaturedItems line from the next version if it's not actually helping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwofles
Just a little note for anyone who uses this, this will make your CAS and buymode a lot slower because it has to re-generate thumbnails every time you play. Might be worth not running it every time you play or taking those lines to delete the thumbnail cache out.


This is true. Well, ymmv, CAS is definitely slower, but my buymode is exactly the same. I put this together from the perspective of someone who does a lot of modding, so it was more important to me to clean out any broken/redundant thumbnails than maximize speed. I can put a note about this in the description. I'll think about adding another version for download that doesn't delete thumbnails, but that can get out of hand pretty quickly. Thanks for the comment!
Alchemist
#11 Old 28th Jan 2019 at 9:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraeya
I don't have a lot of store content, so you're all teaching me some important stuff. Folder permission are outside the scope of my program, but I can remove the FeaturedItems line from the next version if it's not actually helping.

From what I've noticed, it's not about the Store content you have installed; I think those are thumbnails for the promotional items you see in-game with a gold border around them if you have Shop Mode enabled. It's basically just another way for EA to sell DLC. And while they don't take up that much space (since they're tiny), some players have reported the game lagging as it writes to that folder during the play session.
Lab Assistant
#12 Old 29th Jan 2019 at 12:27 AM
This may be obvious, but I want to make sure.

"3. Double-click the Clean Start .cmd"

We need to navigate to the file (or a shortcut on the desktop) each time we want to run it, right? It doesn't run automatically?

I'm one of those players who spends a lot of time before every session deleting files. This will save a lot of time and aggravation. Thank you!
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 29th Jan 2019 at 12:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PwPrntd
This may be obvious, but I want to make sure.

"3. Double-click the Clean Start .cmd"

We need to navigate to the file (or a shortcut on the desktop) each time we want to run it, right? It doesn't run automatically?

I'm one of those players who spends a lot of time before every session deleting files. This will save a lot of time and aggravation. Thank you!


I just looked at the picture, and see the instructions for the desktop icon. (Maybe they should go with the text, instead of the picture.) So we will be clicking it each time. Got it. Thanks!
Test Subject
Original Poster
#14 Old 29th Jan 2019 at 3:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PwPrntd
I just looked at the picture, and see the instructions for the desktop icon. (Maybe they should go with the text, instead of the picture.) So we will be clicking it each time. Got it. Thanks!


I honestly forgot about the icon changing part, my roommate added that in during testing, lol! I'll make a note that it isn't automatic.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#15 Old 29th Jan 2019 at 3:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetdevil
From what I've noticed, it's not about the Store content you have installed; I think those are thumbnails for the promotional items you see in-game with a gold border around them if you have Shop Mode enabled. It's basically just another way for EA to sell DLC. And while they don't take up that much space (since they're tiny), some players have reported the game lagging as it writes to that folder during the play session.


Ahh, I see. I have all of that turned off. I appreciate the tip, but I'm not going to bring anything involving folder permissions into this particular mod. It's a whole can of worms that I can't provide support for if something is impacted unexpectedly.
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 30th Jan 2019 at 3:11 AM
When I double-click my prettified desktop icon, Origin says
"Enter the product code for Unidentified Game to begin the installation process."
(It says the same thing when I try it from File Explorer.)

Nobody else has mentioned this. Am I doing something wrong?
Test Subject
Original Poster
#17 Old 30th Jan 2019 at 4:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PwPrntd
When I double-click my prettified desktop icon, Origin says
"Enter the product code for Unidentified Game to begin the installation process."
(It says the same thing when I try it from File Explorer.)

Nobody else has mentioned this. Am I doing something wrong?


Hmm. I'm not sure what's causing this, but I'll help if I can. Did it work before you changed the icon? Please walk me through what you did after downloading the file.
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 30th Jan 2019 at 5:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraeya
Hmm. I'm not sure what's causing this, but I'll help if I can. Did it work before you changed the icon? Please walk me through what you did after downloading the file.


I downloaded the Origin No Thumbs version and unzipped it (7-Zip).
I moved the file CleanStartSims3OriginNoThumbs.cmd to the bin folder with the other applications. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\Game\Bin)
Instead of running it right away, I sent a shortcut to the desktop. I changed the icon on the shortcut.
I opened Origin to my library, but didn't click Play.
I double-clicked the shortcut icon. Origin gave me a pop-up window asking for a product code.
I canceled that and went back to the app in File Explorer. (It still has the original icon.) I double-clicked it.
Origin gave me the same pop-up window. I canceled.
I went and deleted files the old way so I could play the game. ;-)

I'm quite willing for you to point out something silly that I did so I can get it working!
Thanks!
Test Subject
#19 Old 30th Jan 2019 at 11:28 AM
You can merge Steam and Origin versions in one bat, exe or cmd file and ask which will it be the first time someone launches it. I can do it for you if you want. Also you can add NoLauncher or with launcher to the same file and just make the user choose on the first time launch.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#20 Old 31st Jan 2019 at 12:42 AM
Downside; it completely messed up my CAS catalog (all disorganized missing stuff, dont really care though), Upside, my game runs a heck alot smoother.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#21 Old 4th Feb 2019 at 3:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PwPrntd
I downloaded the Origin No Thumbs version and unzipped it (7-Zip).
I moved the file CleanStartSims3OriginNoThumbs.cmd to the bin folder with the other applications. (C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 3\Game\Bin)
Instead of running it right away, I sent a shortcut to the desktop. I changed the icon on the shortcut.
I opened Origin to my library, but didn't click Play.
I double-clicked the shortcut icon. Origin gave me a pop-up window asking for a product code.
I canceled that and went back to the app in File Explorer. (It still has the original icon.) I double-clicked it.
Origin gave me the same pop-up window. I canceled.
I went and deleted files the old way so I could play the game. ;-)

I'm quite willing for you to point out something silly that I did so I can get it working!
Thanks!


Sorry it's been a couple days, I've been super busy. I'm not sure exactly what could be causing that specific error. Here are a couple ideas:

1. Since you have the game installed inside the Program Files folder, you may need to run the cmd as administrator.
2. Where are the actual cache files located? The cmd could be pointing at the wrong place.
3. Have you tried using the non-launcher version? If Origin won't play nice, it might be easier to run that version to clean the files and launch manually.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#22 Old 4th Feb 2019 at 3:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Visual917
You can merge Steam and Origin versions in one bat, exe or cmd file and ask which will it be the first time someone launches it. I can do it for you if you want. Also you can add NoLauncher or with launcher to the same file and just make the user choose on the first time launch.


I thought about this, but ultimately decided against it. It's a little clunkier to have the files individually, but it's also less complicated. If you'd like, you have my full support to use what I've provided in this mod to create a merged version and upload it separately. I'd appreciate credit for the code I wrote, but it's free to use.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#23 Old 6th Feb 2019 at 9:27 PM
Wow! I am beyond happy to see this. My friend sent this page to me as soon as she found it. We are beyond thankful to you for making this wonderful program. I have spent years going in to the folders and hunting down all these files each and every time i played. Became such a chore! Now I can jump right to playing. Thank you! <3
Field Researcher
#24 Old 7th Feb 2019 at 5:25 PM
Default Question
Quick question: does/will this work in tandem with the Sims 3 Booter and FPS Limiter programs? Or will I not need them?
Lab Assistant
#25 Old 8th Feb 2019 at 5:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJMW55
Quick question: does/will this work in tandem with the Sims 3 Booter and FPS Limiter programs? Or will I not need them?

I don't use either of these, but you can always use the CleanStartSims3NoLauncher.7z version, then start you game as you normally do.

Jettstar MTS TS3 Random Legacy Challenge

The knowledge that there is a 'Highway To Hell',
while there is only a 'Stairway To Heaven',
speaks volumes to me about anticipated traffic...
It also tells me where the better party will be...
Page 1 of 2