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The Sims Complete Collection on WinXP

On February 2, 2000, Maxis Software released the first of a series of life simulation video games, The Sims. Microsoft XP was released on October 25, 2001. There were several expansion packs released for The Sims and several Service Packs released for Windows XP. My goal is to install the most current version of Windows XP on 32-bit hardware and install the DVD version of The Sims Complete Collection.

The motherboard used is a Microstar MS-7061 with an AMD Sempron 3000+ and 2GB of RAM. There were no IDE hard drives or CDROM drives available, so IDE to SATA adapters were used on SATA drives. The video card is an nVidia GeForce 6200 compliant with Microsoft DirectX 9.0c specification and OpenGL 2.0. This is adequate to run The Sims satisfactorily.

Installation began with an on-hand copy of Windows XP SP2, but it turned out that the game would install but not run on that, so an update to SP3 was needed. I did find an unofficial "SP4" and installed that without issue.

Security on this system is not much of a concern since there is no personal information on it and it is not connected to the Internet, only the LAN and there are only Linux and Mac devices on the LAN. There's no satisfactory way to remove or disable Internet Explorer on a Windows XP machine, so the machine is just isolated and IE (or any web browser for that matter) is not used at all.

There are some additional apps installed on the machine for convenience: CCleaner,Malwarebytes, Putty, BitVise SSH Server, WinAce, TigerVNC, Midnight Commander (Windows build download).

The 4-CD installation went without issue. The largest resolution the game runs at, by default, 1024x768 in 16-bit mode. There is a Wide Screen Patcher that modifies the Sims.exe file. If you can navigate a hex editor, here is how to do it. There is a widescreen fix available, but it requires a specific version of the No-CD Sims.exe. My display is 1920x1080.  

One of the biggest annoyances is the requirement that the original game CD be physically in the drive in order to play the game. A NO-CD "patch" can be obtained from GamecopyWorld.com or other sources. I'll post a link to the correct one below, or tell me about your success in the comments below. You can get the NOCD version for the standard 1024x768 resolution here, the NOCD version for a 1920x1080 resolution here and instructions on how to modify the .exe file for any resolution here.

When it was new, there were many fan-made additions and modification made for the game. These can be somewhat difficult to find, but some may be had at The Sims Zone. The legendary "nude patches" and skins are found here and here and here. All these come with installation instructions.

Are there cheats codes? Sure are! Press CTRL+SHIFT+C during game to display the command prompt. After successfully entering and activating one of the codes you can also do the following: Enter an exclamation point at the prompt to repeat the last cheat entered. Enter a semi-colon between codes to enter several codes at the same time. A list of the codes can be found here.  The cheat rosebud gets you 1000 Simoleons!

Could I have used a more modern version of Windows? Sure, if my hardware would have supported it! Here's a link to getting it to run using Windows10 with a widescreen fix. I've read that Windows Vista does not run The Sims very well, but Windows 7 and 8 do just fine.

Have fun!



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