What is a backup ?
A backup is a copy of your folders and files to an external drive, an different place on your computer, a flash drive or a DVD. Backups are used to go back to an older state if the existing one is not working or your computer is failing.
When should I backup my files ?
- Before reinstalling your game
- Before moving everything to a new Computer
- Before installing a patch or a Expansion/Stuff Pack
- Before trying out new Custom Content, Store Content and Mods
- Savegames should be backed up after ever game play. It’s good to save your games in circles of about 5 games and save under a different name before going to and fro vacation or the University world
What Sims 3 Files should I backup ?
Everything is saved in your user directory. The following folders are the most important ones
- Saves (on a regular basis)
- DCCache, Downloads, ccmerged.package file in DCBackup
- SavedSims, Library, Installed Worlds
- Screenshots, Recorded Videos and Export if you take custom screenshots or like to upload your stuff
- Mods (if you have package files custom content)
- userpreset.package if you like to save your own styles in CASt
Detailed instructions on how to do that can be found here: Game Help:TS3 Back Ups.
How do I restore a Backup ?
Sometimes it’s not possible to start a savegame anymore or you did something, saved and later regret that you did. There are many more reasons why you want to restore a backup file and luckily Sims 3 automatically creates ONE backup save that can be found in your saves folder and has the the extension .backup. Not that this backup is only created if you use save not if you use save as.
Instructions on how to revert to that savegame can be found here: Game Help:Restoring Backup Saves.
It’s best to keep more backups yourself. Copy the folder regularly to an external drive, save in cycles (5-10 different saves) or use Twallan’s Saver Mod that automatically asks if you want to save regularly (even in build mode). Also make sure to save under a different name BEFORE you go on vacation or go to University and BEFORE your vacation or term is over. Vacations are known to screw up your game and this way the worst that can happen is, that you loose a vacation.
Trying to save a corrupt game
Beside the method that is described in the wiki link above, you can also try Twallan’s ErrorTrap Mod. The mod has many means to recover a savegame. It was originally written to recover games where a scripting mod had been removed wrongly but now it can do so much more.
If you are able to start a game but it’s simply unplayable, use Twallan’s Porter Mod to move your family and all inactive Sims you want to keep and move the to a new town. Unlike simply moving your family to a new town by the means EA provides, this will retain all relationships the Sims have.