Vista is the new Operating System from Microsoft, the successor to Windows XP (which most of you are probably running on your Sims 2 PC (Mac users exempt of course)).
You might be considering upgrading your Operating System to Vista (as I have) so I thought I'd put your mind to rest with regards running The Sims 2 on Windows Vista.
Vista comes in several different packages, ranging very much in price. To best suit my needs, I opted for the Home Premium edition, but any version you buy will act in the same way, you are just buying more or less features.
The biggest difference, and one issue which you must get right for the Operating System to run on your PC, is 32-bit or 64-bit. I have installed Vista on 2 PC's, one with the 32-bit system, and the other with a 64-bit system (running an X2 Dual Core 64-bit processor).
The good news is that Sims 2 and all of the Expansion Packs and Stuff Packs installed and run perfectly on both the
32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista, although there are some hiccups and issues that you might like to know about.
As you can see in the window below, Vista identifies that there are known compatibility issues with The Sims 2 when you insert the disk to install.
Clicking the "Check for solutions online" button brings up this popup which explains that there is an update available to resolve the issue, with a link to the Updates Page at the Official Site.
This page should be familiar to you already, as you should always apply the latest patches to your game, and installing to Vista is no different. There are no Vista specific patches, just be sure to download and run the correct patch for your version of the game. I have the DVD version, so I needed only download and install the DVD Patch after I had completed the installation of Sims 2.
If you intend to install Expansion Packs immediately after Sims 2 then you do not need to install the basic game patch first. Just install Sims 2 then any other EP's you have, being sure to patch the final version for the latest pack you have.
Continue with the installation of the base game and any EP's you have. No patching or updating is needed just to install the games. Be sure to apply the patch you need before running the game though.
That should be all you need to do to get The Sims 2 running on your Vista PC, but there is a new feature that XP users may feel the need to drool over.
The Games Folder within Vista gathers all of your game executables in one place and shows them off with their box art and ratings info, as well as compatibility data for your hardware.
Unfortunately, Vista does not yet have all of the data for the Sims 2 games, but no doubt it will be updated in time and will automatically appear in your Games browser. Also, note that Pets is the only EP that does not appear at all in the Games browser (this will no doubt be fixed in time). You can drag the icon from the desktop into this folder though, but you won't get the box art just yet. Pets will still run as normal from the desktop icon, or by navigating to:
All programs/EA Games/The Sims 2 Pets.
To enable these features, click the Options button near the top of the browser and enable the "Download information about installed games" checkbox (the game data may not show by default, so you must do this).
And that's it! Sims 2 running fine and dandy on Vista, as you can see here running in windowed mode in widescreen glory. Can Sims life get any better?
Other Sims community programs I have tried are Clean Installer and SimPE, both of which work fine as well, on all of the functions I have tried at least.
Have fun with it!
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