Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hood Corruption Scare & Move Hood Tutorial

Currently, my game is on life support. Not all my hoods, just my favorite one. Pleasantview. Recently I was playing different families to get my hood back into some sort of time sync with itself and when I'd stop playing for the night, something would go wrong and the save wouldn't complete. The next time I'd load the game, Pleasantview would be missing. I have very recent backups, so I only lost a day or so of playing, but it's still frustrating to lose anything. I'd restore from backup and occasionally I'd get a head, but other times not. I tried removing all my CC to see if that was causing the issue, and sadly, no. I still was getting corrupt saves. Hood corruption is by far the scariest thing a long time sim player can face. This hood goes back to 2006 for me!

I knew I had to do something drastic and quick before I lost access to the hood for good. I made a duplicate of N001 and loaded it. The plan is remove all the sims to a new neighborhood. You'd think it would be easy, but it's not and there are so many ways to mess something up and corrupt both hoods and lose sims in the process. Just making look-alikes of my sims won't cut it. Most of them aren't that pretty looking to begin with, I need to save their history, their relationships, their played past. The key here is that everyone on a single lot will retain their relationships with everyone else on that lot. I needed to create a "Noah's Ark" lot and stuff it full of EVERY sim in the neighborhood I wanted to save, AND all their dead relatives. Upon Simpe inspection, my Pleasantview has 667 sims in it. (I love that fact, it was 666 when the corruption was first noticed, I had a devil of a time getting little Nico Caliente born and saved.)

See how to fix this for your own hood after the cut.
The first thing to do is to either create a backup of your dying hood, or flat out duplicate it. I recommend getting the Bulk Rename Utility because we'll be renaming things often. If you duplicate your hood, use this program to rename it to something else so you have access to both in game. Next, you will need to create a clean new temporary hood. Make sure you have clean (and or empty) templates in place and load the game and create the hood. Call it something like Temp Hood so you don't get confused. Once everything is created, close the game. You will now have 2 more hoods than you did when you started this. Both of these hoods will be deleted later, so don't get attached to them.

This will require you some working knowledge of SimPE. Don't undertake this unless you are familiar with SimPE, or are really good at following instructions. Before you start, you should download a mod to up the number of sims allowed in a house, and a Social Mod remover fix. You will also need Pescados' Batbox, and Inge's Teleporter Cat. You should also download the assignable gravestone. Remove your entire Downloads folder from your game. Create a new Downloads folder and include only these 5 items. You will also want the program Hood Replace, so go grab that now too.

The first thing to do is to go into every single household and put all personal items into their inventories. Don't bother with things like their furniture, but save anything that isn't straight from the catalog. I grabbed career rewards, date presents, custom photos, and graves. Since I still have the ability to go into each of my households (and most of them SERIOUSLY need a make over anyways) I'm fine with recreating their lots. If you are unsure how long you'll have access to everything, you might want to take pictures for the rebuilding process. Since lots are easily corruptible as well, we will only be taking 1 lot to the new hood, so say goodbye to all the others. Don't package them and reinstall them. This is a long and indepth process and you want to be as sure as possible you aren't bringing any bad bugs to the new hood. Using the Move Family tool, bring all your families into the bin.

Choose a single family and their lot to be your Noah's Ark. I picked the Pleasant family just to be fitting, but it would be much smarter to start a new blank lot and put everyone in that instead. First, go around to your cemeteries and collect up all the gravestones into someone's inventory. Place all these tombstones on the lot. For any sims missing their tombstones, you can use the assignable urn to give them a new one. This step isn't mandatory, but it improves your chances of bringing your dead with you. Then, using the combine household feature, place as many families as you can into this lot. There will be a hard limit somewhere, so you won't get them all, but don't panic. At this point you should still be able to load the family if you really need too, but it's better not to, too many sims on the lot will crash it. I've previously gotten up to ~80 sims on a lot before it crashes. Close the game.

Open up this neighborhood in SimPE and under the Family Information area, find your Ark lot. There is a drop down box and two buttons. For every sim you couldn't stuff onto the lot in game you are going to need to manually 'Add Sim'. At this time you also should Add Sim any dead relatives, townies, and NPCs you want to include and bring to the new hood. Make double triple sure you aren't forgetting anyone. I made a list of all the predead from the sims wiki and included my fave townies from their list as well. Commit and save. The delete all the Family Information files of your previously binned families as they should all be in the Ark lot now. Save. Close Simpe.

Load your game and try to package your Ark lot. Cross your fingers and be prepared to wait. I have a fast computer and included ~150 sims and it took close to 10 minutes to package. Be patient, and let it run. If this doesn't work, you will have to leave some sims behind and try again with less. When it pops up telling you it was packaged successfully, say your praises and exit the game.

Copy the packaged lot to your desktop (so you have a backup in case something goes wrong) and open it with CleanInstaller. Uncheck anything that isn't the family info, the lot itself, Sim, or Sim Ghost. Get rid of any tagalong hacks, CC, and Packaged Sim Data. This last one is memories of friends you are leaving behind. Everyone who made the boat is either a Sim or a Sim Ghost. Keeping these Sim Data bits will just bulk your new hood and your sims still won't be able to interact with them. It can also lead to new hood corruption. Go through your list and make sure you have the actual sim for everyone you want to save. If you are missing someone, go back into SimPE and add them to the Family Information and repackage a new Ark lot.

When you are sure you have all and only the things you need, save the Clean Installer with a Save As function and give it a new name. CI has a bug in saving things with the same name. From this new CI file, open it up in CI and click Install. Load the game and go into your Temp hood. Install your Ark lot to this hood and this hood only. Do not try to load it, you will crash your game. Once the lot is placed in the hood, exit the game.

Load this hood in SimPE. In your Ark Lot's Family information, start removing names. You don't need to put them anywhere, the game will understand for what we are doing next. Unless you have 20 or less, continue removing names. I ended up removing all except Kaylynn the maid to help me clean up this mess. You will need at least one sim left on this lot.

Load the game, go to your temp hood, and load your now mostly empty Ark lot. Turn off Free Will. You don't want to accidentally interact with any of the walkbys. Place the Cat Teleporter, the Batbox, and get a table, chair, and computer. Use the Cat Teleporter to recreate your families one at a time. Try to group them into larger family units, because we will be recombining them again later. Use the Move In option on all of them. On the Batbox, Memory > Gossip > Clear all Boring, and Clear all Dead. You only need to do this once. Then for every single sim, Memory > Wipe Corrupt. To do this for any infants, you will need to use the Cat to make them selectable first. Do NOT leave anyone out of this process. Once everyone in this little family is clean, have an adult with the last name you want them to use as their household name to use the computer to Find Own Place and have the whole family move out with them. After they are all off the lot, save. Then summon the next family and move them in and Wipe Corrupt memories, then move them out. After you do a few families, save the lot and return to the neighborhood, then load the lot again. This will reset the menu on the Cat Teleporter making it easier to keep track of what you've done and who you haven't yet.

After you've cleaned all the families, then you should summon up all the townies and NPCs you brought with you. Do NOT use the Move In option, but instead Make Selectable > All Visitors. Wipe all their Corrupt memories as before. Then, using Move Objects cheat, delete them off the lot. Now that you have all the living taken care of, you need to start this process with all the dead you brought. Start with any dead sims that actually were living in your game. The pre-dead that shipped with the game are finickier and it might be ok not to wipe their memories if they give you trouble about it. When you are done with them, delete them with move_objects. Get rid of any walkbys in a similar fashion. Save the game.

Now you can start the process of packing them back all up again to ship them to their final destination hood. Create a NEW Ark Lot, and move all your sims to that one. The first Ark Lot is from a bugged neighborhood, so we don't want to bring that with us. Using the game combining household feature, put as many families onto that new Ark Lot as you can. Use SimPE to place the rest of them into the Family Information. Don't leave anyone behind! Commit, Save, and exit. Load this hood and repackage the lot. It will still take a long time, but not nearly as long as the first time did. When it finishes, exit to the hood viewer and create your final hood. You don't need to worry about picking a good map, we will copy the old one. Name it something for now so you won't get it confused with anything else. If you wanted to move your family to an existing hood, you can choose to that now instead of creating a new one. Exit the game.

Open the packaged lot file in Clean Installer and check to see that you don't have any Packaged Sim Data this time around. If you have any left, you missed something somewhere, or you had a walkby on your lot when you saved or something. If you think you can package it cleaner, go back in game and do it again. If not, you can use tick boxes, but it's better to redo it in game. Save it as a new name, then install the new file.

Load up the Hood Replace program and copy your old neighborhood's Roads, Deco, Trees, and Elevation to the new hood you just created. Load the game. Take a look around to make sure that your hood looks the way it should, and that your Ark lot is in the bin. Place the Ark lot into the hood. Save and exit the game.

Open up the Family Information and start removing names from your Ark Lot again. This time however, we are going to put most of them into their correct spot. Add all your dead sims to Default and commit, add any townies to the one with 0x7FFE as it's instance number and commit, and add any NPCs to 0x7FFF and commit. If you brought strays or orphans any other special families, you can see the list of where to place them here. Once you are down to just a small handful of sims on your Ark Lot, commit, save, and exit.

Load your final hood in game and create a community lot to be your cemetery. You should now be able to Move All Graves to your cemetery lot. Save the game. Then start the process of sorting out the families again with the Cat Teleporter and the computer. This time you can make smaller family units as you wish. If you check a few of the sims with the batbox, you shouldn't have any corrupt memories left to wipe. Don't summon the townies or the NPCs or the dead.

If you did everything right, your old NPCs will pick their jobs back up again, though, don't be surprised if they get a little confused. My papergirl started her route back up again, but I'm not sure that my burglars will continue with their life of crime and instead might decide to be the new cleaning lady. Though, maybe that was just a con to get at my silverware!

At this point you should have all of your families in the family bin, a full cemetery, and one family still on the Ark Lot. Using the Move Family tool, remove the final family off the Ark, and then delete the lot. You can now start the process of resettling your families, and adding any subhoods.

Congratulations, you have rescued your sims from a sinking hood. You still need to create lots for all of them, but they are safe now. You can now delete your working duplicate and the temp hood, and if it is still accessible, your original corrupt hood. You can at the point now use the Bulk Rename Utility to rename your new hood to your original number if you choose, or you can give it a different number. Hoods are loaded in alphnumeric order and can be any combination of 4 letter or numbers.

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