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BeyondSims How To Play The Sims 1 on Newer Computers (Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7)

Discussion in 'Sims 4 Global Community News' started by beyondsims, Feb 5, 2021.

  1. beyondsims

    beyondsims Administrator
    Staff Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Likes Received:
    With The Sims recently celebrating its 21st anniversary, I have been in a nostalgic mood and re-discovering older Sims titles. And that has included going back to where it all started!

    The Sims was released in 2000 and was compatible with Windows 95, 98 and ME machines. Even Windows XP wasn’t around when it launched. With hardware and software moving so far ahead since, it’s natural that the game now has some compatibility issues.

    This guide should help you overcome common problems when installing the game and help you get The Sims 1 working as well as possible on newer computers running Windows 10, Windows 8 and even Windows 7.



    Step 1 – Resolving common installation errors​

    Before you can even get the game to install, you may hit some errors. You may not need to follow these items.

    Getting the game launcher to work

    You only need to follow this step if you are experiencing problems with The Sims game launcher, which traditionally opens a game launcher every time you insert a disc to help you get the game installed or launch it.

    On some newer devices, this can cause a problem where nothing happens or you get an error message from windows saying something needs to close. If you are unable to get the launcher working, try the following steps.

    • Insert The Sims disc and go into This PC/My Computer
    • Right click on the DVD Drive and click open
    • Right click on start.exe and go to properties
    • Under the Compatibility tab, tick the box beside “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select “Windows XP (Service Pack 3)”
    • Press OK to save your settings
    • Try relaunching The Sims 1 game launcher – you may find the Windows User Account Control will pop up asking for permission to open the file.
    InstallShield iKernel.exe Error

    If you get the InstallSheild iKernel.exe error when you try to start installation of a Sims expansion, it’s a quick and easy fix.

    • Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
    • Delete the InstallShield folder
      • If it can’t be deleted because something is using it, restart your computer and repeat the above steps
    • Try installing the expansion again – it should now work
    Step 2 – Installing The Sims 1 and Expansions Correctly​

    It is important that you follow all of the packs that you own in the order that they were released – otherwise you will have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get the game working which will involve uninstalling and reinstalling things!

    I know we are all looking for things to do during COVID times, but for the sake of your time and sanity, refer to the list below to see the order you should install your games. If you follow this, you will find that your installation process is fairly smooth and means you’ll get to play with all of the expansions.

    Install your games in the following order:

    [​IMG] The Sims (or The Sims Double/Triple Deluxe, which includes Livin’ Large)
    [​IMG] The Sims Livin’ Large / Livin’ It Up
    [​IMG] The Sims House Party
    [​IMG] The Sims Hot Date
    [​IMG] The Sims Vacation/On Holiday
    [​IMG] The Sims Unleashed
    [​IMG] The Sims Superstar
    [​IMG] The Sims Makin’ Magic
    Step 3 – Installing Windows 10/8/7 Patch (Optional)​

    [​IMG] This step is completely optional and we are not responsible for monitoring content on third-party websites or downloads. We will not be held responsible for corrupted or inoperable gameplay caused by the installation, use, or modification.

    A YouTuber in the community has created a very helpful Windows 10/8/7 patch which will help you get the game working on newer machines.

    Please note this patch will only work with all expansions installed, or The Sims Complete Collection, and must be installed from the physical discs.

    • Go to the directory where you have installed The Sims (this is typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims)
    • Find Sims.exe and rename this to Sims.old – do not delete this
    • Download the new Sims.exe file from SariaFan93 by clicking here
    • Move the new Sims.exe file you have downloaded to the directory where you have installed The Sims (this is typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims)
    • Right click on Sims.exe and add a shortcut to your desktop for easy access to launch the game


    In the unlikely event you encounter any problems, you can delete the new Sims.exe file from your Sims installation directory, and rename Sims.old file back to Sims.exe if needed.

    Step 4 – Configuring Compatibility Settings​

    Before you launch the game, it is important that you configure the appropriate compatbility settings for The Sims 1 to ensure the game runs as well as possible!

    • Go to the directory where you have installed The Sims (this is typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims)
    • Right click on Sims.exe and click on properties
    • Click on the “Compatibility” tab at the top
    • Tick the box beside “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select “Windows 7”
    • Tick the box beside “Run as administrator”
    • If you haven’t done this already, right click on Sims.exe and add a shortcut to your desktop for easy access to launch the game


    Step 5 – Set Screen Resolution and Play in Windowed Mode​

    The Sims will open in full screen and at 800×600 resolution by default. Follow the instructions below to set it to run at 1024×768 and to open in windowed mode, if you wish.

    • Right click the shortcut to Sims.exe on your desktop
    • In the “Shortcut” tab, add the following to the end of the Target text field: -w -r1024x768
      • -w makes the game start in Windowed Mode – do not add this if you want to play in full screen
      • -r1024x768 makes the game open in a resolution of 1024×768, the maximum supported resolution for The Sims 1
    • Press OK to save the changes


    Congratulations! You should now be able to launch and play The Sims 1 on Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 machines. All you have to do now is click on the shortcut on your desktop to get started!

    You may still experience some issues such as performance or crashes, due to the age of the game, but these steps should give you the best chance of having a good experience.

    Remember to always save regularly in the event the game were to crash, and to enjoy re-discovering the game that started it all!


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