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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 27th Nov 2017 at 12:23 AM
Default Tutorial: Restore your Store Edition games to non-Store Edition
Playing Your Store Edition Saved Games….Without Store Edition!

Disclaimer: Always make backups of your saved games! Although I don’t believe the steps I’m outlining in this tutorial can harm your game, things can always go wrong!

Hi there! I’m JazNim17 (or Jaz/Nim/17, in some places). How’s it going? I hear you’ve got an issue with your saved games not showing up. You say you previously had either the Best of Business, University Life, or Fun With Pets Collections,[/I and now you’ve moved on, perhaps to the Ultimate Collection, perhaps back to your original discs, but you find that the neighborhoods you used to play are no longer compatible, thanks to that sneaky little rascal, The Sims 2: Store Edition, which can sneak in with any of those three discs?

Well, weep no more! I’m more than happy to help. We’ll get this straightened out. See, I did that same thing, not knowing that it would cause problems down the line. And, like you, I worried my saved games were lost forever.

Good news: they aren’t.

Ready to get started? All right, here’s what we’ll need:

• Computer
SimPE • A working copy of Sims 2
• Caffeine

First, start your game as you normally do. I’d show a screenshot here except my laptop doesn’t want to take pictures of my game. I’ll figure that out later. But it’s okay, we all know what the game looks like. It loads, and it shows you your neighborhoods, or lack thereof.

Then, make a new neighborhood. It’s a dummy ‘hood, so it doesn’t matter what terrain you use or what name you give it. I named mine “Ugh.” I know, real inventive. I had the flu at the time so coming up with this fix was a miracle. I didn’t have any brain left to come up with a creative name for a neighborhood that’s gonna get thrown away!

Ahem. Moving along.

If you have any sub-neighborhoods attached to the neighborhood you want, you’ll need to add the same number of those to the dummy hood. One of my old neighborhoods, “Summer Isle,” had a downtown and two shopping districts, so I’ll add a downtown and two shopping districts to the dummy hood. Again, names don’t matter, and since I’m really creative today, I named mine 1,2, & c.

….What? Don’t look at me like that.

Okay, got that? Great. Now, close out the game and open SimPE.

Open the neighborhood file of the dummy hood you just created. There’s a couple of ways to do this. You can either go to File OpenDocumentsEA GamesSims 2Neighborhoods and find the file you want, or you can just click ctrl + Shift + n on your keyboard to open the Neighborhood Browser and pick the one you want.

Right now, we want our dummy hood, which for me is “Ugh.” So I click “Ugh,” then “Open.”
Wait a moment for the dummy hood to load.

A whole lot of stuff is jammed into a neighborhood file. We want to go under the resource tree (left hand side) and pick where it says “ID Number.”

Now go over in the Resource List and right click where it says ID Number. Choose “Extract” or “Export” (depending on your version of SimPE). Save the ID number somewhere you won’t lose it.
Now, ctrl + Shift + N again. Open the Neighborhood that Store Edition is attached to and doesn’t want to let you play. For me, Summer Isle.

Just like before, seek out the ID Number. When you find it, right click where it says ID Number in Resource list. This time, instead of “Extract,” click “Replace.” Navigate to where you put the extracted ID Number from your dummy hood, and double click it.

Click yes if SimPE asks to reload the resource, and wait a moment for it to reload.

Now go and look in Plug-In View. Do you see where it says Parent Name? Change that to match the four-digit sequence of numbers that your game reads. Summer Isle is C002, because I always change the filenames of my custom hoods to start with C so they’ll load before the Maxis ones. So I put in C002. Yours may be N004, N005, who knows? Click commit, then save.

Now complete the same process for any sub-hoods that you have. Extract the ID Numbers from the sub-hoods of the dummy hood, then replace the sub-hoods on your real neighborhood with those.

Almost finished! Delete your dummy hood, then fire up your beloved Sims 2. Your neighborhood should be sitting right there, waiting for you to play!

Final step: Have loads of fun!!!!

One more thing: I realize it may be possible to simply go in and edit the existing ID Number directly through the hex editor. However, hex editing is Greek to me, and the above worked just fine. So if anyone wants to get brave and poke around in the ID Number of a 'hood for a while, let me know what you find.

For those of you who are visual, there is a better version of this Tutorial in PDF format in the .rar attached.
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#2 Old 27th Nov 2017 at 12:24 PM Last edited by maxon : 27th Nov 2017 at 1:46 PM.
This will get moved shortly to the tutorials section but I'd just like to add this link here which covers Chris Hatch's alternative approach to this issue. Just so the information is as complete as possible.

Thanks for the tutorial.

Edit: moved to general modding

I no longer come over to MTS very often but if you would like to ask me a question then you can find me on tumblr or my own site tflc. TFLC has an archive of all my CC downloads.
I'm here on tumblr and my site, tflc
#3 Old 28th Nov 2017 at 3:16 PM
Should someone wish to view the file in a Hex Editor this is what it all means

Primary Neighbourhood in Store Edition
Hex <----> Dec - Meaning
0a,00,00,00 - 10 - Version
04,00,00,00 - 4 - Unknown (always 4)
45,30,30,31 - E001 - Parent Name
06,00,00,00 - 6 - UID
01,00,00,00 - 1 - Neighbourhood type
00,00,00,00 - 0 - sub- Type or Subname
00,00,00,00 - 0 - Unknown (always 0)
1f,00,00,00 - 31 - EP (=Store Edition)
10,00,00,00 - 16 - sub EP (=AL)
00,00,00,00 - 0 - Flags
01,02,03,00 - 1,2,3,0 - Season Quadrants

Note the EP value, this must be changed to 11,00,00,00 to work without Store edition

OFB Shopping District in M&G
Hex <------> Dec - Meaning
0a,00,00,00 - 10 - Version
04,00,00,00 - 4 - Unknown (always 4)
4e,30,30,31 - N001 Parent Name
08,00,00,00 - 8 - UID
04,00,00,00 - 4 - Neighbourhood type
00,00,00,00 - 0 - sub- Type or Subname
00,00,00,00 - 0 - Unknown (always 0)
11,00,00,00 - 17 - EP (=M&G)
03,00,00,00 - 3 - sub EP (=OFB)
00,00,00,00 - 0 - Flags
01,02,03,00 1,2,3,0 Season Quadrants

Flags on hidden hoods is normally flag 3 0x100 but that does not hide them, sub EP + Neighbourhood type determines in which 'list' the hood can be accessed.
If Neighbourhood type = 4 and sub EP does not equal 3 (OFB) then that sub hood is hidden, If you change the sub EP on a hidden suburb to make it show you risk the game re-adding that suburb.
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