Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

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Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Sat 2 Aug - 12:52

Hello again,


All of you who have some playing experience with "The Sims 3", will have certainly noted the username folder "The Sims 3", located in My Documents/Electronic Arts. This folder "The Sims 3" contains all your savefiles, mods, custom content, in-game screenshots, and other stuff.

By default, the game assumes the location of this folder to be in My Documents/Electronic Arts. If the game cannot "find" such a folder there, it will automatically create a "fresh" one, with no savefiles, mods/CC, or whatever.

Now, if you - like me - have a bunch of mods and tons of store/custom content, you might have wondered if it was possible to "move" the folder to another location, like an external hard-drive for instance, in order to save some space on your C: drive. For example, in my case, that username folder is 11.2 GB in size. Well, it is possible, but you'll have to do some tweaking. Very Happy 


1. I have decided to move my username folder "The Sims 3" onto my external hard-drive with the drive letter DedicatedToLorilihim You really NEED to move that folder away from My Documents/Electronic Arts, into the location you wish the folder to be.














2. Your next step is to work with the "command prompt". In Windows Vista, 7 & 8, it's strongly recommended to run the command prompt as Administrator.

In Windows Vista/7, just open the start menu, and in the "search programs and files"-box at the bottom, type in
cmd, and when the cmd.exe shows up at the top, you can either right-click on it and choose "run as administrator" or you can press CTRL + ALT + ENTER, right after you type in cmd.


In Windows 8, press the Windows key + X. Then, in the menu that comes up, choose Command Prompt (Admin)


My case, in Windows 7, looks like this:













3. Now...take a very close look at what I typed into the command prompt:





I have edited the picture, as you can see (to blur out confidential information). In my case I typed this in:

mklink /d "C:\Users\(your username)\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3" "DedicatedToLorilihim\The Sims 3"


After typing in what you need, just hit enter. For all those of you who are new to working with the command prompt, be careful, and do EXACTLY as shown in the screenshot, and at what I typed in and put in bold red letters.


The section "C:\Users\(your username)\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3" is your ORIGINAL location of that folder. Remember, you went to that location and MOVED the folder away. 

After typing that in, hit the "space"-key once. Then type in the next section
"DedicatedToLorilihim\The Sims 3"


This is basically your new location. Obviously, my case is just an example. Your external hard-drive might have a different letter than DedicatedToLorilihim, but (I hope) you get the idea. 

If you are having trouble with the exact location of old folder position/new folder position, you can always right-click on the folder and go to "Properties". In the "General"-tab, look under "Location". And that is what you need to put into the command prompt, along with these quotation marks. And the folder is ALWAYS named "The Sims 3", both in the sections about new & old locations. Again, look at the above screenshot and red text.

Do it precisley the way I did; there's no use in even trying to do that if you're not doing it right. If you really did it right, you get a success-message, like in my screenshot.




4. If you now go into your old location, My Documents/Electronic Arts, you will see something that looks like a "shortcut".






If you go to its "Properties", there is the new location shown. In my case, the DedicatedToLorilihim drive. Even more "mysterious", if you double-click on that "thing", it looks as if the old contents are still there. But in fact, they are not, because - again - you moved them at the very beginning. 

This thing is called a "symbolic link", and it basically functions and behaves like a "placeholder" for the folder you moved out at first. 
Do not do anything with either the symbolic link or its "contents".


5. You have now successfully "re-directed" the username folder "The Sims 3" to a new location ! Very Happy  Keep in mind though that if you use an external hard-drive for the new location, you need to have it plugged in all the time, during the game.


6. You want to "un-do" this all ? Go to your new location, and RENAME the folder The Sims 3. Really, please change the folder's name into anything you like. I chose the new name The Sims 3_






7. Go now to the original location in My Documents/Electronic Arts and just delete that "symbolic link". Note that this "symbolic link" is called a FOLDER by Windows, indicating that it is more than just a "normal" shortcut.







The reason I renamed the folder at first was because if I deleted the symbolic link straight away, then the folder it directs to would be deleted too !!! So it is very important, that you rename the folder, as mentioned. Then, you can safely delete the symbolic link.


8. Move the folder from the new location back into the original one, in My Documents/Electronic Arts. After that, please rename the folder "The Sims 3", back to its original name (so that it can be "identified" by the game again).

9. And now everything is "re-stored". Smile  And you're ready to play ! Good luck to everyone, who wants to attempt this solution.  The Sims Plumbob 1 



//EDIT


Note: in case you are wondering, this guide is meant for Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8. While it seems to be possbile to do this under Windows XP too, the procedure is (quite) different. I may write a guide for that too, sometime, but for now, if you want to attempt this under Windows XP, check out this (long) article here, and look under "Symbolic links for Windows XP". You will probably have to read the whole article, for understanding it, which you may not necessarily find easy though...


http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html

Good luck if you really want to try that !


Last edited by Carlos on Tue 2 Feb - 0:28; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by Adwomin on Tue 12 Aug - 22:44

Thank you for again a wonderful guide, Carlos!
I remember using this method a few years ago, for my iTunes Media folder. (Which was filling up my small SSD unnecessarily)

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Sat 16 Aug - 9:44

Admin wrote:Thank you for again a wonderful guide, Carlos!
I remember using this method a few years ago, for my iTunes Media folder. (Which was filling up my small SSD unnecessarily)


Ah, yes, now that you mention it (indirectly):

The procedure I described above is probably only feasible if your C: drive is small in terms of space. Other than that, there is no need to move that folder "The Sims 3" around...just free up space elsewhere then. 


 Very Happy 
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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by sylvantos on Fri 13 Feb - 19:10

wow thanks carlos Smile

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Fri 13 Feb - 21:27

@sylvantos wrote:wow thanks carlos Smile


You're welcome !  The Sims Plumbob 1
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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by sylvantos on Sun 15 Feb - 12:39

for those with small hdd, I was thinking, windows 7 has the ability to move the My Documents folder to whatever drive you want, intact with all it's files.  Leaves a symbolic link behind so what ever you put in that folder will be recongized as being in that folder even if its on another drive.

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Sun 15 Feb - 15:18

@sylvantos wrote:for those with small hdd, I was thinking, windows 7 has the ability to move the My Documents folder to whatever drive you want, intact with all it's files.  Leaves a symbolic link behind so what ever you put in that folder will be recongized as being in that folder even if its on another drive.


Here you go:








The reason I did not mention this in the guide is very simple actually: 99.9% of people neither want to have the WHOLE "Documents"-folder in another location, nor is it necessary to do so in any normal circumstances. Unless - of course - your C: partition or drive is very tiny.

It's better to do the procedure I described above, individually for each folder when necessary, and (please) not for the whole folder. It would only create confusion with most people if they moved the whole Documents-folder elsewhere; people saying or realizing that they "actually never wanted the whole folder to be moved".

But as mentioned, most people don't need to create "symbolic links" at all.
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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by jgf on Thu 26 Mar - 0:42

I would recommend once the link is working, right-click on it and change its attribute to "read only". Now if you inadvertently try to delete it you will at least get a warning from the system. (Yes, this is the voice of experience. I once deleted over three hundred tracks from a racing sim when deleting a copy which linked to the original install. It wasn't just having to find, download, and reinstall all those tracks, but i lost my custom settings for them.)

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by Deniciawong on Fri 3 Apr - 7:53

i typed that command and it shows "cannot create a file when that file already exists"
what's wrong with it? Ermahgerd

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Fri 3 Apr - 11:30

@jgf wrote:I would recommend once the link is working, right-click on it and change its attribute to "read only".  Now if you inadvertently try to delete it you will at least get a warning from the system.  (Yes, this is the voice of experience.  I once deleted over three hundred tracks from a racing sim when deleting a copy which linked to the original install.  It wasn't just having to find, download, and reinstall all those tracks, but i lost my custom settings for them.)

Yes, nice idea. Smile  Thanks for the input.


@Deniciawong wrote:i typed that command and it shows "cannot create a file when that file already exists"
what's wrong with it? Ermahgerd


Hello,

I'm not sure, but try running the command prompt as Administrator. In Windows 8, go to the "new desktop" (not sure what this is called right now, lol), and then click on "Apps". Look for the command prompt and RIGHT-CLICK on it. At the bottom, you should see "run as Administrator". Click on that option then. Smile  And as for Windows 7, I explained it in the topic above, how to run it as Administrator.

Other than that, I'm unsure. If you really need in-depth help, please open a NEW thread. If you really type in everything correctly, and run the command prompt as Administrator, there shouldn't be any issues.


Good luck !
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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by Daisy18 on Wed 5 Aug - 11:07

Does this work for The Sims 2, too?
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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by Adwomin on Wed 5 Aug - 12:00

@Daisy18 wrote:Does this work for The Sims 2, too?
Hi there,

This works for any folder.

@Carlos Alternatively you can use this GUI version: http://sourceforge.net/projects/symlink-creator/ (There are a few other alternatives to the one I just linked to)

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by Veroxion on Fri 21 Aug - 5:51

Hi there, I need some assistance. Sad

I used this guide to create a mklink for my Sims 3 folder, as well as CC Magic because I can't have them on my C: drive any longer because of space. I've tried both /D and /J commands out and it yields the same results.

The mklink works fine and creates the folders, but CC Magic will now either a) crash immediately on start-up when I leave the original there b) will no longer even open if I mklink CC Magic.  

My game crashes immediately when I try and start it with 3booter (as I can't start it with CC Magic), giving me the service initialization failed error.

Is there anything I can do? Everything works fine when I delete the mklink and put the original folders back, so I know this problem is caused by doing this.

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Re: Redirecting the username folder "The Sims 3" to a different location.

Post by The_gh0stm4n on Fri 21 Aug - 6:34

@Veroxion wrote:Hi there, I need some assistance. Sad

I used this guide to create a mklink for my Sims 3 folder, as well as CC Magic because I can't have them on my C: drive any longer because of space. I've tried both /D and /J commands out and it yields the same results.

The mklink works fine and creates the folders, but CC Magic will now either a) crash immediately on start-up when I leave the original there b) will no longer even open if I mklink CC Magic.  

My game crashes immediately when I try and start it with 3booter (as I can't start it with CC Magic), giving me the service initialization failed error.

Is there anything I can do? Everything works fine when I delete the mklink and put the original folders back, so I know this problem is caused by doing this.


Please open a new topic in this section here:
http://games4theworld.bestgoo.com/f38-the-sims-3-downloads-support-pc

This thread was never meant for people posting their questions here; it would only get too messy here, making the topic harder to follow. For the purpose of asking questions there are "dedicated" subsections. Hence I will close the thread now. Smile
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