Nona's Sims

Modding and Troubleshooting The Sims 3

Recommendation: CCMagic (it’s true, I’m a Late Adopter)

Ok, so I know I’m late to the party and by now, most people have heard of CCMagic, and maybe even tried it out. Well, I’m here to recommend it to you anyhow.  This recommendation is mainly for other Late Adopters, like me. First, let me start off by explaining why it took me so long to really give CCMagic a go. For brevity’s sake, I’ll just list up a short summary.

Why I was a Late Adopter with CCMagic

1. PANIC!!!! When I first installed CCMagic when it was released, it made new folders in my Mods folder and in my Electronic Arts folder and I kind of panicked. I worked hard to keep my CC organized and I didn’t want to ruin it all.  (Really stupid reason.)

2. Panic! Yep, it’s on the list twice. You mean I have to put all of my CC in the downloads folder, all together? Just like that? But what about my organization?! (Really stupid reason.)

3. Hard Disk space and bloat. My sims games are on my 128GB SSD drive, which also holds my OS and MMOs. I have to be careful not to keep too much CC or unnecessary files/programs on my C:\ drive or I’ll run out of space on my SSD. I want a second SSD, but I won’t be able to get one any time soon. So for now, I need to make sure I don’t clog up my SSD with extra junk. Having both the merged files and the original unmerged files on the same drive was (and still is) a huge disadvantage for me. (Ok, I think this is a real disadvantage of CCMagic, but maybe Grant will add a feature which make its possible to change the Content folder location. I’ve been meaning to post a couple of suggestions on the CCMagic forums).

4. Laziness. My stuff is already organized, and starting CCMagic meant I would have to organize it in CCMagic as well. (Because manually re-merging packages when I get new CC is so much less work, amirite?)

5. What about script mods? Is it a pain to replace them when they get updated? Twallan updates his mods fairly frequently (if sporadically) so I want to be able to replace them without any fuss. (Mostly unfounded. There are a couple of extra steps involved, but nothing too annoying).

6. Updates. Grant is AWESOME. I do not doubt this. But what happens if he gets bored and/or stops playing Sims?  If CCMagic needs an update at some point, where will I be? Out in the dark! (This applies to most of my script mods as well so this argument is invalid)

7. Skepticism. That’s just how I roll (really gotta stop being such a skeptic sometimes).

8. Change? But I’m a TAURUS. Seriously. (lol)

So, any of those reasons ring a bell with you? If so, maybe you’ll find the rest of my post interesting.

Why do I recommend CCMagic?

  1. If you have enough CC to require that you merge your package files, I recommend CCMagic. If you only have Twallan’s mods in your Mods folder, or maybe a few tuning mods, CCMagic is overkill. But if you are already organizing merged package files, CCMagic will make your life infinitely easier.
  2. Are you lazy? Then you should use CCMagic. Once you get past initial set up (which is easier than it looks), organizing your CC is a breeze.
  3. You can organize your CC anyway you want with CCMagic, and you can even create different configurations with which to launch the game, so that you only launch certain CC or Mods when you play certain saves. This is really great for people who like to play strict challenges (such as at Carl’s Sims 3 Forum).
  4. Similarly, whatever you keep in your Mods\Packages folders is considered “Legacy,” and will not touched by CCMagic. This means those items will always launch with the game.
  5. If you don’t want to create different sets and just want to merge everything into one file, that’s cool too. You can easily find what you’re looking for if you want to remove or disable something by using the Filter.
  6. Do you hate sims3packs? Then use CCMagic! CCMagic will install sims3packs by extracting the package file and putting it with the rest of your packaged CC. This means you can completely skip the horrible EA Launcher! There are some limitations to this method (which apply even when you’re not using CCMagic). For example, most counters will not work properly if you install them via package, as the corner counters will not be re-colorable.  You can even install lots this way, but in order to uninstall the lot you’ll need to find it in the library and delete it.
  7. If you prefer to install your store items via package files, you can do that with CCMagic. You’ll need to run the sims3packs through s3rc first though.
  8. You can still use your Overrides folder with CCMagic.
  9. You can still use Delphy’s Dashboard with CCMagic. I recommend using it to make sure you don’t accidentally end up with duplicate packages.
  10. CCMagic will even de-compress your downloads for you. No unzipping required! Just make sure you check for duplicates, as some creators include both sims3pack and package files in their archives.

If you’ve read all of this and you’re thinking about maybe trying out CCMagic, I just want to remind you that there’s absolutely no reason to Panic, so just Don’t Do It. I know it sounds easier said than done, and I also know you probably have no reason to trust me, but just give me the benefit of the doubt here.  Before you start, make a back up of your Mods folder. You can even back up your entire The Sims 3 folder if that makes you feel better. CCMagic will not move or touch anything in your Mods\Packages folder. Absolutely everything will be there. Here are some tips for first time users.

Tips for Getting Started with CCMagic

1. Back up everything first! This will give you peace of mind and also a reference if you want to organize your CC the same way.

2. Check out this great tutorial by Mimm at TFM’s Naughty Sims Asylum, where you can also ask questions and get help (you’ll need to register first to read the thread).

3. Stop by the CCMagic forums to ask questions, make suggestions, or just learn more about CCMagic:

CCMagic User Guide

CCMagic Folders Guide

4. Don’t forget to install the pre-requisite software if you don’t have it already. It’s listed on the CCMagic download page.

5. If you’re planning to have several sets, add CC to CCMagic  in chunks (by putting it in the downloads folder), so that it’s easier to sort through it all. You can currently only drag and drop one file at a time in CCMagic.  **Please See the comments for Grant’s explanation on how to drag and drop multiple files in CCMagic!

6. Before you start the game for the first time, go into the Configurations tab, and make sure you have enabled all the sets you want to use (including Legacy or Default).

Download CCMagic at ModTheSims

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April 15, 2012 - Posted by | Recommendations | , , , , , , , ,

15 Comments »

  1. Very nice post! I’m always happy to see more people writing about CC Magic!

    I would like to address point #5 above. The part about drag and drop.

    It is possible to drag and drop multiple items in CC Magic. You just have to start dragging with the last click as you make your multiple selection. So for example if you have 5 items you want to move, you can click the first one, ctrl-click numbers 2 through 4 and ctrl-click-AND-HOLD number 5 and start dragging. If you hold the mouse button down on the last selection, it won’t reset to only selecting one item as you drag. I realize this isn’t really the normal behaviour for drag and drop, but I’m using a 3rd party drag and drop tool that is somewhat broken (although it’s free).

    Comment by Grant Hess | April 15, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thank you very much for leaving a comment here about this, Grant. That’s really great information and I added a note about it in my post. I’m off to download some CC to try it out 😉

    Comment by Nona | April 15, 2012 | Reply

  3. Thank you for a great post! Informative, honest and showing plenty of personality!

    Oddly, I was already a user of CC Magic, but had been considering doing everything manually as I find it harder to do a factory reset of the game whilst using CC Magic. However, your eloquent post just reminded me of all the many reasons that I’d started using CC Magic in the first place. Its easy to forget just how long it used to take to do all this manually when you have had Grant’s program making it so much easier and faster for you. Now that you’ve reminded me of all the reasons that I moved to CC Magic in the first place, I don’t want to lose it again!

    Comment by dwarfwench | May 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi dwarfwench, Thanks very much for your comment 🙂 I’ve been a little distracted lately, so I apologize for the slow reply.

      I’m glad you liked my post. I thought it would be useful for people who might be like me. I love new stuff, but sometimes I hold back for the stupidest reasons (usually it’s just plain skepticism). I really would love if I would NEVER have to back to merging packages again. I can see why people prefer sims3packs over packages just for that reason. Merging packages is a royal pain the butt, especially when you like to go on download sprees!

      Comment by Nona | May 11, 2012 | Reply

  4. […] If you’ve never set up CC Magic before, and you’re nervous about using it for the first time, this tutorial should be a great help. This tutorial should also be of interest to people who have tried to use CC Magic in the past, but were frustrated with process, or for people (like me) who panicked when they used CC Magic for the firts time. If you’re not sure about using CC Magic, check out my recommendation: Recommendation: CCMagic (it’s true, I’m a Late Adopter). […]

    Pingback by Tutorial: Getting Started with CC Magic « Nona's Sims | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  5. Hello Nona,
    I am RedMallie. I just started playingTS3 last year when I finally managed to have a computer that met the game recommended specs…yes, I honestly believed that a 128GB SSD would be enought for my Sims games.
    Well, my situation is similar to what you mentioned at the time in this post; my OS and Sims games and a few other games AND cc packages (I am one of those who loooves to go on downloading sprees, it is as if I think I have to make up for the time lost) are all in that SSD. It is so full I am afraid something wrong may happen.
    Just recently I bought another SSD, this time it is a 256Gb SSD. I knnow, it is still small for the amount of CC content I dream of downloading, but it is still twice the size of my current system drive.
    Anyways, I would really appreciate it if you could answer a few questions for me, please. Did you manage to transfer your TS3 games to another SSD? If you did, how did you manage it? Was there any easier way to do this than uninstalling and reinstalling all games again? Finally, whether I have to uninstall-reinstall or not, is there a way to keep my saved sims, lots created, and games?
    I am resigned to having to uninstall-reinstall all, but I just do not want to lose my sims and lots, and I would prefer not to lose my games either.

    I have looked for answers to these questions in several forums, but so far no one has replied. Please, please, any guidance will be highly appreciated.

    🙂

    Comment by Maria a.k.a. Red Mallie | February 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi RedMallie. I hope I can be of some help.

      In my current set up, I have 16 sims 3 games (base game + EPs and SPs) installed on my 128gb SSD, and 9 installed on my 512gb SSD. I did not originally intend to split my installation up on two drivers. I switched my Origin installation path to install another game, and then I forgot to change it back. So, that’s how I ended up with my games on two separate hard drives at the same time. It worked out great and I’m glad it happened. Unfortunately, you can’t just move some of your games over to the other SSD and start playing, but I can try to give you some tips that might help you.

      1. You can keep all of your CC, saves, sims, lots, everything. All you have to do is make a backup copy of your The Sims 3 folder in Documents\Electronic Arts. I recommend you do this from time to time anyhow. The best way to back everything up is to put it on a separate, external hard drive or USB thumb drive, but you can also put a copy of the folder on your desktop, or on another drive in your computer. Just copy the entire Sims 3 folder in Documents\Electronic Arts to some other place where you know you will be able to find it.

      2. You haven’t said how you have installed your games: from DVDs, through Origin, etc. However, what you can do to avoid reinstalling all of your games is to simply uninstall the last 5 or 6 (or how many you need to free up enough space), and then reinstall those onto your second SSD. Just change the installation path so it points to your other SSD. Here’s an example of how mine is set up:

      From the base game through Seasons: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games

      70s, 80s, 90s Stuff through Into The Future: E:\Origin Games

      3. If your games are installed through Origin, and you ticked “Keep game installers after games have been installed” (Origin > Application Settings > Advanced) You can try making a copy of each game folder you’re going to uninstall before you uninstall it. Then, move those copies to your second SSD, and find the folder called _Installer for each game. Example: E:\Origin Games\The Sims 3 Into The Future\__Installer
      -Use the Sims3EP11Setup.exe inside each folder to install the game. Unfortunately, I have not had much success doing this (whenever I did it, some .exe files were missing), and you can only do it if you’ve installed through origin and ticked that option before you installed.

      I hope this helps. Please report back and let me know how it goes, or if you have more questions.

      Comment by Nona | February 16, 2014 | Reply

      • Hello Nona,

        First of all, many many thanks for replying to my post. I am your fan already just because of your response. 🙂 🙂
        Your reply was clear and it helped me a lot.
        Ah! I apologize for not providing all data before: I have installed all EPs (except Into the Future) and all SPs, (except Katy Perry) through Origin, and fortunately for me, I did tick the “Keep game installers after games have been installed” option there.
        Now, let me report back what I did and what happened today.
        First, I copied my The Sims 3 folder from My Documents onto another external HD.
        Then I decided to try to split the installation of my games as you did so I copied all SPs onto my secondary drive and tried using their corresponding Sims3*setup.exe files. At that stage, I was asked if I was sure to remove the game installation (let me say that here I freaked out thinking I had done something wrong, but it seems that however way you go about it, this has to happen), so I thought about it for a moment and decided to go ahead and follow the wizard’s prompts. The games installations were removed, so I went on to Origin and could verify that only the base game and EPs (which I had not moved at all) were listed as installed. All my SPs were listed as owned, but not installed.
        So, what I had to do was click on each corresponding game icon to download them and install them again. This was what I was trying to avoid, because my Internet connection takes hours to download one single TS3 EP (honestly, the last time I had to uninstall and re-install the ones I had last year, it took me one whole week because each game took at least 8 or 9 hours). HOWEVER, and this is where you have my lasting gratitude, Nona, after following your advice about copying the folders, Origin apparently just “downloaded” the games from the secondary drive, I mean, I imagine (not computer genius here) that instead of looking for the files on a server, the launcher was directed to the secondary drive. Or something. The case is, it took about 2 to 4 MINUTES to have each SP ready to play.
        After this test, I did the same with some of my EPs, so now I have the base game and all through Pets on my system drive, as well as the TS3 folder within the My Documents folder. The rest of my EPs and all of my SPs are on my secondary drive. And my game is working so far.
        Thank you. Many thank yous indeed. 😀

        Now, if I may, I read this thread about CCMagic and again, just like it happened to you, I am coming very late to this party. I could not believe there are artists who share their creations for free. Anyways, Now I go on downloading sprees quite too often, and again, I am worrying about storage. For instance, I have become confused with an organization folder system recommended at one of the sites I’ve read. There they say I can organize mods within the PACKAGES folder in Mods. Ok, this is fine and clear to me. But then they say I can make other subfolders also within Mods/Packages to store CC files about hair, build, buy objects, etc. I thought CC objects were not to be placed in that Mods/Packages folder.
        I know that all downloaded CC has to be placed within the My Documents/EA/TS3/downloads folder so that the TS3 Launcher recognizes it and installs it.
        After that, where should I store the downloaded files? Must I keep them in the download folder for all to work? It is a very large folder now. After installation, can I save the package files in an external HD for example? Would CCMagic do any or all of this for me?

        Gratefully yours,

        RedMallie

        Comment by RedMallie | February 17, 2014 | Reply

      • Hi RedMallie,

        I’m really glad you could get your games sorted out and that it went very smoothly. I’m also really glad you could just install the games so quickly. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend re-installing the Super Patch for 1.67 to prevent any issues from popping up. However, since your internet connection is slow (mine is too, so I understand), if you don’t have a copy of the 1.67 super patch installer, you could just wait and see if you get any issues first.

        Let’s see if I can answer your other questions helpfully:

        – CC can come in two forms: package files and sims3pack. Sims3packs can be installed through the launcher, while package files must be placed in the in the Mods\Packages folder (or other sub folder in Mods\Packages).

        – You can easily convert CC sims3packs to package files and install them that way. I have a tutorial about this.

        – Once you’ve installed a sims3pack through the launcher, you can remove the sims3pack from the downloads folder. It is only there for backup purposes. Instead of deleting the sims3pack outright, I recommend you move it to a back up storage, like an external hard drive, or even another internal non-SSD hard drive. I have some more information about the launcher here: Tips for Effective Use of the Sims 3 Launcher

        – CC Magic can vastly reduce the time you spend organizing your content, but it will still keep some backups on your SSD. I have a tutorial about getting started with CC Magic.

        I know I’ve given you a lot of reading to do, but I have a few more recommendations. Since you’re just getting started with mods & CC, I highly recommend you read this: Tips for keeping your mods organized and avoiding conflicts

        I also recommend the more advanced Understanding Mod and CC Conflicts with Delphy’s Dashboard. This one is longer, so take it step by step. You don’t have to read it right away, and you don’t have to read it all in one sitting. You can keep it as a reference, or as something to read later.

        Comment by Nona | February 17, 2014 | Reply

        • Hello Nona,

          Thank you very very much for your response and suggestions. I will read the tutorials.

          The 1.67 super patch that you mentioned, is it different from the 1.67 game update? I have my game updated to the 1.67 version.

          I am now officially following your blog, and let me say that after this communication with you, I am very happy to know you are taking part in keeping Nraas industries going. It is good to know people like you are helping keep those great mods working, I mean, apart from keeping your own mods and creations, AND helping newcomers like myself. 🙂

          It is fantastic to have received this much information about learning how to make the most out of game customization.

          Ok now, reading ahead. Thank you!!!

          Comment by RedMallie | February 18, 2014 | Reply

      • RedMallie,

        The 1.67 patch and 1.67 super patch are essentially the same, but the the super patch can fix some installation and patching issues. I only mentioned super patch because you uninstalled and re-installed, and it never hurts to run the super patch over that even when you’re already patched. But, since the super patch is so big, just wait and see if you do have any problems first. That way you won’t download that big patch for no reason. Hopefully, you won’t have any problems at all 🙂

        Comment by Nona | February 18, 2014 | Reply

  6. Hello! A friend recommended CCMagic, she is always complaining about having to organize her CC and so on. I have no problems spending an entire day going through my CC and organizing things because I’m a Capricorn and we just love to be in control!!! LOL. I laughed hard at your Taurus comment, because we Earth Signs are very much set in our roots. 😉

    But seriously, I enjoy organizing things. I do.

    However, the selling point for me is the fact that you can disable certain CC from your game. I was wondering if I could disable content from the Expansion packs and from the base game that I don’t use. Because I really don’t need to disable CC in actuality, since I organize everything.

    I have created different “saves” for different purposes, like one is just for building lots, another one just for creating sims, etc. In short, this is what it is: different “The Sims 3” folders. So this way I only download into each save/folder/game (whatever you want to denominated) a particular kind of CC. So instead of having one The Sims 3 folder with all my CC in there (which I wouldn’t be able to do anything since I have massive amount of CC) and then later (if I were using CCMagic) disabling the CC I don’t use for building lots if that is what I’m doing, I just copy/paste the particular The Sims 3 folder that I would be playing that day – which I have stored away into my external hard drive – into the official The Sims 3 folder under documents/electronic arts…

    This has saved me a lot of headache and also because I have too much CC, I seriously do have a horrible amount of CC. Like, all together is about 8.something GB or more.

    So, if I cannot disable the base or expansion packs content that I don’t EVER use with CCMagic, then I really don’t need it. I don’t have a problem with the launcher, I really don’t. I get it that other people hate dealing with it, because we all have different ways of dealing with things and understanding them. But I don’t have a problem with it. I actually prefer sims3package because I can see what I’m putting on my game vs .package which has no image.

    Sorry if this comments seemed a bit… crazy.
    Happy New Year!

    Comment by theeyesofbecca | January 1, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 It was fun to read. Unfortunately, you can’t disable any content from the base game or expansion packs with CCMagic. I do believe there are some re-categorizer mods that hide such content (you can’t remove it, but you can hide it to de-clutter buy mode), but I can’t recall where I’ve seen it.

      Happy New Year to you, as well!

      Comment by Nona | January 2, 2015 | Reply

      • Oh yes! True. I have seen these mods, but like you, can’t remember now. Thank you for answering me. 🙂

        Comment by theeyesofbecca | January 2, 2015 | Reply

  7. Hey Nona!

    Just a quick question, not sure if you can help? How do I uninstall CC Magic? I installed yesterday, then decided I didn’t actually need it and tried to find a way to uninstall but couldn’t. So I just dragged the folders it created to my desktop hoping this would work (silly, I know). Now when I try to play my game it won’t load, just get a black screen and then a pop up saying the game has crashed. Usually, if the game crashes, my cache files will re-appear but I’ve noticed that they don’t so I’m assuming CC Magic is still automatically deleting them.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    🙂

    Comment by Kie | January 3, 2015 | Reply


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