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joostvdh

City cannot be loaded, although file is in correct place

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Hello everyone,

I recently downloaded SimCity 4 with Origin. I played the game and everything worked fine, so no problems here. So I saved my city, closed SC4 and even my entire PC, and after lunch continued playing with this city. However the next day the region still exists, but the city is not there anymore. I checked in the region folder and the city file is still there. However when loading a city from your documents in SC4 the specified city is not there. So although I still got the city file i'm not able to play with this city. Anyone who can help me with this issue?

Note: I'm using a customized region, so I adjusted the config.bmp file in such a way that the size of the cities is customized.

Thanks in advance!

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Hiya, joostvdh. Welcome to Simtropolis! *:)

 

3 hours ago, joostvdh said:

I adjusted the config.bmp file in such a way that the size of the cities is customized.

By this you mean you started a region and had its normal random layout to begin with? Like this:

5981a8c7a8b3f_img1730RVRandomConfig.jpg.2a5e2c281efc599326e48541ecd9dc82.jpg

And then you used a tool or image editor to change the config.bmp so it's customized such as this:

5981a8f1c473b_img1732RVCConfig.jpg.d3af961bc7e6b3df5da2c19f5a113240.jpg

 

Let's rule out the obvious first. Did you change the tile configuration before or after you started building the missing city? If it was after then that's the culprit. If the new layout does not have the exact same tile size in the location of that city tile then it will disappear.

Assuming that's not how it occurred the next thing which comes to mind is did you alt-tab out of the game while it was saving? That's known to cause a corrupted save file and then it won't reload. And then the other thing is that Save and Exit or Save and Quit can also corrupt the city file even without changing focus away from the game. This usually only occurs later in a city's life when it's heavily developed tho. The advice here is that you always Save the game and then select Exit without save or Quit without save after that.

One more (less likely you did this) possibility is if you edited the save file directly (like with a hex editor) that will cause the checksum validation to fail and also cause the city to go missing.

So, do you have a hole in the region map where the city was? Or just blank tile(s) in that location?

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16 hours ago, joostvdh said:

I recently downloaded SimCity 4 with Origin.

Isn't Origin the buggy and unpatchable one that makes everyone want to (cry and) demand their money back?

Google "SimCity 4" + Origin, and then make plans to replace your game with a patched version from a reputable vendor such as GOG (which prices SC4 at $5 for maybe a week about twice each year).

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22 minutes ago, jeffryfisher said:

Isn't Origin the buggy and unpatchable one that makes everyone want to (cry and) demand their money back?

It is indeed. *:(

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In fact, it sounded a lot like the kind of problems I was getting when starting to use the game, even before adding custom content to it: on certain situations, particularly when having crashes while saving files, the savefile gets totally corrupted, basically illegible, and the game just replaces the damaged tile with an empty one.

Using this tool you can check if the savefile is still readable. In the worst case I'm describing, not even this application will be able to open your tile, but will work perfectly with the neighbouring ones (be sure to install the application's dependencies to make it work, btw).

The learnt lesson of this tale is to make backups of your region. Lots of them. The still not learnt lesson is to poke around only with a sandbox region (as it seems I borked my CJ region once again >.< )

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One thing that may be at work here is a save file conflict. Like every object in SC4, save files need a unique ID to reference them. The default regions that come with the game have a fixed set of IDs, so if you have more than one in your regions folder, they will conflict with each other. Note that inside the install directory is a folder "Regions", which contains the original unmodified regions. This is purely there in case you decide to reset the original regions/tutorial, they are not used normally. The regions being used are located in the "Documents" folder under the "Regions" subfolder.

So let's say you were playing on the San Francisco map that comes with the game. If somehow you ended up with two sets of San Francisco maps, even if you renamed them in-game, both would have the same ID. What happens? Well upon starting the game, SC4 finds there is a duplicate and moves one set to the following location:

\Documents\SimCity 4\Regions\Downloads

So check there, if there are save files here, it would suggest this is your problem. If that's the case, simply remove the duplicate region from the Regions folder and replace it with the archived one inside the Downloads folder.

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Thanks for replying  all,

First of all, I changed the tile configuration before starting the city, so this shouldn't be the problem as I closed SimCity multiple times and after restarting everything worked just fine. I also didn't edit the save file itself. Furthermore my regions\download folder is empty  so this should not be the problem as well.

So I think the problem is indeed a corrupt city file, as my city already had more as 200.000 inhabitants this would be big enough to cause this problem? 

I will use the tool tomorrow to check if the file is still readable!

 

Thanks for all the help! 

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2 hours ago, joostvdh said:

So I think the problem is indeed a corrupt city file, as my city already had more as 200.000 inhabitants this would be big enough to cause this problem? 

I suspect this question is with regard to Save and exit or Save and quit.

I don't know what the threshold is for when corruption is more likely to occur. It's prolly related more to the size of the save file itself rather than population per-se. Like if you have lots of trees and/or lots of MMPs and/or lots of custom content with lots of props those all might be primary factors, but I'm mostly guessing.

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On 8/3/2017 at 7:27 AM, matias93 said:

Using this tool you can... etc.

The tool needs 4 dll files which costs ~15 $ each. (!!!). Which means around 60 $ !!! No thanks, I'll pass.

CorinaMarie's suggestion about "save game and then quit, or exit, without saving" rose my curiosity. Is this becoming the standard way of doing it?

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22 minutes ago, huzman said:

The tool needs 4 dll files which costs ~15 $ each. (!!!). Which means around 60 $ !!! No thanks, I'll pass.

Just omit the payment ad and go directly to the table where the different versions are shown, along with a download link. If that doesn't work, there are several other sites that offer the same files for free, which you can find on google. Sadly, they cannot be included directly on the program as it would be a copyright violation.

RAxhDR7.png
reference image

25 minutes ago, huzman said:

CorinaMarie's suggestion about "save game and then quit, or exit, without saving" rose my curiosity. Is this becoming the standard way of doing it?

A lot of playing experience shows that is the best strategy to avoid file corruption when saving cities. I particularly have lost several city tiles in the past because of using 'save and exit the game', so is something I recommend strongly.

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7 hours ago, huzman said:

The tool needs 4 dll files which costs ~15 $ each. (!!!). Which means around 60 $ !!! No thanks, I'll pass.

.dll files should NEVER cost you money. A DLL or Dynamic Linked Library contains the necessary code to allow programs written in a given language to work. Scammers have been taking advantage of people's lack of understanding about how they are distributed, to con people into paying for them. But this act is simply illegal, since those selling them don't even have the rights to do so. Google doesn't help either, since it will link you to the dodgy sites first (i.e. they are paying advertising to Google who look the other way and take the money).

The real problem is that often the creators of the DLLs don't release them as separate files. For example you might need a suite for C++ or Visual Basic, which will contain amongst the install the .dlls you need. However, it's often not as transparent what files are contained within a package as it might be.

For example: Microsoft don't sell MSVCP71.dll, it's free, but you can't install that file on it's own, you need the entire C++ runtime library package. Anyone not Microsoft trying to sell it (who wouldn't charge), are simply breaking the law, which should tell you why you want to avoid the site like the plague entirely.

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Oh boy! I opened a can of worms! So I just "liked" some posts but I'm too tired to answer them now. So see you tomorrow... hein?

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On 6.8.2017 at 0:59 AM, huzman said:

The tool needs 4 dll files which costs ~15 $ each. (!!!). Which means around 60 $ !!! No thanks, I'll pass.

CorinaMarie's suggestion about "save game and then quit, or exit, without saving" rose my curiosity. Is this becoming the standard way of doing it?

Well, I never paid a dime for any files to make a tool work, and the SC4Save tool is no exception of the rule here. So SC4Save works just fine for me (Windows 7 x64). What are the files you need to pay for?

And yes, the recommended procedure to save the game is: Press F4 and use the Save button or Ctrl-S, and after the save is done, exit the game manually. That make sure, that your save - file won't get corrupted.

Kind regards!

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