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Running the Windows version of Simcity 4 on Mac in a virtual machine

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This is my first post here. Let me just say that I love Simtropolis. 
It's an an amazing community for an amazing game and I admire the hard work of all the batters and modders.
 
I'd like to help out all the hardcore fans who have switched to the Mac to have best Simcity 4 experience.
 
After the huge disappointment with the Aspyr release I've been experimenting with VMware Fusion. With VMware you can run any version of Windows in a virtual machine right on your Mac Desktop. Simcity 4 works great and the speed is unbelievable. On my i5 quad core iMac I can watch movies while the game is running in an another window, not a sweat from the machine, even with larger (300.000+) cities. Runs great on Core 2 Duo Intel Macbook Pros too. I seriously recommend everyone to ditch the sluggish Mac version and use the Win version instead.
 
Important! In order to make the game work properly you must
  • Make sure VMware is configured to use 1 processor in the virtual machine (Settings / Processors & RAM)
  • Run the game as an administrator in compatibility mode (XP or Vista if you have Win7), right click on Simcity 4.exe and click Properties / Compatibiltity
  • Make sure you force software rendering by running the game like this: Simcity 4.exe -d:software (you can create a desktop shortcut for your convenience)
  • Disable Color Cursor in the Graphic options menu (screen icon) of Simcity 4 (this is optional based on your Windows version, I had some flickering issues)
 
Extra tip
  • You can disable the intro if you also add the -intro:off parameter when running the game
 
Desktop shortcut
  • Target: C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C START "Simcity 4" /high /affinity 1 "C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -intro:off -d:software
  • Start in: "C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps"

So if you have the Win version of Simcity 4 and a Windows license lying around, get VMware and try it out! I think they have free trials so there's nothing to lose.
 
Have fun!

289h3xy.jpg

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@Bjnono001: Windows 7. You can see that at the top of his Virtual Machine window.

And by the way, this is an amazing piece of information Haap. This would save a LOT of Mac users much grief when wanting to play simcity. And you haven't experienced ANY lag or crash issues as well?

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Doesn't SimCity 4 have CD copy prevention or something? Oh well, thanks for the tips, we'll find them useful. Now it's time for me to find an Intel Mac 21.gif.

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Thank you so much for this. After two days of trying to get any version of SC4 running nicely on my MPB I know have a lovely install of the pc version under vmware. Runs a treat. Now to get some add ons.....

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Doesn't SimCity 4 have CD copy prevention or something? Oh well, thanks for the tips, we'll find them useful. Now it's time for me to find an Intel Mac 21.gif.

It does, but VMware can directly interface with your Physical Optical Media so SafeDisc isn't an issue. That's common between both the Windows and Mac versions (I used to run the likes of SimIsle and SimCopter from Physical Media in a Win98 VM).


  Edited by jdenm8  

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Doesn't SimCity 4 have CD copy prevention or something? Oh well, thanks for the tips, we'll find them useful. Now it's time for me to find an Intel Mac 21.gif.

It does, but VMware can directly interface with your Physical Optical Media so SafeDisc isn't an issue. That's common between both the Windows and Mac versions (I used to run the likes of SimIsle and SimCopter from Physical Media in a Win98 VM).

Maybe it's because I was trying something relatively new on Win98... Native SC5 on Linux anybody 6.gif

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Hello-

I've been struggling to get SC4 to run on my 15" MBP running Lion and decided to load the Windows version on a separate, Windows 7 partition instead. When I boot in to Windows, the game runs flawlessly, no issues. However, I can't get it to run through the virtual machine process. I adjusted the VMWare settings as noted above but when I run the game, the "Bridge" splash screen appears for a moment then then nothing. The game just appears to crash. I'd really like to run it through the VM if possible. Any suggestions? FYI - no error messages are displayed.

In terms of specs, I'm running a 15" MBP Intel Quad Core i7 with 8 GB of ram and Lion. I've got Windows 7 Home Pro on a separate 100 GB partition.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Check this out. I don't know if the torrent works, there needs to be a compatibility layer engine installed, and you have to register, but it's been ported to Mac via wrapper: http://portingteam.com/index.php/files/file/1187-SimCity-4--Rush-Hour/

It's the wrapper only (not the full game), so you'll have to supply the files yourself (duh). I've found, at least with CXZ, these things tend to run much slower (tested with IWBTG, which is a pretty good benchmark, and the way it slows down makes it literally impossible)

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Hello-

I've been struggling to get SC4 to run on my 15" MBP running Lion and decided to load the Windows version on a separate, Windows 7 partition instead. When I boot in to Windows, the game runs flawlessly, no issues. However, I can't get it to run through the virtual machine process. I adjusted the VMWare settings as noted above but when I run the game, the "Bridge" splash screen appears for a moment then then nothing. The game just appears to crash. I'd really like to run it through the VM if possible. Any suggestions? FYI - no error messages are displayed.

In terms of specs, I'm running a 15" MBP Intel Quad Core i7 with 8 GB of ram and Lion. I've got Windows 7 Home Pro on a separate 100 GB partition.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

I've done the same thing and found that you need to start the game through the install.exe it will flash the bridge but should proceed to the install window and allow you to start the game from there. Not ideal but it still works :)

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Another option that might be worth trying is Wine, or one of its derivatives like Playonmac (port of Playonlinux) or Crossover. Now I don't have a Mac, but I know Wine can run just as well on OS X as it does in Linux, and SC4 works quite well for me in Wine using Linux, so it's worth a shot.

Plain old Wine: http://wiki.winehq.org/MacOSX/

Playonmac (port of Playonlinux, which I've never used the mac port, but it's great on Linux): http://www.playonmac.com/en

Crossover (probably the easiest to use. Commercial, but free trial available. This is a very nice piece of software, and the profits directly support the Wine project): http://www.codeweavers.com/products/


  Edited by doorknob60  

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I just boot camp it but that's because I also run other more intensive games such as the Guild Wars 2 beta.

(rMBP)


  Edited by psykick55  

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  • Original Poster
  • @Bjnono001: Windows 7. You can see that at the top of his Virtual Machine window.

    And by the way, this is an amazing piece of information Haap. This would save a LOT of Mac users much grief when wanting to play simcity. And you haven't experienced ANY lag or crash issues as well?

     

    Whoops, I'm a bit late with this reply... :D Anyway, there's no lag at all and I haven't noticed too many crashes. You get the same experience that you'd get on Windows.

    I used Parallels to install a copy of WindowsXP to run my copy of SC on my Macbook Pro after numerous crashes with my SC Mac version. No issue since then.

     

    Parallels is great too, actually I got to run some games in Parallels that always crashed for me in VMWare Fusion.

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  • Original Poster
  • Hello-

    I've been struggling to get SC4 to run on my 15" MBP running Lion and decided to load the Windows version on a separate, Windows 7 partition instead. When I boot in to Windows, the game runs flawlessly, no issues. However, I can't get it to run through the virtual machine process. I adjusted the VMWare settings as noted above but when I run the game, the "Bridge" splash screen appears for a moment then then nothing. The game just appears to crash. I'd really like to run it through the VM if possible. Any suggestions? FYI - no error messages are displayed.

    In terms of specs, I'm running a 15" MBP Intel Quad Core i7 with 8 GB of ram and Lion. I've got Windows 7 Home Pro on a separate 100 GB partition.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

     

    It's very picky about the settings so you might want to double check everything. I remember having to play around with it a LOT till I got it right... You can also run into problems if you simply run Simcity 4.exe, so it's better to use a shortcut like this:

     

    • Target: C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C START "Simcity 4" /high /affinity 1 "C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -intro:off -d:software
    • Start in: "C:\Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps"

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    Now that I'm back and armed with a Mac Mini 2GHz, 4GB RAM, 120GB HD (rubbish but likely won't bother upgrading as may be replacing again soon - this one here is Early 2009), I don't have VMWare 6 OR a Windows XP licence on me! Trying to figure out some other way of getting back into SC4 when I have time, as there seems no real point with SC'5'...

     

    [UPDATE: Well, if anybody is reading, I've dug out keys for VMware Fusion 4 and XP, attempting an install now...]

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    Hey guys, I am running the Windows version on VMWare and Windows XP.  When I get into the game, the screen flashes rapidly, and the graphics have a difficult time staying in place.

    I tried "Color Cursor" and that did not work.  I did not understand the third recommendation...could that be it?

    Anybody who can help?

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    Nevermind, switched to "Software Rendering" in Graphics Options instead of Hardware, runs beautifully!  Holy hell this is 10000x better than the MAC, it runs so fast and the quality is unreal!!!  Everybody with MAC should do this!

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    Anyone here upgrade to Mavericks & Parallels 9 recently?

     

    I've been running SC4 on Parallels 7 (Windows XP as my VM OS) for several years, but after the upgrade to Mavericks and Parallels 9 I've been getting terrible graphics in hardware rendering (starts once I scroll and gets worse as I scroll around, but returns to normal once you zoom in/out - both in region view and mayor mode).

     

    When I switch to software render the problem disappears in region view but i get a CTD once I try and load a city tile.

     

    Anyone?

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    Anyone here upgrade to Mavericks & Parallels 9 recently?

     

    I've been running SC4 on Parallels 7 (Windows XP as my VM OS) for several years, but after the upgrade to Mavericks and Parallels 9 I've been getting terrible graphics in hardware rendering (starts once I scroll and gets worse as I scroll around, but returns to normal once you zoom in/out - both in region view and mayor mode).

     

    When I switch to software render the problem disappears in region view but i get a CTD once I try and load a city tile.

     

    Anyone?

     

    I run SC4 under the same configuration as you but with Parallels 8, installed with most of the default options.  No problems at all, so sorry I can't be of much help - guess I'm glad I didn't bite on one of those upgrade offers.

     

    You may want to check out Wineskin.  I've been toying with it if for no other reason than to fully sever all connections with Windows.  Haven't quite been able to get it to run as well but I'm sure it's possible - just need to play around with it a little more (I know, if it ain't broke don't fix it....blah blah blah).  That way I might be a little more future proof once the next MacOS version comes out (assuming I bite) requiring me to upgrade to Parallels 10 (as the pattern seems to be) and as Windows XP tends to fade into history - I will never buy another MS OS.

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    The issue is HD textures. VMWare can't handle hardware rendering for some reason, so HD textures (water, terrain, beach, etc.) cause a CTD. I'm desperately trying to figure out how to enable hardware rendering on VMWare Fusion. No luck yet.  :(

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    Going to try and sort out Parallels 9 this weekend - will let you know if I get it up and running. Will try out Wine also

     

    Edit: Well, after removing HD terrain & water mods, and an update of Parallels it seems to be running like a charm now! Installed the old CTP / PEG terrain/water mods instead.

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    Just a little bump to say that I made the switch over to Wine this weekend.

    Wow! Incredibly stable, and I can't believe I didn't try to run it under wine sooner - I think I was always intimidated by the setup procedures, but once I actually sat down and read through them, it was simple to get everything up and running.

     

    Highly recommend for anyone on a mac (I'm on a MB Air running Mavericks)

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    Just a little bump to say that I made the switch over to Wine this weekend.

    Wow! Incredibly stable, and I can't believe I didn't try to run it under wine sooner - I think I was always intimidated by the setup procedures, but once I actually sat down and read through them, it was simple to get everything up and running.

     

    Highly recommend for anyone on a mac (I'm on a MB Air running Mavericks)

     

    Make sure you do the videomemorysize winetrick (it's one of the last ones) suited to whatever your VRAM is and also update your graphicsrules.sgr and videocards.sgr files.  They can be edited easily in TextEdit and all the info required can be found in the Apple Menu --> About this Mac --> System Report button --> Graphics.  There are several threads describing how to do this in detail here and on SC4D.

     

    As of last weekend I updated my Wine engine and wrapper and the performance is incredible.  It's better than my initial Wine setup, which was about on par with Parallels performance-wise.  Just don't be lulled into complacency; it can still be subject to all the trials and tribulations of any Windows setup - for instance I get CTDs if I don't save often enough (~20 minutes or so).  Save early and often and you should see some smooth sailing.

     

    I just bought the wife a new MB Air this past Saturday to replace a dying HP and I've been curious as to how it would run it, what with the SSD and all.  Might try it for hahas one of these days but I'm not expecting it to beat out my MB Pro.

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    Out of curiosity, has anyone been able to run the NAM installer with a Wineskin or Winebottler wrapper?

     

    -Tarkus

    I have, with success.

     

    The only thing that it has trouble with is the controller compiler.  It will give an error saying I don't have java installed and that it will install the full-featured controller.  I tend to go with a heavy NAM installation so I don't really have an issue with that seeing as I'd probably end up with most of it anyway.

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    I have, with success.

     

    The only thing that it has trouble with is the controller compiler.  It will give an error saying I don't have java installed and that it will install the full-featured controller.  I tend to go with a heavy NAM installation so I don't really have an issue with that seeing as I'd probably end up with most of it anyway.

     

     

     

    Thanks for that information--it's proving to be very useful to our efforts. :D

     

    -Tarkus

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