Sims 3 Patch Error: “Update error: Invalid file found”

Sims 3 Patch Error: “Update error: Invalid file found”

It seems that many of you experience the annoying Sims 3 patch error: “Update error: Invalid file found“. I did some research and there are some resolutions. Only two I have heard of work, but one requires a full reinstall. It’s not going to be nice, but I recommend you try out the first option first before attempting a reinstall.

Option One: Find and Replace the Individual File

The “Update Error: Invalid File Found” or “Update Error: File Not Found” message means that the installer is attempting to update a “core game” file (EA original file) that was somehow modified or deleted previously – either by a mod, certain custom content, or by the user. An example of core files include INI files (camera and lighting etc.), default custom music files, .package files, .exe files (nocd) and so on.

Even a change to a core file’s timestamp is enough to cause the installer to fail. If you have the original game disc and you know which file(s) might have been altered or deleted, you can copy the original data file(s) over to the game’s installation directory. (You can also look inside the rtpatch.log file which can tell you exactly what file failed to update at the time). When the core file(s) have been restored the update should then work.

ModTheSims has created a useful tool to help solve this problem, a patch log viewer that can find out what file (if any) was modified. Read through the details and download it here.

Option Two: Backup and complete reinstall

The second option is to get rid of all of your corrupted files, it requires a full manual uninstall after backing up your saved data followed by a clean install. It may be lengthy and extremely frustrating, but you have to do what you have to do. To backup your filed, follow the information below:

Backup the save data in Windows XP:

  1. Click the Start button and select My Documents.
  2. Select the Electronic Arts folder.
  3. Right-click The Sims 3 folder and select Copy.
  4. Right-click on the folder or drive where you want to save your backup and select Paste.
  5. Make sure you re-name your copy and include ‘backup‘ in the file name to avoid confusion.
  6. To restore your Sims 3 save games, move this folder back into the Electronic Arts folder and select the Overwrite option when prompted.

Backup the save data in Windows Vista:

  1. Click the Start button and select Documents.
  2. Select the Electronic Arts folder.
  3. Right-click The Sims 3 folder and select Cut.
  4. Right-click on the folder or drive where you want to save your backup and select Paste.
  5. Make sure you re-name your copy and include ‘backup‘ in the file name to avoid confusion.
  6. To restore your Sims 3 save games, move this folder back into the Electronic Arts folder after re-installing the game.

For the manual uninstall, please simply check out this link on the official Sims 3 FAQ website which goes through everything step by step.

Hopefully you have been able to resolve your issue and get on with some fun simming. Let us know how it went, if you have any other suggestions or just have a comment to make, please do so below. Thanks for your time and I hope I helped.

5 Comments

  1. alicez

    My Ini files in Shared Non packaged Data were causing the invalid file errors. I had forgotten that I had downloaded custom world lighting files. It was a pain to search any files in the Program x86 Electronic Arts folders. Thankful I had an old copy of my files that I saved when installing custom mods so I had something to look at for reference to see which files had been altered. Replaced with originals and was able to download and install successfully the Patch 1.55. Thank you so much for posting this helpful article online.

  2. kimkyung

    Thank you for your post. I understand more information about this problem. But can you help me? I use 
    a patch log viewer like you say and it say that. I check bin folder and it already have this file, both bin of the sims 3 and the sims 3 showtime (I have just install 2 pack). I copy the file TS3W.exe in crack folder in my dvd and it still show this red message. What can I do now? I can’t play showtime online because i can’t update. Forgive if my grammar is wrong.

  3. Samantha

    i am having a problem with patching my game, but none of them are listed here. My launcher told me that I need to update my game to the latest version, which i knew because i had just installed the base game. It took 5 hours to completely patch my game and then my launcher didn’t recognize that I ever patched it, and it said that I still need to update my game. What do I do in this situation?

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