Notice & Warning:
This tutorial is NOT for everyone. Part I is aimed only at folks with dual-core CPU’s who experience random crashes, and even then it is aimed primarily at Intel CPU’s. We've had no chance to test it on AMD chips. That said, it should work both on Vista as well as XP operating systems. Part II, however, is strictly for Vista - at least I have not been able to get it to work on XP. What the process does is to change SimCity 4's affinity to CPU0 permanently.

A note for Windows 7 users: early reports seem to indicate that SimCity 4 Deluxe does not suffer from any of the problems experienced under Vista. Additionally, Windows 7 offers several compatibility combinations which should be tried before your try this.

That said, quite a few folks have successfully applied this solution – yours truly included – and lived to see game play without CTD’s other than through faulty installations of plugins. You can also download this document as a PDF document.

This did not grow on my pasture, not at all. I’ve read it in someone else’s thread, on Simtropolis some two years ago. It did save me from giving up on SC4 entirely - I have not had a single CTD since! Credit must go to RUSHMAN5, who came up with this solution first.

Part I:
The most important step you have to take is to make a backup copy of the SimCity 4.exe! Create a copy in a different folder! If you do not do that and you make a mistake during the next steps, you will have to re-install. So, please make a backup now.

Ok, assuming that’s done, go online and download:

to get the ImageCfg utility you find there. Make sure you save it in the same directory (folder) as your SimCity 4.exe. Alternatively, you can download the Imagecfg right here.

Run Command Dialog
Fig. 1: Run Command Dialogue

Next step:
On the Start Menu click on Run, then type CMD into the text box. Hit the ENTER key (Fig. 1). The typical DOS window appears, usually showing your user documents path (same as My Documents when you still worked with Windows XP.

For the sake of this tutorial I am assuming that your SimCity.exe is located in the standard installation folder called \MAXIS\SIMCITY 4 Deluxe\APPS below C:\PROGRAM FILES. If it is somewhere else, replace the path below with the one applicable in your case. If it is on a different drive, you will need to switch to that drive first by typing the drive letter, followed by a colon (:), followed by the ENTER key into the DOS Command Window (Fig. 2).

At the prompt, type:

CD \Program Files\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps

and hit ENTER.

Now check, using the DIR command, that you indeed have the ImageCFG.exe in that folder. If you do, type the following command – EXACTLY - and then hit ENTER:

imagecfg -a 0x1 “SimCity 4.exe”

The quotation marks (”“) around SimCity 4.exe must be typed as well, otherwise you will get an error message!

ImageCFG DOS Screen
Fig. 2: DOS screen running ImageCfg..
It is possible that even with the quotation marks that ImageCfg reports an error: in that case temporarily rename the SimCity 4.exe to “SimCity4.exe”, then - when all is done and finished, reinsert the space between SimCity and 4 by renaming the EXE file.

(continue to Part II..)
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