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I would start with a heat event problem. Check the easy stuff first, are the fans running, is there a lot of dust inside the computer. And that failing, get some artic 5 pop off the heat sync and apply a skinny little coat. Should that not do it, next look to the video card, that can give you hangs and shut downs. Make sure it is seated properly. There are more things to check but that just might get you started for now. If this doesn't help please let us know.
Go to www.avast.com download the latest edition of home user software install. Click yes or Ok to all. Get rid of any other antivirus software on your computer, btw, norton/symtac, macafee and others are just spyware disguised as legitmate av software, there ****, lol. Avast is free and it is the best av out there free or purchased.
Your can copy the saved game file in the saved games folder of SIMS to another location so your kid need not repeat her game. Then just re-install the SIMS application and copy back the saved game file to the saved game folder of SIMS.
Shut it down anyway and immediately turn it ack on and do a thourough cleanup. update your virus control and run it> go to Tools (at top) of screen and then internet options and clear your history and cookies>go to all programs> accessories>system tools.clean disc and do that little chore.. If you have a registry cleaner program run that also. When you are all finished try shutting the computer down again, This time if it doesnt work, go and ahead and shut it off anyway and turn it back on and do a defrag (same place as clean disc. Good luck and let me know..
It sound as if there is a system file error.
If you havent already, try booting up in safe mode (F8) on start up and when and if it allows you highlight 'Last known good configuration' and hit enter for a restart.
If still nothing you need to insert your windows installation disc and hit enter when prompted.
This will run a file installation, but not a format and when the files have installed you will have the choice to install windows or repair; select repair for system file installation.