Little more homework reveals this is a common problemthe sims zoneCheck for correct system requirements
I cut and pasted this because it's easier to read this way. It's about manually installing the files:
1 - Go into My Computer.
2 - Open drive C.
3 - Right-click inside the window and select New, and then Folder.
4 - Name the folder as Disk Images (it is important that the name has a space in it).
5 - Open the disk images folder.
6 - Right-click inside the window and select New, and then Folder.
7 - Name this folder Disk1.
8 - Repeat steps 6 and 7 while substituting Disk1 for Disk2 and so on until there are 4 'Disk' folders followed by a number 1 through 4. it is important to note there must not be a space between "Disk" and the number.
9 - Insert Disk 1 of The Sims 2 into your CD-Rom drive and if the autoplay starts, cancel it.
10 - Go into My Computer.
11 - Right-click on your CD-ROM drive and choose Open.
12 - When you see the contents of the disk in the Window, click on Edit at the top of the window and choose Select All.
13 - All the contents of the disk should now be highlighted, click on Edit at the top of the window again and choose Copy.
14 - Open the Disk1 folder you created under C:\Disk Images; click on Edit at the top of the window and choose Paste. This will copy the contents of the CD into the Disk1 folder.
15 - Repeat steps 9 through 14 for the remaining disks until you have copied each disk into its appropriate folder.
16 - Once all the disks have been copied, remove ALL CDs from any drives.
17 - Open the Disk1 folder under Disk Images and double-click on autorun.exe to start the installation.
18 - To save disk space, you can delete the Disk Images folders after the installation is complete.