O. FREAKIN K.
using a guest account does work (seems to be temporary)
renaming the exe does work (bypasses game explorer & gameux.dll)
renaming gameux.dll should work.
the culprit IS game explorer, which invokes gameux.dll
which tries to connect to the internet to update game
files etc. there does not appear to be a failure limit
in the routine, so that the game will never start until
gameux.dll can connect. unchecking update options
in game explorer is NOT effective in all cases.
i have had success with a wrinkle no one else
has mentioned. DO NOT INSTALL ANY 3RD PARTY SOFTWARE
IN EITHER OF THE PROGRAM FILE FOLDERS.
install to committed folders on c drive.
my example: c:\games\dune2000
although the game still appears in game explorer,
the game starts immediately, and no rundll hang.
oh, and i made sure my wifi radio was off and
out of range in one case.