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Windows 7: Games and rundll32 issue

15 Jul 2010   #1

Games and rundll32 issue

Hey guys

I'm new around here. I recently installed win 7 ultimate (I had vista previously) and had some considerable issues (bsod, driver issues etc.) I managed to resolve the bsod by installing a new 56k modem (no adsl in my area)

So after about 3 re-installs of 7, I thought I had everything sorted. However I noticed after connecting online one time, from the reboot afterwards, none of my games would work. My games would open with about 1000kb of ram and 0% cpu but a rundll32 process would start up and use 50% cpu... doing nothing.

I re-installed 7 but after connecting online once again, from then onwards the same issue arose. It's as if 7 is downloading something that messes up my system. I've turned off all updates (windows update, games explorer, windows media player etc)
I don't have an anti-virus installed. I think other software is doing the same thing (third party software eg. video editing software) Any ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

I don't have an anti-virus installed.
That and having windows update turned off is just waiting for trouble. If you look over in the security section you will see an article stating that Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free to everyone, is one of the best AVs out there and worth installing.

Now the main issue. What games are we talking about here? For some of my games I have to use XP mode, but its mostly just Doom 1&2 and other old as dirt games. It definitely seems like a compatibility issue to me. But I can't find out unless I know specially which games you're using.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2010   #3


EA games (Needforspeed Underground 2, Carbon)
Quake II

I can manage to get Q2, Halo and Portal working sometimes If I open the .exe a few times and run-as-admin after killing rundll32.exe

What's weird is that all my games were working perfectly fine before I connected online (about a week after installing 7) so it's not so much compatibility but rather 7 doing something on its own accord. I've tried running everything in compatibility mode (Xp and Vista)

I'll try installing some newer games (Fallout 3, Fear etc.) however I have already tried Halo 2 (which installs but hangs when I try to load a level)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Based on my experience with playing Halo and The Sims 2 (an EA game) with no issue, I would say you have a virus of some sort. I also just saw what you wrote about 7 trying to install something. Reactivate Windows updates and update your machine (this might actually solve the problem by itself if a patch from Microsoft is all that is needed). Then download and install MSE if you are able to do so. If some weird error occurs, it is probably a virus preventing you from installing it. I know it sounds weird, having a virus after going online one time, but it is not unheard of and I've seen it myself. After installing MSE, let it run a scan. Please write back whether it solves the problem or not. We like to know the results of what we recommend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

Okay, think I found a way to fix this. I won't go into too many details about what causes it. Go to the start menu. Click all programs, games, games explorer. If a pop up does not happen, click options. Set it to not check online for updates, and uncheck the two boxes about collecting info for your games. It seems that when the a certain dll tries to collect the info from the internet it starts an infinite loop of sorts. This should solve your problem. Please write back with the results of doing this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2010   #6


you have a virus of some sort
I only have access to dial-up so I was unable to download MSE, however I was able to not only install but run ESET, avast and AVG (which I had access to). All returned with a zero virus result (they picked up some self-modded files which aren't harmful) So I think it isn't a virus.

think I found a way to fix this
This was the very first thing I did prior to first posting on sevenforums. Infact it was the first thing I did after installing 7 the second time. It did not resolve the issue, and when I connected online- the same issue arose.

Since I'm on dial-up (there's no adsl in my area and I only live 10 minutes from the city centre in a first world country lol) windows updates are a sort of no-go-zone for me. The only workaround I've discovered is this:

1.Run the game
2.Terminate the game using task manager
3.Run the game as admin
*Game opens
4.Alt tab and terminate rundll32
*Resume game which plays with proper cpu usage

Running the game as admin first off does not resolve the issue.

Thanks Petey for your interest mate. I'm really stumped on this one; it's more of a nuisance than a life-or-death situation but I have no idea what's causing this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2016   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Only problem is because Windows Game Explorer recognize it as Windows game, and cannot open it !!! See in Game explorer or type: shell:games in the Start Menu, and if there are non Microsoft games delete it (explained in: Games Explorer Folder - Delete a Game) but it ain't easy at all and windows will place them again there !!! (and you have same problem without end !!! -Easiest way (If game allow) to rename same game (.exe), game in install location, not shortcut ! as example: SPEED2.exe (what is NFSU2) to any XXX.exe file (Tested on most problematic games as EA NFSU2 and more !) and periodically check did the game explorer "catch" it and put it again in own list, if is so, rename it again !!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2017   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64 build: 7601

Well, here it is 7 years later and I am having (almost word for word) the same issues. While I still have not found a remedy to this problem, I would like to point out something Petey7 mentioned in the reply; in today's "Microsoft" universe, having Windows Update turned off isn't such a scary proposition after all. Just like datsevenkid, I went through three agonizing installs of Windows 7. Naturally, because of the considerable time since the release of 7 and my particular install date, I was faced with over 190 updates that Microsoft deemed necessary. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have updates turned on and automatic - and I did. I knew it would take awhile to complete, so off I went to do more important tasks; you know, like just kill time. I was not about to sit and watch this long process unfold. I came back to it about 4 hours later, but it seemed to still be at it (not exact on this, but I want to say 109 of 193 completed...) so I decided another hour and a half would probably do it, and I went back to the TV.

Upon returning, the numbers hadn't changed. It was dead. I know this, because I went to bed after that, only to wake up to the same numbers. Long story short, I went the "reset" route. Although my only option at the time, I knew it would (possibly) introduce more problems. After much drilling-down with online troubleshooting and research (on an old iPod4) I eventually was met with a BSOD: PAGED_FILE_IN_NON_PAGED_AREA. Got that to go away, but now "Bad Patch" replaced it. Okay, so my point of this - very long post, is that Microsoft simply cannot be trusted to know what your computer does, or does not need! Moreover, they could care less if you suddenly come home, some Tuesday and find your computer won't boot! You've done what they say (or, rather, recommended) and yet, there you are. Who knows how much down-time, until it's back up and running? I'll tell you who doesn't know: Microsoft.

Now, I'm not saying updates should be ignored. No, no, no! (Well, afaic - it's appalling to think they would release a product, that's going to require literally hundreds of security updates, in just a few short years!) I will try and find the link to the update solution, that worked for me and edit this post to include it. It's from a Microsoft Tech Net forum. Updates are a way of life, for anyone who uses their software and/or OS's; so, really, most of the world. It boils down to that very thing - Microsoft knows that they are the only game in town, so they absolutely are not interested in pleasing their customer base with a product that works right out of the box. Sure, there are a lot of kooks out there, who live only to make Microsoft users miserable. I get that. But with the resources they already have, along with the right people... I know. Stockholders typically don't want to concern themselves with the end-user. Yes. In a perfect world... Again, this is just my opinion. Anyway, once I was able to manually download and install all of the 193 updates I needed, things began to look up. Thing was, I was on my third "Delete OS Partition->Format->Re-install" marathon. If I was to get through this and (theoretically) eliminate the update(s) that were responsible, well I would have to do them one-at-a-time! Microsoft has gone out of their way, however, to make this as unpleasant as humanly possible; not to mention, time consuming.

So, I no longer have Windows (or Microsoft) Updates set to automatically download and install. In fact, I have them turned off completely. When I check for updates, I then turn back on Windows Updates; only I select the "I'll do this myself, thank you" option. Then I disable it, once I'm done. It's a pain, I know, but I'm all caught up - update wise, albeit months after I set out to transition from Vista to 7! The caveat here is to be vigilant, where Updates are concerned. You will need to check for them manually, on Tuesdays, and decide from there. If there is more than one - and there usually is - then do them one at a time; so as to isolate the update that would cause a catastrophic problem on your machine. Oh, and of course, this all becomes moot if you have no malware protection in place - some sort of internet security, complemented with Malwarebytes, is a good idea. Pete7's suggestion is also not bad. Microsoft has done a pretty good job, with Security Essentials. It's FREE - go figure! It's up to you.

Finally, as to the rundll32.exe thing; I tried the GamesExplorer method, but it did nothing to stop this mega-frustrating problem. Although, once I read between the lines as to what GE does, and why - I'm glad to be rid of it! On my machine, it runs amuck in games (although, not nearly as often sans GE) programs and even when sitting idle. As a matter of fact, while I was typing this reply, it struck. I couldn't type or do anything, except move my mouse cursor, and that was extremely laggy! I've used Sysinternals' ProcessMonitor program, to try and pinpoint the app that is setting this off, with no luck. Each time, though, I've seen THOUSANDS of rundll32.exe opening up dll's. Both my RAM and CPU are maxed, as well as the Pagefile.sys; so my system is brought to its knees. When it is back to normal, what would usually be about 26% RAM usage, now drops to around 13 or 14%. Odd. I'm still trying to find a way to be rid of this, once and for all. Maybe there is no cure, I don't know.

I think that's about it. Petey7, I meant no disrespect, as you were on the right track with this. Thanks, to all, for this great community, and for reading this far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Games and rundll32 issue

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