Windows7 Framerate Drops This Month? Read.

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Windows7 framerate drops this month? Read.
 Leviathan.Comeatmebro
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By Leviathan.Comeatmebro 2019-06-26 14:46:08
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Is this affecting me?
-Restart your PC.
-Open task manager (ctrl-shift-escape), and go to the processes tab. Sort by cpu usage, high to low.
-Attempt to launch FFXI(through ashita or windower is fine) while watching the task manager.
-If rundll32 appears at or near the top of the list, and your total CPU usage jumps to 100%, you are affected. If it does not, you are not.

What is this, exactly?
So, there is a long standing issue with the Game Explorer system on windows 7. This is known to many people already and has been mentioned on various forums, but I haven't seen it mentioned here(apologies if I missed it). When you launch a game, game explorer will try to pull data on it from a microsoft database. Unfortunately, if it cannot connect, it ends up in an infinite loop causing rundll32.dll to eat all of your cpu cycles. If you hit ctrl-shift-escape and see that your cpu usage is at 100% and rundll32 is using significant cpu in the processes tab, this is effecting you.

As of the past month or so, the service has not been online, resulting in it always reaching that loop. This will cause slowness, framerate drops, occasional failure to launch with windower or ashita. Fortunately, it isn't particularly hard to fix.

How do I fix it?
First, go to windows explorer and type in games:


Next, click options and uncheck 'download art and information' and 'collect most recently played game information' then click ok:


Finally, go into the registry (start menu..run..regedit). Browse to [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\GameUX\ServiceLocation]. Delete the entire ServiceLocation folder, leaving this:


Restart your PC, and you should be all set. However, some people report that their installation is completely ignoring the settings and continuing to cause the same problem. If that is the case, continue to the next post.
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 Leviathan.Comeatmebro
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By Leviathan.Comeatmebro 2019-06-26 15:06:44
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I followed all the steps in OP, then repeated the diagnostic and it's still happening! What now?
The next option is to go nuclear and rename the gameux dll so that it cannot be loaded at all. This will make the games folder cease to update at all, and it is technically a system component so should not be done unless necessary. If you've followed the above steps correctly and launching POL still results in rundll32 suddenly capping out your CPU, then proceed with this post.

To do so, download the following batch file, restart your PC, then right click it and run as administrator before opening any games:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/heiackecxtgbp5d/RemoveGameUX.bat?dl=0
If the dropbox link is not available, the batch file is as follows(copy this into notepad and save as .bat).

If you later want to restore it for any reason, I have also included an accompanying restore batch file that will bring it back:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4xqkyh0v4w83aa7/RestoreGameUX.bat?dl=0
If dropbox is unavailable:

I highly recommend downloading and saving both if you intend to remove it, so you have the restore available if needed.
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 Asura.Aeonova
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By Asura.Aeonova 2019-06-26 16:54:38
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Leviathan.Comeatmebro said: »
Read.

However, in all seriousness, good for you for taking time out of your day and trying to help others with technical issues perhaps beyond their understanding as well as including both written instructions and screenshots.

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By Boshi 2019-06-26 17:51:17
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Thanks this was affecting me
By Jetackuu 2019-06-26 20:28:55
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Leviathan.Comeatmebro said: »
Is this affecting me?
ftfy
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By Lili 2019-06-26 21:14:36
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Thanks for posting this, I've been spamming about it in all over discords for the past few weeks, it will be convenient to have a guide with screenshots.
Maybe a note that it can happen to any game too would be useful?

I'll add that a quicker way to edit the registry is simply running this command from the Run dialog box:
Code
reg add "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\GameUX\ServiceLocation" /v Games /d ""
Had a friend who could not run regedit for some reason, the above command bypasses it entirely.
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 Shiva.Funf
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By Shiva.Funf 2019-06-26 22:02:43
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This happened to me the other week, preventing me from even being able to open POL. Luckily found a website that had these instructions for a different game but tried it and it fixed it. I thought i was the only one! thanks for helping!
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By DaneBlood 2019-07-08 07:23:18
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This just repopped back on my computer this morning

servicelcoation entry in registry was backed.
Deleting it just made it return at each windoer/pol start and gave me the CPU eating rundll32.exe process

i will try the renaming when i get back from work
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By kireek 2019-07-08 07:53:16
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DaneBlood said: »
This just repopped back on my computer this morning

servicelcoation entry in registry was backed.
Deleting it just made it return at each windoer/pol start and gave me the CPU eating rundll32.exe process

i will try the renaming when i get back from work

On another guide I read you can set the IP to loopback to your own computer, so just put 127.0.0.1 and the problem is solved.

At least it was for me.

https://www.gog.com/forum/general/old_games_not_launching_and_eating_100_of_the_cpu_on_windows_7/page1
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By Boshi 2019-07-08 15:37:05
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this problem came back to me about 2 days ago, was fine after i changed it before.
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By DaneBlood 2019-07-08 17:59:51
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kireek said: »
DaneBlood said: »
This just repopped back on my computer this morning

servicelcoation entry in registry was backed.
Deleting it just made it return at each windoer/pol start and gave me the CPU eating rundll32.exe process

i will try the renaming when i get back from work

On another guide I read you can set the IP to loopback to your own computer, so just put 127.0.0.1 and the problem is solved.

At least it was for me.

https://www.gog.com/forum/general/old_games_not_launching_and_eating_100_of_the_cpu_on_windows_7/page1


THank you but did not work, it Appers the servicelocation key gets fixed everytime i start up w pol through windower.

its werid because i know i dont get updates due to beeing on a ryzen system, but maybe ms made a ninja update that goes through thieir own block anyway..

im starting to think this is an active obsoleting attempt on MS behalf
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By DaneBlood 2019-07-08 18:03:09
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So I ran the batch from above.
and i denied system permission to the gameux entry in regedit,

works now

should probable have tested in between to see which thin had the needed effect

I would try the registry permission first IMHO
 Shiva.Eightball
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By Shiva.Eightball 2019-07-08 23:54:46
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HOLY BAWLS.... it showed 99% CPU usage >> ended rundll32 and usage went to 1%....
 Sylph.Siccmade
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By Sylph.Siccmade 2019-07-09 11:24:09
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An LS mate showed this thread, shots to them. Game was crippled by the end of the day ,I had to just /shutdown. I went through the first steps and it remained, so I've gotta do the nuclear option when I get back from work.

Thanks for the guide bro.
 Ragnarok.Visper
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By Ragnarok.Visper 2019-07-09 12:19:08
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All I do is boot up pol then end the rundll32 process. Done.

Of course open all the instances you want first.

This will need to be done every time you start the game but it literally takes 20 sec.

The other way is the scalpel method, this way is the hammer!!
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 Sylph.Siccmade
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By Sylph.Siccmade 2019-07-09 22:45:06
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That didn't work, Visper?

***is still bogged down to oblivion.
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By Boshi 2019-07-09 23:39:25
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it worked for me then didn't would reload.

Way i got it to work:
I did the initial stuff, then eventually "game" came back in the regedit

Quote:
Just open Regedit, got to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\GameUX\ServiceLocation and change the server address contained in the "Games" chain value to 127.0.0.1 or localhost (do a backup first if you wish).

do this part, then restart. After this it works fine for me.
 Ragnarok.Visper
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By Ragnarok.Visper 2019-07-10 05:15:12
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Sylph.Siccmade said: »
That didn't work, Visper?

***is still bogged down to oblivion.

Works for me every time, I just stop the process after I have all my instances open. It never restarts unless I open another instance.
 Sylph.Siccmade
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By Sylph.Siccmade 2019-07-12 01:43:29
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Windows 7 has been so great but it seems like a wash now. Updates are ending and I can't get this to work for the life of of me, I followed it all to a T. Can't login without that fkn file.

The real story is I played hard while I was bogged down (farming Dragons for Beads) and totally fried my CPU (now sits at 190 degrees), definitely my fault but at the time I thought it was just generic "lag".

Service Location can B my D, ***.

Any help is appreciated though, lol.
 Shiva.Eightball
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By Shiva.Eightball 2019-07-15 19:46:14
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Did microsoft fix the runDL? i did the first steps and it went away for like 2-3 days but then came back so i just started ending it when i started windower instead of the changing the system files option, but today i started windows and RunDL did not suck all the CPU, it hardly was anything on the list (canceled it anyways).
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By Applefritter 2019-08-12 09:25:30
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Just to post my own experience for others to read about:

I had the rundll32.dll problem, so I tried the steps listed in the first post, which didn't work for me (when I restarted my PC and opened PoL via Windower, the ServiceLocation folder just reappeared, and 100% of my CPU was being utilized once PoL was running. And yes, I did uncheck both games folder options).

I was about to proceed with the second post, but Visper mentioned he/she just closed out rundll32.dll after launching PoL via Windower. Simply right-clicking on the rundll32.dll file and clicking "end process" solved the issue for me. Unfortunately, you have to do this every time, but this was easier for me than trying to figure out how to change the system components (I am very much NOT computer savvy... At all).

After this occurred, I played FFXI for a while and then logged out. When I went back to play, I opened Windower and tried to launch PoL, but Windower just kept continuously loading. This happened probably four or five times, and even though PoL technically never opened, I kept having to close out rundll32.dll. Eventually, I ran Windower in compatibility mode for XP and, for whatever reason I don't understand, that solved the problem with Windower just continuously loading (the rundll32.dl issue still exists, so I just close it out; not entirely sure why Windower suddenly had trouble launching PoL).

Sorry if any of that was confusing. I'm so not computer literate, so apologies in advance for anything here that's laughably silly.

Edit: I'm using Windows 7 64-bit, and now Windower will just continually crash when trying to launch PoL (regardless of compatibility mode or running it as admin.).
 Asura.Alaexander
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By Asura.Alaexander 2019-08-12 09:33:36
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Rather than closing the rundll32 process, close the windower process and leave the rundll32. Launch windower a second time. and then close the rundll32 after POL boots.
 Asura.Applefritter
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By Asura.Applefritter 2019-08-13 05:53:04
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Asura.Alaexander said: »
Rather than closing the rundll32 process, close the windower process and leave the rundll32. Launch windower a second time. and then close the rundll32 after POL boots.

As I said in my previous post, I'm very computer illiterate, so I intend for the following question to be genuine (and not rude or condescending): What's the reasoning behind doing this?

Part of the reason I ask, aside from my own curiosity, is I keep having an issue with Windower crashing when I try to launch PoL (after six or seven times, it works. I thought I solved the issue by running Windower in compatibility mode for XP, but no. I'm using Windows 7 64-bit). Someone mentioned in the Windower Discord that they, too, had this issue and they were directed to this post.
 Asura.Alaexander
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By Asura.Alaexander 2019-08-13 09:29:50
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The reason for this is that the rundll32 process is the one reaching out to a Microsoft website that no longer exists. Two of that process cannot run simultaneously, and so, if the POL executable cannot access that dll, it skips and moves on, instead of waiting for a timeout.

By closing windower.exe, instead of waiting for it to error out, you can immediately open it again, leaving the the rundll32 process locked. POL immediately launches and you can login, and then kill the rundll32 process that spikes CPU usage.