Most affected users will have already disabled GameUX.dll and its registry options, but now Microsoft have killed the domain it used to talk to, the issue will show itself for people with a permanent connection.
Symptoms you will see if it affects you:
* Old games fail to open, but can be seen in the task manager.
* A copy of Rundll32.exe is eating 50% or more CPU.
* DNS Cache is busy and using lots of CPU.
* Running a second copy of the game works
If you look in your Start Menu, you should see a section "Games" and in there you should find a link to the Game Explorer.
Any games you see listed here will have the problem, because Windows is using Rundll32.exe to launch the game but check for updates first.
You cannot remove the games here, only hide them.
Even if you set the options to "Never check online for updates or news" it will still block the game from running.
To remove the games from the list you must remove them from the registry.
Until now they would just come back unless you disabled the system by unregistering "gameux.dll" (requires Admin rights).
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regsvr32 -u c:\windows\system32\gameux.dll
regsvr32 -u c:\windows\SysWOW64\gameux.dll
I have not seen anyone say to unregister another related DLL C:\Windows\system32\GameUXLegacyGDFs.dll
Possibly it is used for compatibility settings, but I have no idea.
The service was contacting a Microsoft domain for updates, specifically "https://games.metaservices.microsoft.com/games/SGamesWebService.asmx"
Now this is gone, the games you remove from the registry should stay gone.
However, to make sure it will fail properly if the service still tries to work, you can change the location it looks for to "localhost" or "127.0.0.1"
You can paste this into a text file and rename as *.REG to make the change quickly
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Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Just changing the place it looks for the file should fix the problem, and so the unregistering of the GameUX system and removing the game references should now be optional.
For the terminally lazy or technically challenged I have prepared the fixes as registry and batch files, and included files to switch it back on if you need to.