Multiple Windows host processes (rundll32) are running with high CPU RRS feed

  • Question

  • From several days ago, I started seeing multiple (2~4) Windows host processes (rundll32) are running, each of which takes about 20~25% CPU load, and keep shutting down my laptop by over-heating.

    Although I am not sure it's relevant, I can also hear that my external HDDs are dragging when those processes are active. Also, in the root of the external HDD, there are hundreds of auto-generated folders whose names just look like random sequences, such as "bcb36ac8a68475797115d7da01" and "9516d826451fae0c0b68a6818b47", and contain files or folders like SetupEngine.dll, HelpSetup_x64.exe, or VC_Red_x86.

    I tried sfc -scannow, but it didn't find any issue.

    This issue is really driving me nut. Can anyone give some help?

    Friday, October 14, 2016 5:11 AM


  • Hi,

    From my experience, we can try the following steps to deal with the situation you are facing.

    Open Task Scheduler, go to Microsoft > Windows > Application Experience

    The offender that causes the high CPU usage is "ProgramDataUpdater". You could disable it or configure the task to kill it self if it runs for more than 1 minute:

    a. Right click on "ProgramDataUpdater" and go to properties.

    b. Go to the Settings tab. Ensure that the box next to "Stop the task if it runs longer than." is ticked.

    c. In the drop down selection box, simply type in "1 minute" (or other time limit). Then click OK.

    Next, move to Microsoft > Windows > Customer Experience Improvement Program, disable 3 items here.

    After above operations, reboot computer to check result.

    Besides, about those long-name folders, don’t worry about them, they are the MD5 and/or SHA1 of the Windows Updates. If they are over 72 hours old, and you have restarted since they can be safely deleted. The Disk Clean-up Wizard generally ignores these folders.

    32 hexadecimal characters (numbers, including A-F) gives 2^128 values; which is quite a lot.

    Windows Updates stores files in a certain place, they then usually get extracted to the volume with the most free space prior to installation.

    Hope my clarification is clear.


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    Monday, October 17, 2016 6:08 AM