"Windows host process (Rundll32)" causing hourglass to flash every 5s

  1. Posts : 1
    Windows 10

    "Windows host process (Rundll32)" causing hourglass to flash every 5s

    Windows 10 Pro 1909

    Freshly installed less than a week ago. Noticed that every 5 seconds the blue circle or hourglass (depending on mouse pointer size) would flash. Tried uninstalling a bunch of recently installed programs including some built-in programs included with Windows that I wasn't using. Tried killing a bunch of processes. No success. Disabled all non-Microsoft services and all Startup items (including the Microsoft ones), and the problem went away.

    I narrowed it down to a Startup item from Microsoft called "Windows host process (Rundll32)." Enabling all services and Startup items while leaving this one disabled fixes problem. Enabling this one item while disabling all other Startup items and services brings the problem back.

    Trying to figure out what is wrong with Windows host process (Rundll32), it seems like it is probably not the problem in and of itself but is simply an intermediary for something else that is causing the problem. I found a recommendation to run "Autoruns" to see what is behind it. I have no idea what I'm looking for in "Autoruns." There's nothing listed anywhere that obviously matches "Windows host process (Rundll32)." Otherwise, the "Logon" tab seems to roughly match the other items in the Startup list. So if I go through all of the items on the "Logon" tab, and I see that there are some "n/a" entries that seem to be 32 and 64 bit versions of "mscories.dll," and if I click on them the details mention the 32 and 64 bit versions of Rundll32.exe. Searching for info on "mscories.dll" seems to suggest it is related to .NET framework which is again most likely just another middleman for whatever is the real culprit.

    At this point, I have no idea what to do next. This rabbit hole is super deep, and it seems to be one middleman after another. Having the hourglass or blue circle flash every 5 seconds is something I cannot unsee now that I've seen it, and it is extremely distracting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Update: I found that I could also temporarily fix the problem by killing one of the two Windows host process (Rundll32) processes in task manager. After some further searching I found that I could figure out what was behind the Rundll32.exe processes by adding a Command line column in the Task Manager. That revealed that the DLLs behind these processes were SBAVMon.dll,SBAVMonitor and SBAVMonL.dll,SBAVMonitorLauncher.

    Further experimentation reveals that SBAVMonL causes the problem. It appears to re-launch SBAVMon every 5 seconds causing the annoying hourglass or spinning blue circle.

    These processes are a part of Creative's Win10 drivers/software bundle for the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro external sound card which I use because on-board audio is trash because of the noise that I guess comes from interference from all the other electronic activity going on in close proximity on the motherboard. Uninstalling everything related to the Sound Blaster does "fix" the problem, but then I have no sound. I'm not sure specifically what the SBAV Monitor even does or whether it is really necessary. I don't use any of the extraneous features or sound effects etc. that come bundled with the Sound Blaster. I'm just using it because I want clean stereo audio and a clean mic input.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 1
    Windows 10

    I had the same issue and narrowed it down to the same Rundll32 process but was unaware that it was linked to the Sound Blaster software (I also have an external X-Fi sound card and recently had to update the drivers). I was able to get rid of the flashing hourglass by disabling the "Windows host process (Rundll32)" entry that appeared under the 'Start-up' tab in the Task Manager and then rebooting the system.
      My Computer


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