What is an RPC Server and do I need to be online to access it?

By craigwatanabe ยท 16 replies
Jan 18, 2006
  1. I recently purchased an OEM version of Windows Media Center Edition 2005 from NewEgg.com

    The install went pretty well with no dramas except at the end of the installation I was prompted to insert the SP2 disk to complete the install. Not having one I just bypassed that part of the installation and the setup completed itself.

    Running MCE 2005 went fine until I attempted to load certain programs or even drivers for my video card (ATI 9250 128mb). I kept getting this message: RPC Server is unavailable, and the installation of those programs or drivers were terminated. I'm not on any network nor is that computer tied to any server. I'm not even attempting to do any server tasks or network functions when the error message comes up.

    The only thing I can assume is that since I didn't install SP2, I have some kind of RPC Server issue. Right now I reinstalled WinXP Pro back in that computer and no issues there. I'd like to run MCE 2005 but can't get past this hurdle.

    Anyone have an idea as to what's going on here?


  2. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

  3. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Can it be turned off?

    Thanks for the links. From what I read from them it seems that the RPC Server is a function that allows your computer to exchange data from another over the internet.

    I assume that when I was downloading my software, MS MCE 2005 determined that there were upgrades or fixes for it and tried to access a remote computer for them. Because I'm benchtesting my machine it's not hooked up to the internet, nor will it be on any broadband "always on" type internet hookup!

    This can be a problem for those of us on dial up. Another problem is that my software that I'm attempting to load will not complete it's installation setup if the RPC Server cannot be found. THIS SUCKS IMMENSELY especially if an update is needed and suddenly MCE decides to launch it's internet search for the RPC Server right in the middle of let's say a graphics intensive session where you need all of your CPU's power.

    So is there a way to turn off this function that seems to be a part of Windows Media Center Edition 2005's OS? Because I've never had this problem with my XP PRO or HOME, or any previous version of Windows.

    I'm surprized there isn't very much information about this problem.

    Thanks for any help and kodrutz thanks for those links it did help at least identifying what it does. :)
  4. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    I can only suggest to drop Media Center. As far as I know, this OS is dedicated more for home cinema systems than for PCs, also eats more resources than previous versions, as Microsoft did always.

    Here it goes...go to Start>Programs>Administrative Tools>Services.

    From what you find there, you should be interested in...

    Remote Procedure Call (RPC) - provides the endpoint mapper and other miscellaneous RPC services. Absolutely essential.
    Recommendation: Automatic.

    Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator - Manages the RPC name service database. Useless service
    Recommendation: Disabled

    You should try and disable that "Absolutely essential" service and see if your computer crashes or not :))

    Usually you don't have to take what M$ says about Windows services as right...;)

    Good luck!
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    RPC is not about connection between computers over a network. It is a means of communication between processes (yes, the processes may be located in different parts of the world, but that's irrelevant) and many programs rely on it.

    See your system services and whether the RPC Locateor service is running maybe?
  6. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    so what if you're not connected to the internet?

    This computer will be used for home cinema applications so once up and running it won't be tied to any ISP for any remote services. Just used to showcase DVD and MP3 media applications on my TV set in the living room.

    I'm pretty much thinking when I do install these programs that are dependant on the RPC Server, I'll just have to have this computer logged on. I'm looking at my laptop that is just XP Pro and it indicates the RPC service is enabled but I haven't had any problems loading software onto this computer while disconnected from the internet (dial up).

    I think next time I buy an OS it won't be MCE 2005.

    Thanks for all your help from both of you :giddy:

  7. kodrutz

    kodrutz TS Booster Posts: 110

    Hummm....you could go well with a Linux version for your multimedia purposes, I am sure it will run perfectly.

    Also, if you really want to spend some money for the OS, you can find some commercial Linux distros...or pay us for advice on the free ones :hotbounce
  8. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I'd rather sell this unregistered OEM OS cheap

    to anyone who can use it. I can always buy XP Pro again. Anyone interested in this OS?


  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    oops; RPC is Remote Process Call, ie Processes on other systems. IPC is Inter Process Communications on the same system.

    The original RPC was service on port 111. Currently, 113 is the preferred port.

    A standalone Windows system does not need either of these to be active.

    Remote Procedure Call (RPC) - provides the endpoint mapper and other miscellaneous RPC services. Absolutely essential. Recommendation: Automatic.

    Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator - Manages the RPC name service database. Useless service. Recommendation: Manual or Disabled

  10. civdiv

    civdiv TS Rookie

    I have the same exact problem. I am doing a fresh install of XP Media Edition (OEM) that I bought at either Walmart or Sam's (I can't remember which), and I am getting the 'RPC server is unavailable' for every driver install I attempt. I have both RPC services running. My problem is I need to install my LAN card to get it on the net via a direct connection with my wireless router. But I can't, because I get this error when I try to load the drivers.

    Can anyone help?
  11. civdiv

    civdiv TS Rookie


    I had almost the exact same problem as the original poster. I was doing a fresh install with XP Media Edition (MCE) OEM. I had the same rash of errors. I got my system up finally. It was a problem with Microsoft screwing up the install disks. Ok, here's the issue and the solution;

    You bought XP MCE, OEM, version, two CDs, right? You start your install, and then it will probably ask for 'XP Professional CD2', right? Like me you made the natural assumption it meant CD2, so you plugged it in and everything went normally, right? Then, it asks for 'XP Professional Service Pack 2 CD', right? And maybe like me, since you didn't have it, you cancelled that part, figuring you'ld either not need it since XP MCE has SP2 built in, or you had SP2 burned to a disk, and you'ld just use that, right?


    It's actually asking for the first CD again, as this is where SP2 is! After having wasted like 12 hours on this little issue, my system is up and running like gangbusters.
  12. OpTiMuSpRiMe

    OpTiMuSpRiMe TS Rookie Posts: 156

    civdiv is right on this and that is the one problem that microsoft did not put in any of their knowledge base articles covering this issue..
  13. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Actually Nodsu is correct. To verify this, all you have to do is check the dependency list of the RPC service. You'll see many network and non network related services that require RPC. eg. Help and Support, Human Interface Device Access, Indexing Service, Logical Disk Manager...
  14. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    So what you're saying is that after loading Disk 2, when prompted to load SP2, Windows is actually telling you to load Disk 1 back in?

    I guess when you buy an OEM version you don't get the installation manual that normally accompanies it. I'll try it again. Geez I just finished my PC with XP Pro installed and all the drivers for all the PCI cards that went in it too. Looks like I'm in for another long night of installation. But hey Walmart has a sale on the big cans of Folgers Coffee! I'm good for another 24-hour marathon.

    Thanks for your input. If this works I'll let you know!

  15. civdiv

    civdiv TS Rookie

    You got it!! Disk 1, Disk 2, and then Disk 1 again. I didn't think about it until I got it to work right, but you were probably missing all 'Introduction to XP Media Edition' stuff when the install finished, right? As soon as I used this method and that stuff showed up, I was like; 'Yeah, I should have realized that something was wrong with the install when all that intro stuff didn't show up.'

    Now I did note one microsoft entry that also said the RPC server error can ALSO occur if you change the computer name from the default when you are going through the install process. But according to them it's a temporary thing, all you have to do is reboot.

    But if you are like me and missed the whole 'Welcome to the XP experience' stuff after install, then you did the same thing I did.
  16. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Yep as a matter of fact when I was doing the original installation (tried it three times) I kept wondering if I got a copy of XP Pro because the setup and subsequent Windows environment set up looked strangely familiar to a WinXP Pro set up. And you're right about the welcome part. After what seemed like an okay setup it went straight to the desktop and no fanfare at all.

    I'm getting all excited again about installing this OS. Let's see if this works. Thanks for the advice as I haven't been able to get any resolution until I got to this forum. I've posted this very same question on another really good message board but alas, no takers.

    This board and all of you on it is an immense resource to have, thanks again!

  17. civdiv

    civdiv TS Rookie

    Just make sure you close out your own question on the other board with this solution, assuming this works. I found many instances of this issue, with all sorts of suggestions, most involving registry editing or the blaster worm. I've already posted this solution on the Dell board, and tomorrow I'll post it in the MS newsgroup where I had posted my original question.

    These issues are so frustrating, but I have learned a lot from this experience. And I have quite a collection of utilities now also.
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