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RPC server is unavailable

RPC server is unavailable

RPC server is unavailable

I just received a new XP Pro system, and I am the only  person listed for this system, and also the administrator.

I tried to access the disk management area, and I get a message ""RPC server is unavailable".

I did a Google search, and MS came up with a window on this, which will apply to XP Home and XP Pro.

The implication is that this is a bug, possibly produed by installing an image to the machine being built for the OS install.

MS's workaround seems pretty weak to me, and I can't get into the disk management window.

Anyone have any ideas how to correct this problem?

Ron Hirsch

RE: RPC server is unavailable

First, make sure that the service is running:

Start, run, services.msc, OK
The Remote Procedure Call service should be started, set to automatic startup & logged on as a Network Service.

RE: RPC server is unavailable

Sometimes the RPC service will  refuse to start.  Assuming all other services are reset to their default values:

Start, run, CMD

net start   (check the service again to be sure it is stopped)

net start rpcss  
net start   (check again)

if no joy,  you need to use the XP CD to go to the Recovery Console.

From the Recovery Console type:


reboot the machine.
"Could not start the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Service. Error 1058" error message when you manually start the Remote Procedure Call service

Some general things to try.

See if System Restore will get you back to a restore point before your problem with Explorer.

Try Safe Mode (Do you have this problem in Safe Mode?).

Try running ChkDsk to check your drive for errors. Right-click your Drive icon/ Properties/ Tools/ Error Checking.  Select both boxes.

Run the System File Checker program from the Run Box by typing.....Sfc /Scannow in it and have your XP CD handy.

HOW TO: Verify Unsigned Device Drivers in Windows XP

If they don't work you could try repairing windows by running it over itself.  You will lose all your windows updates but your files will be untouched.

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP (Q315341)

RE: RPC server is unavailable

Hi Linney,

Thanks again for all the valuable info and HELP you provide.

You do indeed spend lots of time helping others, and that is great and appreciated.

The MS page commented that there is a "bug" in XP that causes this, and suggested that a reboot would help.

The first reboot did not, but the second one seemed to get things back in order, and I was able to access Disk Management.

Here's a strange item -

I asked some time back about changing optical drive letters, and renaming optical drives. I was advised that it can generally only be done via the registry.

Well, this new machine has 2 optical drives, and I was able to change the drive letter of one, and then the ability to access that was gone from both.

I do recall also being able to change an optical drive letter in the past, on a different machine, but immediately aftewards. that access was gone also.



RE: RPC server is unavailable

Hi Linney,

You are a one man army, and in my view, you make these forums a very worthwhile place to visit for info.

Once again, the the actions of Windows XP are strange indeed.

On the new machine in question, I absolutely did change the drive letter of an optical drive yesterday, just as I can change the drive letter of say a USB hard drive. I was flabbergasted when disk management allowed me to do that via the simple action of scrolling down the list of available letters, and selecting it.

But, once I did that to one of the two optical drives on the new machine, the scenario changed, and it was no longer possible to have that option, either on the drive just done, or the other drive.

There's something in XP Pro/Home that is indeed strange. Actually, there's lots that is strange <G>.


RE: RPC server is unavailable


Standard is no RPC service in Safe Mode.


RE: RPC server is unavailable

Hello Bill,

RPC is an "Essential" Service and as such will start and run on Automatic in Safe Mode, as will half a dozen other Services.  But you are correct when you say many other services (most in fact) will not start or run in Safe Mode.

RE: RPC server is unavailable

Even though the RPC Service is started and running in Safe Mode, I have never understood this error when trying to run SFC /Scannow from Safe Mode,

"Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan of protected system files.

The specific error code is 0x000006ba [The RPC server is unavailable.]."

Maybe there is something in what Bill says?

Maybe someone can explain or clarify that error?

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