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RPC Server is unavailable

We have recently gotten the error message System cannot log you on due to the following error The RPC Server is unavailable. This happens when I try a REMOTE DESKTOP SESSION. This error has just recently occured but I noticed this off and on for probably the past 3 weeks. I never saw it before. 250 Points
4 Solutions
Could a recent patch/update from Microsoft have changed your firewall settings?  

Can you check your services and make sure RPC Server is still activated?

Have you blocked any ports recently on your Firewall?

Did you recently install XP SP2?

forestincentivesAuthor Commented:
This is a windows 2003 Server I forgot to mention
Log in locally to the server that is having the RPC Service problem. Go into services. Make sure the RPC is running.  If it isn't restart it.  If it is showing that it is running, stop and restart it.
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I've had this before on Terminal Servers running 2003 with dodgy NIC's/Drivers/Cables.

If you've recently updated the driver, roll it back. If it's old and not updated, update it.

If that fails, change the network cable.

If all else fails, you can try changing the NIC.

Having the exact same thing on my side unfortunately...

Personally, I'm gunning for one of these (taken from elsewhere on experts-exchange.com and MS.com):

"If the DNS is not correct, that could also cause the problem.  Here is how to setup your DNS (replace the server names and IPs with your own):






DNS config:

Server1:  Point DNS to only (second entry blank)

Server2:  Point DNS to only (second entry blank)

All other servers/workstations: primary, secondary





just delete the zone in dns and recreate it. this will clear everything out. make sure dynamic updates are enable and the domain controller will add everything it needs back in.


then in the dns manager, right click on your server and go to properties. on the forwarders tab add the ip's of your isp dns servers. this way all lookups that are not part of your zone will be forwarded to your isp.



It may be required to create secondary DNS zones for correct name resolution between several domains or forests. On the Primary DNS server for each domain, create a secondary zone for the domain that you are trying to generate a trust with. For example, create secondary zones that are similar to the following zones:•            Domain1 DC1.Domain1.com - Hosts DNS Primary Zone for Domain1.com

•           Domain2 DC1.Domain2.com - Hosts DNS Primary Zone for Domain2.com


These two zones may receive the following message when a trust is generated or validated:

RPC Server is unavailable

To resolve this problem, configure the secondary zones in the following way:•     Domain1 DC1.Domain1.com - Hosts DNS Primary Zone for Domain1.com & Secondary Zone for Domain2.com

•           Domain2 DC1.Domain2.com - Hosts DNS Primary Zone for Domain2.com & Secondary Zone for Domain1.com


When DNS name resolution is correctly configured for both domains, communication between the domains functions as you expect.


Use either of the following methods to work around this problem:            Back to the top


Method 1: Remove the CrashOnAuditFail Value

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.


Use Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe) to delete the CrashOnAuditFail value from the following registry key:


After you make this change, quit Registry Editor and restart the computer to cause the change to take effect.       Back to the top


Method 2: Change the Event Log Settings1.       Start Event Viewer.

2.         On the Log menu, click Log Settings.

3.         In the Settings dialog box, you can either increase the size of the Security log, or change the Log File Wrapping setting to Overwrite events as needed.

            Back to the top

it is a dns problem. check the dns server ip address on the remote machine and the client machine.
Hello !!!

The RPC Server is unavailable may just be a firewall issue.

Make sure that the 3389 port is available on the server side.
Make sure the remote connections are allowed.

Try connecting to the server by using the ip and not the name. That will put away DNS issues.
If connecting by ip is not working try to ping the server.


i'm getting this error whilst trying to replicate a Server2k PDC to a new Server2008 SDC. This is a small branch/business.........only ever had one domain controller in operation...now trying to add a second, hitting "replicate" and getting this......

the following error occured during the attempt to contact the domain controllers
"the RPC server is unavailable"

this condition may be caused by a DNS lookup problem

Any help appreciated

To resolve the issue, I went to command prompt and ran ipconfig/flushdns on client machine.  After doing this, I was able to remote into the server using Remote Desktop.
I was having this same issue.  I could connect to the RD, and it would prompt for a password.  About 20 seconds after putting in the password the RPC server message would appear and close.  Like the solution says, it was simply a DNS issue.
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