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TPowerpointApplication: "The RPC server is unavailable"

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-04
I am trying to use Delphi's TPowerpointApplication component to start a new instance of Powerpoint on a remote computer.

Here is the code:
  ppaTarget.RemoteMachineName := '//SERVER_NAME';
  ppaTarget.Connect;
  ppaTarget.Visible := 1;

where ppaTarget is a TPowerpointApplication component on the form.

When ppaTarget.Connect; is executed I get the error message "The RPC Server is unavailable"

I have tried leaving out the "//" from the front of the RemoteMachineName but then I get "Access is denied".

Any help will be most appreciated!
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Question by:plumothy
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20375402
Have you been able to execute this on any other networked PC?
Do you have administrative rights on the target PC?

Are the following services running on the target computer?

DCOM Server Process Launcher
Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

Can you do remote system Computer Management or remote regedit on that target PC or do you still get the RPC error?

And lastly using proper Windows UNC it would be \\SERVER_NAME. Forward slashes are Unix style.

John
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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20376302
Johnjces, thank you for your response.

I only have two PCs with Powerpoint installed and I get the errors whichever way round I try it.

DCOM Server Process Launcher and Remote Procedure Call (RPC) services are running on both computers. Both PCs are runing Win XP SP2 Home Edition connected into a broadband router on a home network.

I don't really know how to do remote management of another computer. I tried Remote Desktop Connection and neither computer can find the other one.

If I user \\SERVER_NAME or SERVER_NAME I instantly get the message "Access is denied". That implies to me that the server responded by denying access. When I used //SERVER_NAME or THE_WRONG_NAME then I get "The RPC Server is unavailable" after a couple of seconds, implying that the server cannot be found.  Does that sound right?

So, how do I convince the server to allow access?
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by:Johnjces
ID: 20376405
Yes it sounds correct. XP Home edition did not have some of the networking stuff that XP Pro has but everything should still work.

I am assuming this is in a workgroup not a domain. So...

The user name AND password you are using on Computer A to remotely do this on Computer B needs to be the same on Computer B. So if you are logged in to computer A as bob with a password of password, then you need to add a user bob with the password password to Computer B and Vice Versa.

Both of these users MUST have administrator rights so make sure they are listed under the administrator groups.

To test, I would turn off the firewall on the computer you are testing this to as I have no idea if the XP firewall blocks the RPC port 135.

John
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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20376696
Yes the two computers are in the same workgroup.

I use the same user name on both PCs, but only one of them had a password. They now both have the same password and I am an administrator on both machines.

I turned off the firewall on both PCs (both use NIS 2006).

I still get the message "Access is denied".

I am beginning to think this is not possible.
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20376828
One last try...

Instead of using the computer name you are trying to connect to, try using the IP. You can "should" be able to do it with or without the '\\'.

You do have Windows File and Printer sharing enabled on both?

Let me know and lastly, such might be a known problem in XP Home and Pro...

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884564. Their resolution is minimal.

I have seen that here in our domain but it is always a DNS issue. In a Windows workgroup you are using, I am certain, Internet DNS servers and that should not matter.

I am out of thoughts and experience at this point!

John



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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20376947
Tried with IP address and I am still getting "Access is denied".  But thanks for all the suggestions, Johnjces.
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by:Johnjces
ID: 20377025
One last thing as I am real curious now too...

Go to My Computer and right click. Click on Manage. ( I do not know if XP Honme goes this route or has this but)...

Click on Action in the Computer Management console.

See if you have "Connect to another computer...'

If so click it and see if you can connect via name or ip to your other PC. You can use \\ or leave them off here.

Let us know.

John
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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20377234
John,

Yes, I can connect that way (in either direction).

That's good I presume, but does it get us anywhere?
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20377284
It lets us know that we can connect.

Now, we have to figure out why access is denied.
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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20377296
Is it the computer or Powerpoint which is denying access?
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20377359
I do not know! Simply haven't a clue!

I am not familiar with that component in D2006 and I do not know how it is starting or wanting to start a remote instance of PowerPoint on another PC. I know there are ways to do that and Microsoft publishes a free tool called psexec.exe which one can use to run remote commands and applications on remote computers without any form of client installation.

Get the tool from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx

John

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by:Johnjces
ID: 20377555
I did a test app in D2006 using the TPowerPointApplication component from the info you provided and had no errors. It of course errored out when a bad computer name was entered with RPC Server Not Available.

I am at work (slow day) and we are on a domain consisting of XP Pro and 2000 machines.

Could very well have something to do with XP Home as I know there are networking "parts" not included in Home that the Pro version has.

I am at a loss and I am sorry that I could not help you. :(

John
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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20377781
John,

I appreciate your efforts, thank you.

I downloaded psexec.exe. It tells me I need to ensure that the admin$ share is enabled.

In Computer management I cannot see that share.

At http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314984 is an article which describes how to create hidden shares. It says:
Hidden administrative shares that are created by the computer (such as ADMIN$ and C$) can be deleted, but the computer re-creates them after you stop and restart the Server service or restart your computer. Hidden shares that are created by users can be deleted, and they are not re-created after you restart your computer. Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition does not create hidden administrative shares.

So, it looks like XP Home is indeed the cause. I can feel an upgrade to XP Pro coming on.
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Accepted Solution

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Johnjces earned 500 total points
ID: 20377824
I concur. When you do Pro make sure you up it to SP 2.

I enjoyed the exchange and challenge.

Please accept or ask the moderators to delete and refund your points.

John
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Author Comment

by:plumothy
ID: 20378027
John,

I'm happy to accept. We arrived at the solution that XP Home is not capable of doing what I want so an upgrade is necessary.

I also enjoyed it, plus I learned a lot!

Steve Bailey.
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Expert Comment

by:Johnjces
ID: 20378039
Thanks!

John
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