RPC Server Unavailable

Recently my Uncle tried to update his new(ish) computer from Windows XP SP2 to Windows XP SP3, but he kept receiving the following error:

RPC Server Unavailable
Service Pack 3 installation did not complete

If you happen to run into this error, the most likely cause is that you don’t have the EnableRSS subkey in your registry. Naturally the first step is verifying this.

Click Start, click Run, type regedit, press Enter.

Locate and then click the following registry key:

If the EnableRSS registry entry does not exist, create it.
– Click the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
In the New Value #1 box, type EnableRSS, and then press ENTER.
Right-click EnableRSS, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 0 (zero), and then click OK.

Exit Registry Editor.

Now retry the Service Pack 3 installtation.


Back in November I wrote that I’d downgraded 17 Vista machines to XP, well I’m happy to report that roughly seven months later I’ve downgraded a total of 149 machines! 107 of them being laptops, and the remainder being desktops.

I’ve also moved 14 computers from Vista to various distros of Linux.

Further proof that Vista really is one of Microsofts biggest failings.

Windows XP SP3 hits Windows Update

It’s no secret that you could’ve grabbed a copy of SP3 off Microsoft’s server anytime in the last three months with nothing more than a simple registry hack (although up until this last week it wouldn’t have been a final release).

Gone however are the days of registry hacks, as Microsoft has released SP3 into the wild via Windows Update. As far as updates go, this one is pretty unexciting. Though I did notice a small boost in performance on most of the computers I installed it on.

This will certainly come in handy for anyone who builds/programs PCs, as now you don’t have to download 94 critical updates each time you install a fresh copy of XP, instead you can grab all those updates crammed into one download, copy it to a flash drive and save yourself a few hours work.

Vista Vs. XP

I’ve often wondered just how bad Vista really is on system performance, so recently when I purchased a couple of Acer laptops I decided to install XP on one and leave Vista on the other for a few tests. Basically I’m just running Geekbench and a battery life test, nothing crazy.

For the battery test, I merely pointed the browser to a URL set to auto refresh every 30 seconds and disabled all power saving features.

Both computers are the follwing:
Acer Aspire 4715Z
Processor: 1.73GHz Pentium Dual Core

[ Vista ]
First, I ran Geekbench. The system scored a moderate 1911, but of course the system shipped with a bunch of bloatware, so in the interest of fairness I removed all the pre-installed software and ran Geekbench again, it then scored 1922.

The battery life gave out after 1 hour and 45 minutes of doing nothing but browsing the internet, that’s pretty sad.
[ XP ]
Running Geekbench on XP with no drivers installed, resulted in a score of 1939, only slightly higher than the Vista machine.

After installing all the drivers and re-running Geekbench I ended up with a much more statisfying score of 2168. Not as large of a difference as I expected, but still a noticeable improvement.

The battery life saw a huge jump though, ending with 3 hours and 14 minutes while browsing the internet.