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"RPCSS Starting..." - big problem

by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 4:28 AM PDT

Hello, I am new to CNET and not exatly sure of the rules. So please advise me where I am incorrect.

I am running on Windows XP Professional on a Toshiba laptop.

I tried to boot my system up yesturday morning (with no previous error(s)) and my system gets stuck on "RPCSS is starting..."; I looked on another thread at a similar problem, the only difference was that whomever had the problem before, their system would eventually get passed it.

I have left my laptop on all night to see if it would get passed this screen, and nothing changed.

I have concidered rebooting my laptop with a different version of XP, but as I am a website designer, I have many clients' projects on my laptop; I never thought to back them up because my laptop is fine - so I thought!

I hope there is a reasonable solution to this unexpected problem.

Thank you for any advice you may give me, any help is grealty appreciated.


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What you can try.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 23, 2010 5:09 AM PDT

I'm not sure if this will help, because the RPCSS.exe process is a necessary part of of the system which allows other parts of the OS to talk to each other. There's more information about this process in the link below;

But what you can try is to load XP into Safe Mode, which is XP's troubleshooting mode. it only loads the bare necessary processes and services, so you may be able to start XP this way. Start the computer and after the BIOS POST messages, (the BIOS displays messages about the system hardware), but before windows begins to load, start tapping the F8 key once a second. If you time it right, you will see a list of Safe Mode options with "Safe Mode" itself at the top of the list. Use your arrow keys if necessary to select this top option, then press Enter.

If RPCSS.exe is not needed in Safe Mode, or if whatever else that is unsuccessfully calling it is not needed, your system may load up into a basic Windows Mode, no desktop image, larger icons, lower resolution, with "Safe Mode" displayed in each corner of the screen.

Often that can fix things. Once loaded, try a restart from the Start Menu > Shut down options and let Windows attempt to load normally. If that works you're away, and you can backup those files! Happy

If not, it gets a little more problematic. The other possible options are;

1] Back to Safe Mode list of options, then select "Last Known Good Configuration". This will attempt to load a backup of the registry.

2] Back in Windows loaded into Safe Mode, attempt to run SFC, the System File Checker. You may need the XP CD, but even then SFC may not work in Safe Mode. if not you can tell the system to run SFC at the next bootup, called sfc /scanonce , (note the space before that slash). Both sfc and sfc /scanonce are initiated by going to Start > Run, type in cmd and click OK. In the Command Prompt window, type in sfc /scanonce and press Enter. restart the system.

More about SFC here;

3] If both of those fail, then you are looking at disaster recovery. That means a reinstall of XP. To save your files, I suggest using an Operating System on a CD. Such things exist and I've used Knoppix Live CD in the past myself. It is a Linux Distro that wholly resides on a CD and which you start the computer with the CD inserted. Knoppix will load without changing or adding any files on the hard disk, and it will allow you to copy all of your files onto some other media, eg a USB external hard drive.

The latest Ubuntu Live CD is better so I am informed.

Then you reinstall XP.

If all of that fails, then sadly it's the repair shop, or some data recovery service, but hopefully one of those will work.

Just as an aside. RPCSS.exe resides in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. If there is another RPCSS.exe located elsewhere on the hard drive, then that may be a virus. A scan of your anti-virus in Safe Mode may find it.

Good luck.


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by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 7:36 AM PDT
In reply to: What you can try.

I'm sorry, I failed to mention that when I try and load Windows in Safe Mode, it fails my load with a blue screen when loading a Dynamic Link Libary (DLL).

Also, I can't get my laptop to boot from disk, I don't know why this is but it just wont load.. Rather suspicious.

I guess this messes up any chance of recovery?


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Almost forgot..
by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 8:30 AM PDT
In reply to: What you can try.

I almost forgot that I mentioned the system giving me a critical error (blue screen) when I try and load my system up in Safe Mode.

The system fails me when the it gets to loaded a certain DLL, each and every time. To be specific, it's the "system32\BTHidMgr.DLL". I don't know what it does, but my system is not co-operating with it Sad

Thanks for yor reply


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by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 8:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Almost forgot..

My apologies for the tripple post, but I can't edit my previous.

I've realised that it is not a DLL, it's a ".SYS" file; so correctly, the file is



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by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 8:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Apologies

OK, I'm sorry.



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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 23, 2010 8:37 AM PDT
In reply to: And AGAIN!

Which you can do without. Disable or remove bluetooth things.

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by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 8:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Usually BLUETOOTH

I'm sorry but how do you suppose I do that if I can't load up my system.

Normal Mode: RSCSS Starting...
Last Known Good Config.: Black screen, eventually leading to RSCSS Starting...
Safe Mode: Loads system file and turns off.

That's what happens when I boot up in either of them modes.


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 23, 2010 9:27 PM PDT
In reply to: Uh..

Sadly to do this may have us learning new tools and more about this OS than you may ever need to know. More at

If you read that you see we can access the "hive" from another OS and in that hive we can look for more.

BUT that SAFE MODE TURNS OFF is a clue to me that there may be other issues such as a CPU heatsink that fell off. What makes you think this is strictly an XP problem?

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by huzi8t9 / June 23, 2010 10:26 PM PDT
In reply to: How.

I'll have a read of that website now, thank you.

I don't think it's strictly an XP problem - I just know I'm running on XP and that's where my problem lies, so...

Thank you for the resources.


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by huzi8t9 / June 24, 2010 7:55 PM PDT
In reply to: .

OK I have read all that but doesn't seem to help.

At the moment, I am on my fathers laptop; running on Windows Vista.

It looks like I'll just have to flatten it and start again Sad


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same problem
by cody-w14 / November 27, 2011 10:36 AM PST

i have it too but mine bypasses it and it just started so it's not a important process
it was probably a virus that made ur computer required to load it when it boots up so it can steal info and ur anti virus removed the main files but ur system is still trying to find them when it boots

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If that is so, we have TOOLS. Here's the TOOLS I use.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 27, 2011 11:50 AM PST
In reply to: same problem



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A possible solution - my situation and what worked for me
by aculturemind / February 14, 2012 7:53 AM PST

I had an early '00 IBM this would happen on. I found if I pressed ctrl-alt-dlt, it would bypass, and Windows would load.

Then I noticed my time was off. Hell, the whole calendar was off! It was defaulted back to January 1988!!

OH. Bad/uncharged mobo battery. Replaced the battery, reset the system time. GOOD TO GO.

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