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This is a discussion on Rthdcpl.exe within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Upon start up I get a small window that tells me that RTHDCPL.EXE has an error and could not be

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Old 03-21-2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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OS: Windows XP

Upon start up I get a small window that tells me that RTHDCPL.EXE has an
error and could not be used. Can you tell me why and what I can do about
it. I am told that the fix is not going to work because I have SP#3.
This is because of a windows update? Thanks for your help.
Regards, Larry Johnson
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:23 AM   #2
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OS: 98 SE/2000/XP SP3/7 (64-bit)

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RTHDCPL.EXE is the Realtek HD Audio control panel, and it isn't necessary for normal operation of your computer. So, try this.

Click start, then run, and type in: msconfig

When the MS Configuration Utility opens, click the startup tab and find RTHDCPL.EXE. Disable it and restart. You shouldn't get the error any longer, but we aren't done yet.

Go to your motherboard manufacturer's website and download the latest audio driver package for the Realtek HD Audio there. Run and install the package, and restart when it asks and see if that doesn't help.

I have the same on-board sound and SP3, and I've never gotten that error before.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Hello Larry,

There's a lot of hysteria associated with SP3, so I wouldn't take what you've heard too seriously.

rthdcpl.exe is a process belonging to the Realtek HD Audio Control Panel and is bundled alongside Realtek sound cards and audio hardware. "This program is a non-essential process, but should not be terminated unless suspected to be causing problems.\r" We strongly recommend that you run a FREE registry scan to identify rthdcpl.exe related errors.

It's part of the RealTek Audio Manager. Note it's not the audio driver itself, so it's not really necessary for your audio to work.

First thing to try is to uninstall it, then reinstall. Can you find anything related to "realteck" in Start>Settings>Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs ?

If you can't uninstall it first, the next thing to try is simply reinstall on top of the old install and let the new one overwrite whatever is wrong with the old.

Check Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager>"Sound, Video and Game Controllers" and identify which RealTeck audio device your computer has (usually it's AC '97)

Whichever one it is, download the corresponding software from this site:


Save it to a folder on your desktop, and run the software.

Reinstalling the software should fix your problem.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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Thank you! I'll give it a try. I appreciate your help.
Warm regards, Larry Johnson
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