I hear that there has been some 'issue' with the RPC service lately. OK, that's a bad joke, and I apologize for it, despite the fact I didn't write it.

Either way, one of the nasty side effects of said beastie is your computer randomly rebooting. This can make applying the appropriate patches a little difficult (as I found out on a friend's machine last week). While it's not the solution, you can ease this problem by changing the behaviour of the RPC service. (XP solution only, I think)

  1. Start up the Services MMC (either from Administrative Tools, or running MMC at the command-line, and opening the Services snap-in)
  2. Open the properties for the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service
  3. Switch to the Recovery tab
  4. Set the value for First failure to 'Restart the Service'
  5. Click OK

This will attempt to restart the service, instead of the computer. It gives you a bit more time to install the appropriate patch, and/or clean the virus off.

TTFN - Kent