How To Get Cisco VPN to Work on Windows 8

Well, the short answer is a disappointing no. You can get Cisco Client (version installed no problem on the system but when you try to connect you get this Reason 442 message telling you that:

Secure VPN Connection terminated locally by the client.
Reason 442: Failed to enable Virtual Adapter



Normally if this happens on Windows 7 computer that would be probably because the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service was on. But in this case on Windows 8, the ICS was disabled. So basically, this version of Cisco VPN Client is not compatible with this version of Windows 8.

Option 1: How to fix it

Thanks to the W7H reader David Smith for sharing a registry hack from IT Ramblings. It works like a charm.

Press Win + R and type regedit to open the Registry Editor.

Navigate to the following registry key:


Double click DisplayName and

  • For x86, change the value data from something like “@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter” to “Cisco Systems VPN Adapter
  • For x64, change the value data from something like “@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows” to “Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows

Close Registry Editor and try to connect again. You don’t even need to restart the VPN Client to make it work.

Option 2: Try alternative

Luckily, the latest version of VPN client from seems to be working just fine. Even better, it imports the pre-configured .pcf file if your sys admin have one exported for you. So that is pretty sleek. Simply download the software, install it, and import the .pcf file, you are all set.


Credit goes to EMC Forum.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 06/22/2015

Posted in: Windows 8
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Simon Lam

Does the option 1 can fix error 404 for 32bits window 8 ? Please.

Paul in Scotland, UK
Thanks so much for the clear and concise explanation and fix, worked perfectly. I had the same issue error caused by the ICS being enabled after a holiday to Ireland(!), on Windows 7 and duly fixed with turning this off. Now on Surface Pro Win 8.1 and encountering the 442 error I vainly checked for ICS enabled. Other websites mentioned the registry fix but none clearly explained the problem and process. Used it and it worked immediately. Bit of a shame to have to edit the registry within a few hours of receiving a new machine, but I guess this… Read more »

If you still get the error after changing the registry key, right click the icon and select Run as Administrator. The software needs elevated privs to enable the driver.


I don’t have a CVirtA registry key listed in that location. Is there any special security required to access it? Does it depend on the Windows 8 version?


were you able to figure this out? I am having the same problem but I didn’t find the registry key they are talking about either.


Thank you! Worked perfectly!

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