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.

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  • David Smith

    I found the fix for this. You have to change the registry entry for the VPN Client and viola it works.

    • Bannor99

       Yup, that worked for me.

    • Jaryd

      This worked for me!

    • RKH

      Bingo! Nice going David!

    • da5id

      worked for me as well! thanks a million!

  • Kent

    Wow…great. Thanks for sharing the tip. I will definitely double check and update the post if it applies.


  • Battula Praveen

    Yes. is working very fine.

  • Deep Pandey

    Try this. It Worked for me–

    · Open Registry editor by typingregedit in Run prompt· Browse to the Registry Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesCVirtA· Select the DisplayName to modify, and remove the leading characters from the value data upto “%;” i.e.o For x86, change the value data from something like “@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter” to “Cisco Systems VPN Adapter”o 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”· Try connecting again Please do revert back if this solution does not work.

  • joegei

    Nice one!
    Even on my Win8 VM this worked perfectly

  • David

    Works flawlessly…thanks a lot!!!

  • Troy

    Perfect, worked 100%

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  • Andy

    I just love you guys… Option 1. was the quick fix… but I would never be able to do this without a site like this… THS

  • Bart

    I don’t know why, but it works perfectly. Thank you soo much. I need the vpn connection very hard for my connection to the library and software and University. You just saved me a couple of days!

  • Niels

    Works prefectly! Thanks

  • ajshobe

    worked like a champ

  • johnc

    I have 2 laptops both new clean installed with windows 8. One worked with VPN immediately – the other wouldn’t. Tried everything, firewall, both on Ethernet rather than wifi……..

    Your fix worked immediately – really useful – many thanks

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  • saqib javed

    Thanks worked as charm

  • Evgeniya Abasheva

    Thank you VERY MUCH, dude!!!

  • aaa

    I love you

  • Nadeem

    Thanks a lot, Option-1 worked fine for me…:-)

  • JJ

    Worked for me also!! Thanks a lot.

  • carita

    gracias, funciona a la perfeccion

  • mtcerio

    Thanks, the cisco fix is great!

  • Cordanim

    Thanks all! The Shrew app worked perfectly on my new Win 8 Ultrabook!!!

  • basik

    Thanks! Worked for me, Windows 8 Pro

  • Sanjoy

    Thanks Kent, the first option works like breeze for me. Got over a big issues

  • jo

    thanks kent is works great for me

  • spspinhk001

    Million thanks.

  • Bilby

    Option 1 worked. thank you so much

  • jude

    cool. this works for me as well. Windows 8, 64bit

  • dalia

    thank you a lot it works with me

  • harvey

    thanks, very useful!

  • pman

    thank you! works great

  • fsclinda

    This worked for me – Windows 8 Pro. Thanks a million!!

  • TGH

    We found this issue and a lot of our users did not want to use the Anywhere Connect Client, so we made a MSI fix for this issue so we could easily push out to a large amount of users via SCCM/Group Policy…hope it can help someone else…

  • Mohamed

    Option #1, on-the-spot for Windows X64 8.1 with Cisco VPN Client
    Thank you! – Mohamed. :)

  • EllGuapo

    Adaptor suddenly started getting this error, after updating to Win 8.1. Actually the app wouldn’t open at all until I used the “repair” function in Programs/Control-Panel, which made it work for a couple days. The reg-fix worked, thanks!

  • Ahmed Kishk


  • Filipe

    Works perfectly. I had CISCO VPN and after update Windows to 8.1 PRO i couldn’t connect to my VPN. With the option 2, using Shrew Soft VPN i was abble to import the .pcf file and it works! Thanks.

  • the byte maestro

    nice one! the regedit find! bingo was his name o!

  • Luke

    Option 1 worked like a charm! Thank you very much.
    How does one come up with fixes like these?

  • hells2hot4u

    Another satisfied customer! Thanks

  • 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 is how things have always been!

  • GotThis1

    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.

  • Confused

    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?

    • Gerald

      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.

  • trivtrav

    Thank you! Worked perfectly!