How To Get Cisco VPN to Work on Windows 8

Well, the short answer is a disappointing no. You can get Cisco Client (version 5.0.0.7.0290) 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

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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:

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CVirtA

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 shrew.net 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.

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Credit goes to EMC Forum.

Continue the discussion at discuss.nextofwindows.com