The Cisco VPN subsystem was not able to start

Unanswered Question

I have a user who is seeing the following error message when attempting to start the Cisco VPN client before Windows logon:

"The Cisco VPN subsystem was not able to start.

You will not be able to create a VPN connection before logon.

Please contact your Network Administrator for help."

The VPN Client version is and the OS is XP SP4 fully patched.

The user has set up other desktops to work this way and hasn't come across this message before.

He has reinstalled the VPN client as Administrator and rebooted repeatedly but to no avail.

The user would like to know if there are any suggestions other than an OS rebuild. (The box has been previously deployed elsewhere within his organisation)

Many thanks is advance for any suggestions.

I have this problem too.
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amritpatek Fri, 02/15/2008 - 14:00

You need to disable the logon optimization on the machine. The drawbacks of logon optimization in a domain or corporate environment are that login scripts might not run, drives and printers might not be mapped, policies might not get applied, account expiration warnings might not get displayed and GPO software distribution might fail. The logon optimization can be disabled in the following ways:

* Local PO via "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon\Always wait for the network at computer startup

and logon". OR

* Per-machine registry hack as a policy via "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon" with registry value "SyncForegroundPolicy"=dword:00000001

For more information, see Microsoft KB305293.


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