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VPN client hijacking network

I have 15 Windows XP Pro computers running VPN client 5.0.01.0600, the version provided for me by the vendor to whose VPN we access in order to connect to their terminal server. The VPN works correctly on all of the computers, but one PC has a peculiar problem. After every reboot, I cannot connect to that PC remotely until the VPN client has been opened at least once. That is, after a reboot, I do not get ping replies from the station, nor can I connect to it via RDP. However, both succeed after I open and connect the VPN client, and the success continues after the VPN client is then disconnected and even closed.

The Windows firewall is disabled at the service level on all PCs, and there is no other firewall installed on the stations.

Here is what I have tried, all to no avail:

-Removing Symantec AV, in the off chance that it was incorrectly firewalling

-Enabling/disabling the Cisco statefull firewall (I keep it disabled on all stations)

-Uninstall/reinstalled the VPN client with a reboot in between.

I thought I would try upgrading the VPN client, but not being a Cisco customer myself, I am, of course, unable to download the latest version, and our vendor has been slow, if not reticent, to provide it for me. I do a lot of my PC management remotely via remote management.

By the way, is there any way to remove the Stateful Firewall option? It is far too easy for some overly-clever user to simply right-click the client in the system tray and enable the Stateful Firewall, thus blocking my remote access, and attempt to push printer drivers or push-update software remotely, etc.

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