How to fix “AnyConnect was not able to establish a connection” or “VPN client driver encountered an error” Cisco AnyConnect VPN error messages

I was trying to log into work but had trouble making a VPN connection.  I use Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client.  This post describes how to fix the following error messages when using Windows 8 Pro:

  • AnyConnect was not able to establish a connection to the specified secure gateway.  Please try connecting again.

image

  • The VPN client driver encountered an error.  Please restart your computer or device, then try again.

image

The steps to fix this problem are as follows:

1. Edit a registry entry by running a program called regedit.  Right-click on it and Run as administrator.  Note that I use Start8, by Stardock, to have a Start button and menu.  After you left-click on Run as administrator, your computer might ask you to enter the admin password.

image

2. Go to the appropriate VPN registry directory called Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\vpnva

image

3. Double left-click the DisplayName key.

image

An Edit String pop-up window will appear.

image

The text under the Value data: field on my computer looked like this.

@oem20.inf,%vpnva_Desc%;Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64

4. Change the field to

Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64

by removing all the text and characters that are on the left of the word Cisco.

The end result should look like this:

image

5. Left-click the ‘OK’ button.

6. Exit the Registry Editor

7. Run Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client and reconnect.

That’s all there is to it.  Good luck!

Update : 2/13/2014

I recently updated my computer on February 13, 2014 with Microsoft’s updates and saw that the text under the Value data: field on my computer looked like this:

@oem10.inf,%VPNVA64_Desc%;Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64

It is different from what I had originally posted.  I’m not really sure how or why it changed and I don’t have time to find out.  I also updated to Cisco AnyConnect Secury Mobility Client Version 3.1.04066.  As far as I can tell, the value of …

@oem10.inf,%VPNVA64_Desc%;Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64

.. works, but the value of

Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64

does not work with Cisco AnyConnect Secury Mobility Client Version 3.1.04066.

Update : 2/15/2014

Changing the Value data: field  to

Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64

without

@oem10.inf,%VPNVA64_Desc%;

seems to work better, too.

Advertisements

My Windows 8 Wishlist

This year is an exciting time for people who like to use Microsoft Windows 8.  Here are the three products that I’m interested in.  What’s on your wishlist?

1. HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook 15t-4010

image

First reaction about what I like about it:

  • It’s a touch screen
  • Great resolution at 1920 x 1080
  • 15.6 inches of display
  • Has both 128G SSD and 500GB HD
  • Its an all-metal design, ultrathin design

First reaction of what I don’t like about it:

  • Price

As of 12/25, its going for $1,599.95.  This would replace a Latitude e6400 that I use at work.

2. Microsoft Surface Pro

image

First reaction about what I like about it:

  • It’s a touch screen
  • It’s very light and thin
  • Great resolution at 1920 x 1080
  • HD display
  • Has a pen I can use to scribble notes or draw simple diagrams
  • Mini DisplayPort can be used to project unto larger monitors
  • Great portability
  • Weighs only 2 lbs
  • Even when run as either a tablet or laptop, it will runs current desktop applications
  • HD Display

First reaction of what I don’t like about it:

  • Screen is kind of small when not connected to a larger monitor.  Probably great for a tablet, but not I’m on the fence when using it as a laptop
  • 128 GB storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • HD Display
  • Maybe battery life, but that not a big deal.  I rarely go without the AC adapter anyway.
    As of 12/25, its going for $899.99, then with a Type cover, it costs $129.99.  Total would be $1,029.98.

3. Lenovo Yoga 13

image

First reaction about what I like about it:

  • It’s a touch screen
  • It’s very light and thin
  • Price is reasonable
  • 13.3” screen
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
  • Up to 8 hours battery life
  • Price is reasonable

First reaction of what I don’t like about it:

  • 1600 x 900. 

Looks like a good balance between tablet and laptop use.  As of 12/25, its going for $999.99.

How to select Desktop Internet Explorer as the default browser

For desktop computers that aren’t touch enabled, I find it more convenient to use the desktop version of Internet Explorer instead of the Modern UI Internet Explorer.  The Modern UI Internet Explorer was mainly designed for browsing using a touch screen – it incorporates basic controls and the control buttons and text boxes are much bigger.  It isn’t as fully featured as the desktop version of Internet Explorer.

As a PC desktop user, I found it irritating that when I would type “Internet Explorer” on the Windows 8 Start Page, the Internet Explorer tile would always lead me to using the Modern UI Internet Explorer app.  I prefer to use the desktop version – it consumes less memory and is a fully featured web browser.

I found a way to configure Windows 8 to use the desktop version by default.  Here are the steps to do it.

Step 1) Type “Internet Options” when you are in the Start Page and select the Settings icon that pops up on the right of the screen.  Please see the highlighted icon on the graphic below that is labeled Settings.

image

After you left-click on the Internet Options  program that Windows 8 found, a window should pop up on the desktop when the title “Internet Properties”.

image

Step 2) Left-click on the Programs tab

image

Step 3) Left-click the checkbox labeled Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop

image

Step 4) Left-click the OK button

image

The result should be, whenever you type “Internet Explorer” on the Start Page and you left-click on the program that Windows 8 found, it will use the desktop version of Internet Explorer instead of the Modern UI version.

If you want to permanently use the Desktop version of Internet Explorer.  Select “Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop” in the "Choose how you open links” dropbox then click “Ok”.

image

That is all there is to it.  Good luck and happy computing.

Use Windows Live Mail instead of Modern UI Mail to conserve memory

image vs image

After I compared the memory usage of Desktop Internet Explorer versus Modern UI Internet Explorer (article is here), I began to wonder what the memory usage is of other applications that have similar (but not equal) use in the Modern UI world and the Desktop world of Windows 8.  This blog compares the memory usage of Windows Live Mail against Modern UI Mail, the program that comes with Windows 8 and has a Live Tile associated with it.

In my experiment, both software points to the same two live.com email accounts only.  In addition, I use Windows Live Mail as an RSS Reader.

image

As you can see, Modern UI Mail uses 43 MB more than Windows Live Mail.  This is surprising to me because Modern UI Mail seems to be a stripped down Mail application.

Conclusion:

If you would like to conserve memory, it would be best to go with Windows Live Mail instead of Modern UI Mail.

Use Desktop Internet Explorer instead of Modern UI Internet Explorer to conserve memory

Internet Explorer is an application that I use often and I was curious to know which version of Internet Explorer uses the most memory – Desktop Internet Explorer or Modern UI Internet Explorer.  I’ve documented my experiment below but I was actually surprised at what I found. 

When it comes to memory usage, the Internet Explorer App on the Modern UI consumes more memory than Internet Explorer on the Desktop.  I didn’t think this was possible since the Modern UI version doesn’t seem to have much to it in terms what it could do.

In this experiment, I used four websites.

  1. http://t.msn.com/
  2. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx
  3. http://www.yahoo.com/
  4. http://www.theverge.com/microsoft

Incrementally adding the websites yielded the following data:

image

I had both browsers point to http://t.msn.com/

Now, if both applications point to another website, like www.microsoft.com, the memory footprint looks like this:

image

Now, if I add www.yahoo.com and three websites are open at the same time on each browser, the memory footprint looks like this:

image

Four websites yield..

image

Putting the data in a grapth..

image

Now, if I put 8 of the same websites on both browsers, the result is this:

image

And the graph changes to:

image

Up to 50 MB difference if 8 websites are open concurrently.

Conclusion:

If you would like to conserve memory, it is best to go with the desktop version of Internet Explorer.

How to search for movies using the Netflix App

image

I saw this comment in the Netflix App review …

image

… and realized it isn’t immediately intuitive for people to figure out how to use the Search Charm and that it can be used for any application you choose.  So, I decided to document how to do that below.  I tried to see if I can contact brett directly but there isn’t a way to do that from the Review page.

Step 1) Run the Netflix App from the Start screen.

image

Step 2) Open the Charms bar and select Search

In the screenshot below, the Charms bar is on the far right of the screen.  The Search charm is the one that looks like a magnifying glass.

image

Step 3) Type a few words related to the movie you want to look for in the text box

I entered walking dead and pressed on the Return/Enter key on my keyboard.  The application will automatically find the movie.

image

Remote Desktop Connection is the answer

One of the biggest hurdles I have about getting a new Windows 8 touch laptop has just been overcome.

I have a home desktop computer that I upgraded from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Pro.  As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I love Windows 8 on my desktop even though I don’t have a touch screen.  I use Windows 8 using a keyboard and a mouse – the traditional method.

Since Windows 8 was also designed for a touch interface, I’ve been dying to get a touch laptop of my own.  I want to experience Windows 8 in its entirety.  I bought my wife an HP Envy TouchSmart 14t-1100 as soon as Windows 8 was released on Oct. 26, 2012.  I’ve used it and it’s a great computer.  I especially like that it’s a 14-inch screen and that it is an all-metal design.  I also found that its great having a choice between using a mouse, keyboard, or fingers to interact with the computer.  But, now, I want to have one of my own.

Currently, the laptop I use is provided to me from my work and it runs Windows 7.  The company that I work for isn’t ready to support Windows 8 yet.  My work laptop has all the key Microsoft applications that I need – Lync, Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.  The problem is, I can’t afford all that software if I bought my own laptop.  Since it would be my own laptop, my company’s IT will not support it nor will they buy the Microsoft Office suite for it.  So, why buy a new laptop if I won’t be using it as much as my work laptop?  It seemed like such a waste of money if I used a new laptop half of the time to do personal things then have to switch over to my work laptop to get work done.  I just want one portable computer to do both and I don’t want to carry two computers between home and work.

It was a big dilemma for me – wanting to play with new technology and be able to use it for work, that is, until I spoke to one of our IT gurus.

image

Remote Desktop Connection is the answer.

Here is how Remote Desktop would work for me.  If I leave my work laptop at my cubicle, I will be able to remotely control that laptop from the shiny new touch laptop.  If I’m outside of my work, I’ll connect to the corporate network using VPN, then remotely connect to my work laptop.  If I’m inside my corporate network, I can connect directly without VPN.  So, not only will I be able to connect to my work laptop from anywhere, I’ll also be able to use those same Microsoft applications that are physically on my work laptop.  I save money and get to play with new technology – hoorah!

Here is a screen shot of the Remote Desktop application on Windows 8.

image

I’ve erased the name of the computer that I would remotely connect to and my user name for obvious reasons.  To start the Remote Desktop Connection application, simply type the words Remote Desktop on the Windows 8 Start Screen.

Now, to get the Computer name of the computer you will connect to, simply type “computer name” on the Windows 8 Start Screen or in Windows 7,  Search programs and files when you left-click on the Start button.  Enter the computer name and user name on the Remote Desktop application and left-click on the Connect button.

image

It will take several seconds.  The following window pops up for me.

image

Simply left-click on the Yes button and in a few more seconds, if the computer name, user name, and password are correct, you’ll be remotely controlling the target computer in the same way you would as if you were on that computer.

I just love technology.  Don’t you?