Cisco VPN working with CFW V3.

Prior to installing Cisco VPN client software I looked through the forum and noticed that a number of people have had problems with this, so I thought I should document my setup and what was done in case it might help others.

My setup:

  • WinXP Pro SP2, All patches up to 4/2008
  • Comodo Firewall
  • Cisco System VPN Client 4.0.3(C)

The VPN client software installation went through without problems, but it did take a long time. At one point I thought it had locked up, but was patient and let it finish.

After rebooting, I started the client and received the following error message:

Warning 201:
The necessary sub-system is not available. You can not connect to the remote VPN Server.

I’d seen the same thing using ZoneAlarm when I had lots of rules set up. So I tried the same solution of stopping and restarting the VPN service. After setting up a connection entry the client connected correctly and I was able to browse the remote network.

My best guess at this point is there is some kind of timing issue when the VPN service starts during boot up.

To get around this I’d recommend:

  • Change the VPN service startup from ‘Automatic’ to ‘Manual’.
  • Create a shortcut titled ‘Start VPN Service’ on your desktop.
  • In the shortcut’s ‘Target’ box enter: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\net.exe start “Cisco Systems, Inc. VPN Service”
  • In the shortcut’s ‘Start in’ box enter: %windir%

You’ll only need to start the service once after rebooting before initiating a VPN connection.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for workaround Frank! :-TU
Maybe some people will find it useful.