Cisco VPN client that magically “dissolves” itself

I had some very strange problems with Cisco’s VPN client today that almost made me go berzerk… 🙁

It all began when I tried to use the VPN client over an establish WLAN connection. For no apparent reason, the client was unable to connect to the VPN gateway. It gave me a strange error message that didn’t help me (I forgot the exact wording). The strange thing was that I could establish a VPN connection when I was dialled in with my Vodafone Mobile Connect Card. But it wasn’t the Internet connection itself which was hampering the establishment of a VPN connection, since the VPN gateway was accessible in both cases.

Therefore I called our 24×7 support hotline. The guy at the other end didn’t know a solution either, so he suggested I come over on Monday to have them service the notebook. This is not really an option for me, since Monday is a regional “holiday” in the Rhineland area (“Karneval”, i. e. carnival) and I need to fly to the UK that evening.

So I tried to repair the problem myself. I was able to de-install the client and re-installed it. Afterwards, it still didn’t run, giving me a different error message. So I de-installed it again, and thoroughly cleaned anything up that was still left after uninstall. After I re-installed again, the client started working again.

I had already forgotten the problems from earlier this day, when a new problem faced up: I tried to establish a VPN connection, the connection was established — and in the same second I received a blue screen of death. 🙁

I cursed and rebooted the machine. When I tried to connect again, I received an “error 5” that didn’t tell me anything. Something about “no host name to dial in.” Huh??? I was cursing again…

Suddenly I had an idea — I opened the VPN client profile in notepad only to find it EMPTY! What’s that?! All the profiles (not just the one I tried to use!) were empty but two lines!!! What the f*ck?!

Good thing that I had a copy of the profiles… 🙂 So I copied them back, and voilà, I could dial-in again.

Obviously, the VPN client modifies the profiles each time it is run. Why is this??? Hey, Cisco, if you happen to be listening, can you please stop this bullshit??? Why do you alter profiles without even asking the user??? What if I hadn’t had a copy of the profiles in a backup location??? What if this had happened while I was already in the UK? How would I have been supposed to do my work under these circumstances???

For the record, the client I used is version

One thought on “Cisco VPN client that magically “dissolves” itself”

  1. The blue screen of death only was the reason of your profile getting deleted. It will happen whenever you get that screen. It might be your wireless card adaptor. (You might need to update its driver).

    It happened with me too quite many times.

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