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i'm trying to use Cisco VPN client, but i get the error:

Error 56: The Cisco Systems, Inc. VPN Service has not been started.
Please start this service and try again.

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Of course the service is started; so that's not very helpful.

It's been working for years (two years), but today i go to use it and it's borken.

Some people have suggested that the Internet Connection Sharing service can interfere with Cisco and should be disabled; it already was.

Edit: Windows 2000 Professional

Have restarted the service, have rebooted multiple times, have manually run vpngui.exe, vpnclient.exe, ipsecdialer.exe, nothing ever appears.

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I got the same error and i have tried all the recommendations but none of them worked for me. I was wondering if you have find a solution? Thank you, –  user131108 Apr 30 '12 at 7:39
Personally I'd just use Shrew VPN... –  ta.speot.is Apr 30 '12 at 7:41
@ta.speot.is Personally i'd just use Windows built-in VPN; but the international corporation doesn't care what one developer at an outside vendor thinks. –  Ian Boyd Apr 30 '12 at 13:19

1 Answer 1

I had the same problem (on Windows 7 Professional) and found a way to circumvent it:

  1. Stop the Internet Connection Sharing service and change its startup type to "manual"
  2. Copy your PCF profiles to the "Profiles" folder of the Cisco VPN Client installation, e.g.:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco Systems\VPN Client\Profiles
  3. Rename the profile(s) you intend to use to have a simple name (no spaces, etc), something like rwc.pcf
  4. cd to where the vpnclient.exe binary is (e.g.: C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco Systems\VPN Client)
  5. type this: vpnclient connect rwc (replace rwc with your profile naturally)
  6. The Cisco VPN "User Authentication" windows should pop up now; enter your credentials
  7. Done.
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