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I was trying to configure my comptuer to automatically connect to a VPN when I try to access a website that's only available when I'm connected to the VPN. It seems straightforward enough, and I've done it in the past, but my Windows 7 laptop now seems to have a bad case of Alzheimer's when it comes to the VPN.

First, I configure Windows to use my one and only VPN connection as the default connection, and set it to always dial (I actually want it to dial whenever the appropriate connection is not preset, but the behavior is the same).

VPN is set to default

I click OK and try to open a website (which triggers an attempt to connect to the VPN), but the connection is no longer the default--in fact, the list of connections is empty!

Windows: what VPN connection?

Sure enough, when I go back to Internet Options, vpn is no longer the default connection.

vpn connection is there but no longer default

If I set it as default again, click OK, and immediately open Internet Options again, I get the same result:

vpn connection is there but no longer default (again)

Something is obviously wrong. The same thing happens even without any web browsers open.

Here are the things I've tried so far, to no avail:

  1. rebooting
  2. deleting and recreating the VPN connection
  3. reset Internet Explorer settings
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