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Here's what I'm doing:

  • I create a new VPN connection using Control Panel\Network and Sharing Center
    • Control Panel\Network and Sharing Center
    • Set up a new connection or Network
    • Connect to a workplace
    • Use my Internet connection (VPN)
  • Connect to the VPN successfully
  • reboot machine

After doing a reboot, I need to connect to the VPN. When I click on Network and Sharing Center\Network Connections the VPN connection I just created isn't displayed as an icon. When I click on the taskbar icon Network and Sharing Center icon the VPN connection is not listed.

How do you connect/disconnect/edit the VPN connection when the VPN is not listed in Network Connections or taskbar?

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1 Answer

Open rasphone and click the Connect button and you will connect successfully to your VPN connection even though it doesn't show up in the Network Connections.


Here is a more detailed explanation.

I found out online that Windows 7 has a less user friendly command line method for handling VPN related issues. There are two command line tools specifically:

  • rasdial used for connecting to a VPN that is already created
  • rasphone used for creating/editing a VPN connection

When I tried rasphone I found out that there were many existing VPN connections already created. Everytime I tried creating a new VPN connection there was an entry being shown in the rasphone listing!

rasphone has the following features:

  • GUI pull down to list all VPN connections previously created (in my case they were all created from the Network and Sharing Center
  • GUI button to Connect/Disconnect/shows-status
  • GUI properties button
  • GUI new button
  • Screenshot enter image description here

Solution:

  • To connect/disconnect: open rasphone click the connect/disconnect button
  • To edit the VPN connection: open rasphone click the Properties button
  • To delete a VPN connection is a little more tricky
    • each VPN connection is stored in a text file with extension *.pbk
    • there are two *.pbk files that rasphone looks at when you open it
    • user's *.pbk file located at: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk\rasphone.pbk
    • system *.pbk file located at: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk\rasphone.pbk
    • In my case there were many redundant VPN connections so I edited the *.pbk file and deleted the redundant VPN connections in both files
    • I left only the most recent VPN connection that I had successfully connected to
    • you can edit the *.pbk file manually however I wouldn't recommend it unless you are intimately familiar with what is valid/invalid edits to the key/value pairs and so if you aren't an expert you may break what you are trying to edit
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