Your Cisco VPN drops and you can’t reconnect

I’m running Vista Enterprise on a T60 laptop and connect to my office using Cisco’s VPN client version 5.x .

Lately I’ve been having problems with my DSL where it drops for about 15 seconds and then springs back to life (they’re sending me yet another modem to address the issue…). This is, of course, enough of an outage to cause the VPN client to drop its connection like a hot potato.

Trying to reconnect yields the dreaded

Secure VPN Connection terminated locally by the Client.
Reason 413: User authentication failed.

 error. And it seems you’ll never reconnect again without rebooting your computer.

Do this instead:

  • Close the VPN Client GUI
  • Open “Services” (Click “Start” button, type “Services” and hit enter)
  • Find the “Cisco Systems, Inc. VPN Service” and STOP it.
  • Now single left-click on your connection icon in your system tray and select “Network and Sharing Center” OR Click “Start” button and type “Network”, you should see “Network and Sharing Center”
  • Look at your current connection and click on “View Status”
  • At the bottom of the “Connection Status” dialog click on the “Diagnose” button
  • Click the “Reset the network adapter “Your Network Connection”” option.
  • Wait for the “The problem has been resolved” dialog to be displayed and click the “Close” button
  • Close the “Network and Sharing Center”
  • Go back to the services dialog and START the “Cisco Systems, Inc. VPN Service”
  • Wait for about 15 seconds and you can now click on your Cisco VPN Client icon or start menu item.

Now the tough part. Depending on how poorly the system is configured on your company’s side you have to wait a few minutes until it times out your connection. Otherwise you will need to go through the above steps all over again.

I hope this helps!

7 thoughts on “Your Cisco VPN drops and you can’t reconnect”

  1. A few comments on my study break:

    – I feel better and better about getting out of IT (as well as poorer and poorer)
    – I’d consider giving a digit if I could listen to you try and walk “the colonel” through these steps.
    – Vista sucks
    – You document things pretty well. I guess you used my old documentation as a solid reference.
    – Vista still sucks
    – Did I say Vista sucks?

  2. Thanks for posting this Marc. I’m on XP and your instructions work there as well. For some reason I’m getting disconnected at the same time every day. At least now I do not have to reboot.

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