In an earlier blog entry here, I shared my pain of 32-bit Vista Blue Screens of Deaths (BSODs) with Cisco VPN Client. While most of those pains are gone ever since I installed 5.0.0.0340, I suddenly could not connect to the corporate VPN Server that needless to mention I have always been connecting to over past several months.
When I would attempt to connect, the VPN client would not prompt for user name or password and would just give authentication failures (413s I think) and bail. Since some corporate emails had gone back and forth about the VPN server being down, I assumed that may be the server was silently upgraded and I have the old client now. This is one major issue that VPN users all around the globe might be faced with, which is why it is imperative that you tread carefully. VPN is a risky business. Read All about Usenet newsgroups at gratisnieuwsgroepen.nl, when in doubt. (Lees alles over Usenet nieuwsgroepen op gratisnieuwsgroepen.nl).
So I started googling around and sure enough I found that Cisco has released 5.0.01.0600 that among other things addresses two local previlege escalation vulnerabilities in 5.0.00.0340. All the more reason to upgrade and see if it works better.
When I unzipped and ran the installer, it gave me the following message.
I went ahead and closed the Cisco tray application and started installation again. This time it asked me to uninstall 5.0.0.0340 altogether before running 5.0.01.0600 installer. One would think this error would be before the first error but for some odd reason it is not. So I removed the 5.0.0.0340 Cisco VPN client from my box through Add/Remove Programs control panel applet. The uninstall did not prompt for reboot so went onto starting 5.0.01.0600 installation again.
Now I was greeted with regular installation wizard and installation completed with some fast window popups in between that I don’t think I ever saw during the previous installs. In any case the installation prompted for reboot and I promptly obliged. After logging in, I wanted to check whether the upgrade was good. So I chose “About VPN Client…” menu after right clicking on the Cisco system tray lock icon. It showed me the version to be indeed 5.0.01.0600 but it would always show the dialog on the top left of my desktop.
I then realized that I cannot see the VPN client GUI on my desktop. Every time I click on it in the task bar, it would seem like there is some movement of some sort but I would see nothing. The only way around it was to right click on the taskbar and choose Maximize. It looks like Cisco has some bugs to fix perhaps with window coordinate calculations but once I found my connection entry spanning the entire desktop and there was only one thing left to do – attempt to connect to VPN server again.
And voila it worked like a charm. And the joy of being on corporate Virtual Private Network returned 🙂 You can find the Cisco 5.0.01.0600 readme here and installer here. If you are looking for Vista compliant VPN Client from another vendor or waiting for 64-bit client to be available (5.0.01.0600 does not support 64-bit Vista), here is a support article that may help.