Cisco IPSec VPN Client & Windows 8 (32bit & 64bit) – Reason 442: Failed To Enable Virtual Adaptor – Fix It

Introducing The Problem

The Cisco VPN client is one of the most popular Cisco tools used by administrators, engineers and end-users to connect to their remote networks and access resources.

With the introduction of Windows 8, Cisco VPN users are faced with a problem – the Cisco VPN software installs correctly but fails to connect to any remote VPN network.

When trying to connect to a VPN network through a Windows 8 operating system (32 or 64 bit), the Cisco VPN client will fail to connect. As soon as the user double-clicks on the selected Connection Entry, the VPN client will begin its negotiation and request the username and password.

As soon as the credentials are provided, the VPN client shows the well-known “Securing communications channel” at the bottom of the windows application.

After a couple of seconds the Cisco VPN client will timeout, fail and eventually the connection is terminated. The user is then greeted by a pop up window explaining that the VPN failed with a Reason 442: Failed to enable Virtual Adaptor error:

Cisco vpn client Error 442 failed to enable virtual adaptor

Note: It’s always a great idea to have the latest Cisco VPN client installed.

Introducing the Fix – Workaround

Thankfully the fix to this problem is simple and can be performed even by users with somewhat limited experience.

Here are 4 easy-to-follow steps to the solution:

1. Open your Windows Registry Editor by typing regedit in the Run prompt.

2. Browse to the Registry Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CVirtA

3. From the window on the right, select and right-click on DisplayName and choose Modify from the menu. Alternatively, double-click onDisplayName:

Cisco vpn client windows 8 registry

4. For Windows 8 32bit (x86) operating systems, change the value data from @oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter to Cisco Systems VPN Adapter.(Remove @oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%; )

For Windows 8 64bit (x64) operating systems, change the value data from @oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%;Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows to Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows (shown below):

Cisco vpn client registry fix value data

When done editing the Value data, click on OK and close the Registry Editor.

You can now run the Cisco VPN Client and connect to your VPN network.  Changes performed do not require a system restart.

Note: For Windows 7 32-64 bit users dealing with the same problem can refer to my previous blog.