Installing the Cisco VPN client on Windows 7

I haven’t been able to run the Cisco VPN client on the notebook PC that I use for work (because there is no 64-bit Cisco VPN client) but, after a forced rebuild when my hard disk started acting erratically, I am no longer running my Windows Server 2008 workstation and I put the Windows 7 beta on it instead, choosing to go 32-bit so that I didn’t have to run a VM just to access corporate applications.

Most applications that work on Windows Vista should work on Windows 7 but the ones that will cause trouble are the ones with hooks deep into the operating system… like VPN clients – and the Cisco VPN client is no exception.

Even under Windows Vista, v5.0.3.0560 of the Cisco VPN Client needed a Windows Update to be applied prior to installation but I took the chance that was already included in the Windows 7 code. Installation was actually quite smooth and completed successfully but then, after the initial reboot, a glimpse of a blue screen of death before the PC restarted. Thinking that my hard disk error had been misdiagnosed (it hadn’t) I started to Google and came across Aaron Tiensivu’s blog post on preventing Cisco VPN client (v5.0.4.0300) installation from bluescreening Windows 7 (32-bit build 7000). That sounded interesting… it refered to a later version of the VPN client but otherwise it was exactly what I’d just seen.

After a System Restore had got me back to a running system, I followed the steps in the post, but they have been updated several times now, so what follows are the exact steps that worked for me:

  1. Install the Citrix Deterministic Network Enhancer (DNE) update (direct link to the installer file) and restart the computer.
  2. Take ownership of c:\windows\system32\drivers\ndis.sys and c:\windows\system32\drivers\en-us\ndis.sys.mui, then set permissions to grant Full Control to Administrators, before deleting the files.
  3. Install the Cisco VPN Client (I used v5.0.03.0560 but this is also reported to work with v5.0.04.0300 and v5.0.05.0280) and restart the system.
  4. Allow Windows 7 to perform Startup Repairs and then click Finish to shut down the computer.
  5. Start the computer, log on, and the Cisco VPN Client should now be available for use.

Following this, I was able to initiate a successful connection to my company’s network.

Incidentally, for those who need to run 64-bit Windows, Nicholas Caito’s workaround looks interesting – running the VPN client in a virtual machine, sharing the connection, and providing a static route on the host.

13 thoughts on “Installing the Cisco VPN client on Windows 7


  1. @Paul – thanks for the suggestion; but how does that help if my company has thousands of users connecting via a Cisco VPN infrastructure and there is no desire to upgrade the server end of the solution?


  2. I’m glad I found your post. I was going to try installing a Cisco VPN client on a Windows 7 myself so its good I found a workaround here to make it work. Indeed the Cisco VPN client is a little troublesome on the operating system but I prefer it over other ipsec clients.

    Thanks a lot Mark

    Harris


  3. Hi:

    I follow these instructions and everything seems fine but I’m not able to authenticate to my server. I have tried the suggestions from other site but nothing has worked so far. I’m running Windows 7 32-bit.

    Thanks,
    -Bernardo


  4. To be honest Kevin, it all seems like a bit of a kludge… I’m using the Shrewsoft VPN client now… it seems much better than the Cisco client and version 2.2.0 even reads the Cisco PCF files.


  5. I am facing issues while installing Cisco VPN client 4.0.5 D on Windows 7 .. Win 7 does not allow me to install the entire package and blocks driver… with the message,, Incompatible driver has blocked.. contact the publisher Deterministoic Network. Seems the driver file dns2000.sys is blocked, How to resolve this?

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