Resolving issues with Cisco VPN on Windows 10 Release

As someone who loves bleeding edge tech, of course I had to upgrade to Windows 10 immediately upon release. I have used the Technical Preview as a daily driver several times since it was first released, but I always ended up going back to 8.1 on my desktop machine due to varying issues with drivers. It wasn’t until release that I began having problems with the Cisco VPN client actually connecting.

In Windows 8/8.1 & Windows 10 Technical Preview, a common problem with the Cisco VPN client has been an inability to enable the adapter. That is easily resolved within regedit.exe by editing the following string:


You will see it have some junk along the lines of:

@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows

Just remove the first part of that so the string is only

Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows

Easy, breezy, beautiful. This was always an easy fix in the past, I’d done it several times, so no problem. I try to connect to my remote access VPN and I’m immediately plagued with errors.

Error: Secure VPN connection terminated by Peer. Reason 433 (Reason not specified by peer)


Running the gamut of fixes, I installed the Citrix DNE update found here. This had worked on a prior Technical Preview version, so I was familiar with the fix. Unfortunately, this didn’t make any difference. Scouring the delves of Reddit and Stack Exchange, I finally found a few other users with similar experiences. Following a link posted by /u/inkarnata to a post on the Cisco forums, it looks like we finally have a fix.

In a nutshell, you need to perform the following:

  • Completely remove the Cisco VPN client and any other VPN clients you may have installed while struggling with this.
  • Completely remove Citrix DNE update.
  • Install SonicWall VPN found here.
  • Install Cisco VPN found here. You will need to extract the .exe to a folder, then run the .MSI installer found inside the archive. (sorry for not mentioning this before!)
  • Apply the above Windows registry fix if you receive the error for enabling the adapter.
  • Re-import your .pcf

That’s it! The SonicWall VPN client installs the DNE LightWeight Filter required for the Cisco client to work on Windows 10. You should now be able to connect without any peer errors and return to your everyday scheduled programming.

Hopefully this will be helpful to people who don’t like to dig through forums or spend hours troubleshooting something that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.


38 thoughts on “Resolving issues with Cisco VPN on Windows 10 Release

  1. I was very excited to read your post. I couldn’t wait to upgrade either. I have one question. Did you roll back then do all the installs? I keep getting a message that this version of Cisco VPN cannot run on this version of Windows. I tried compatibility mode for Win 7 and 8.

    1. I read through the instructions from /u/inkarnata and saw that the Cisco VPN needs to be run from the extracted .msi instead of the .exe. It worked beautifully!!! Thank you for this!! (I did have to do the registry edit.)

    2. You’ll need to extract the .exe download from Cisco and run the .MSI file inside. I’ll add that to my post, sorry!

      I did not roll back during my initial testing, but after finding the fix I did. To ensure everything was working as intended, I rolled back and made sure all VPN items were removed from my system first and then updated. I was able to repeat that process 3 times with the same outcome. Hopefully everything is working well for you!

  2. AWESOME and Super Hit solution Tyler !!! You really saved my life. I was just about to rollback to Windows 8.1 as our network team pulled their hands on support for this. I did all the tricks which worked for me on Windows 8.1 but this time none of them worked for Windows 10.

    Thanks a lot Man, i am now enjoying Win10 without VPN issues.

    Cheers for you..

  3. Thanks a lot. I was struggling terribly, since I got it working in preview 10130 with the just the registry tweak, but I got stuck now with the dreaded error 433 for quite a while. Your explanation was godsend.

    1. I would recommend you roll back, ensure that all VPN tools, such as Shrew or something you may have installed to fix it, as well as any tools such as DNEupdate. Then update again and follow the install steps in the post.

      A friend of mine had a similar issue, which I imagine is caused by trying so many different fixes. Rolling back and then doing the work fixed his problem.

  4. I’m on Windows 10 RTM and for me it only started working after correcting the network adapter name at HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\ROOT\NET000\\DeviceDesc as well as the registry location mentioned in the article.
    The tricky thing is that you need to take ownership of this key and assign full access rights before you can change the adapter name in that location.
    But at least my vpn connects without issues now.
    This might help other people having problems getting vpn to work.

    1. Somthing went wrong on the registry key location. Appears that gets parsed somehow?

        1. – Right-click ‘0000’ and select ‘Permissions’.
          – Click ‘Advanced’.
          – Just above the tabs it tells the owner of the key. Click ‘Change’.
          – Set the owner to be the local ‘Administrators’ group.

          After you have assigned ownership of that key to ‘Administrators’ you can assign rights to ‘Administrators’.

  5. I don’t have any place called CVirta on my registery in the mentioned address!! what shoudl I do? anybody can help?

    1. You won’t have this registry entry until AFTER you’ve installed the Cisco VPN client. Are you installing the Cisco client I mentioned first?

      1. I don’t have the CVirta registry entry either. I can’t install the Cisco Client because I get a Windows message ‘this app can’t run on this PC…’ even if I run with compatibility for an earlier version of Windows.

        1. You’ll get that error if you run the Cisco client out of the box, you need to extract the files then run the .MSI file within the archive as Administrator. The .exe will give a compatibility error while the .MSI won’t. Let me know if oyu’re still getting this error after running the .MSI

          1. Yes, that helped, but then I got other ‘peer’ errors, so I retried your instructions from the beginning. Now it works like before! Thank you so much!

  6. Hello,

    I had a quite similar problem but in my case, it was related to the CommView network monitoring software. Fortunately, it was not necessary to roll back to the previous Windows version in order to get rid of that troublemaker. There is information about all network connections and their configuration in the registry under [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Network\{4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}]
    To start over here, I deleted all entries below this key (after I made a backup, of course). Windows will restore the network connections with default values upon the next reboot.
    After that, I went to Device Manager and uninstalled the drivers for my wireless network adapter, ticking “Delete driver software”. Then, I clicked Actions, Search for changed hardware in Device Manager. The wireless network adapter was installed again. I uninstalled this driver as well and again ticked “Delete driver software”. These steps I repeated until “Delete driver software” was not offered any more. Now, apparently, the Windows default driver was installed, with default settings. With that, my wireless network adapter came back to life.
    Finally, I was able to upgrade to the current Windows 10 driver from there, and wireless networking still works like a charm.
    As for Cisco VPN client: This is a huge bummer and resource hog which makes a lot of changes to the system. I’d strongly recommend against installing this piece of bloatware on the fresh Windows 10 system. The free Shrew Soft VPN client will do a lot better. It can import the Cisco VPN configuration files (.PCF) so there will be no problem configuring it.

    1. Glad you were able to get your issue resolved, hopefully others will find your post useful as well. As for Shrew, I had 2 big issues with it. 1) It would randomly drop my vpn session after 30m-60m 2) it doesn’t minimize to system tray and was sorta nagging. Shrew does indeed work out of the box in Win10 but I figured there was others like myself who preferred to use the legacy Cisco client.

  7. I don’t have any place called CVirta on my registry too. Sir could you please tell me,may be i am naive or simply not enough understanding, why do i need to install VPN Client if it does cause a problem and do i have a problem with wifi if i don’t have a VPN client.
    I upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10 and every time i close laptop or restart i am loosing wifi, then reboot router and troubleshoot network adapter and it start to work but loosing it all the time
    Very much appreciate your answer

  8. Brilliant solution to a vexing problem. Thanks for the clear instructions.
    Removed old client
    Installed downloads as directed
    Unzipped the Cisco client install .zip
    Ran .msi file
    Uploaded .pcf file
    Edited Registry name
    Ran Cisco Client, done!

    1. Sorry for the late reply on this, I’ve checked out your link but I did not have any of these problems after the win10 update, and on fresh installs that have the latest update rolled into it, I’ve had no problems using just my directions on getting the vpn client to work.

  9. Tried just about everything, still not working for me. I’m still getting “Secure VPN Connection terminated locally by the Client. Reason 440. Driver Failure”

    Windows 10 Acer tablet

  10. Thank you! After months of searching for a solution to using the Cisco VPN Client under Windows 10 I was finally successful by following the instructions on this site as follows … hopefully it will be helpful to persons who are not professional technicians like myself.

    1.Remove and old VPN Client programs and any fixes associated with them:
    • Completely remove the Cisco VPN
    • Completely remove Citrix DNE update.

    2. Download and unzip the following:
    • SonicWALL Global VPN Client: click
    • CiscoVPN 5/Windows: click
    • Installed downloads as directed remembering to run the .msi file of CiscoVPN

    3.Edit Registry name
    After installing Cisco VPN Client v.5, correct the registry key location by activating REGEDIT (Registry Editor) (done by pressing the Window Key + R and typing “regedit” in the search space … once activated … on left find and click on:
    And to the right you will see something like this: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CVirtA\DisplayName @oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64bit

    Right Click ket above and choose “Modify” and carefully eliminate “@oem8.inf,%CVirtA_Desc%” leaving the last part: “Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64bit”
    So that it looks like this:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CVirtA\DisplayName Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64bit
    Save and Exit “Regedit”
    N.B. This step, if I remember correctly solved the Error I was receiving: Error: Secure VPN connection terminated by Peer. Reason 433

    4. Run Cisco VPN Client
    The end and hopefully success.

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