How to fix/install the Cisco VPN Client on Windows 10 (64 bit)

I have just upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The first thing I needed to check (since my work depends on it), is that I can use the Cisco VPN Client. Just to clarify, this is not the AnyConnect client, but the old client (v5.0.07).

I had heard that there are problems with this, since it isn’t a supported Windows 10 application, and isn’t going to be either (since Cisco want people to use the AnyConnect client).

Anyway, problems did arise, and this is how I solved them.

First I uninstalled the existing Cisco VPN Client. I took a copy of the Profiles folder before doing so, although the uninstall program appears to leave them in place. In Windows 10, choose Settings from the main start menu and then search for Programs. From there you can search for Cisco, and you can then choose to uninstall the program:

Once uninstalled you need to install the SonicWall VPN 64-bit CLient from Dell. This will add the Deterministic Network Enhancer (DNE) LightWeight filter, and allow your VPN to correctly download the certificates from the VPN Server.

The Sonic Wall client can be downloaded for free from the following location: http://help.mysonicwall.com/applications/vpnclient/

Now you need to install the Cisco VPN Client. If you double click on the self extracting executable then the files will be extracted and by default the executable inside the zip file will be executed. This is not what you want. Uncheck the setting to automatically run the exe:

Once extracted, open the folder where the files are located. Run the MSI. This is important otherwise you’ll see the following error:

Once installed you can uninstall the Sonic Wall client. The application is now needed and the Deterministic Network Enhancer filter remains.

Now fix the display name of the client. You can do this by opening Regedit and then navigating to:

Alter the DisplayName key value, by removing the junk data in front of the description. I left mine as:

Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows

It was previously

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

The Cisco VPN client should work as expected.

Photo by Kris Krug

Research has shown that people are increasingly turning to these anonymity services, partly in response to new surveillance initiatives. Millions already hide behind VPNs when they go online and this number will only increase in the coming years. Intelligence agencies and the copyright lobby are not happy with this development, and it would come as no surprise if they began lobbying for a ban on VPN usage. After all, these pesky VPN users are obstructing the law.