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Configure and Troubleshoot Remote Access (part 2) - Troubleshooting Windows Vista Remote Access Connections

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Troubleshooting Windows Vista Remote Access Connections

Windows Vista remote access connections all have the capability to draw on Microsoft’s Network Diagnostic Framework. This is the same troubleshooting utility used on LAN and WLAN connections. If a connection error occurs on a VPN connection attempt, run the diagnostic utility to determine the cause and possibly render a solution.

Managing Remote Client Access Connections

Microsoft includes a utility for managing the setup of remote client access connections on client computers. The Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) allows for the creation of remote access connections and their distribution to client computers. You can access the CMAK tool by installing the administration tools using the Adminpak.msi file. This file can be found in the C:\Windows\System32 folder of a Windows Server 2003 computer.

Tip

When installing Adminpak.msi, be sure to use elevated permissions and ensure the account used to run the installation is a member of the local Administrators group. If not, you will experience problems as noted in the support article number 930056 titled “You experience installation errors and compatibility problems when you install Windows Server 2003 management tools on a Windows Vista-based computer.”

Also be sure to run the CMAK utility with elevated permissions by right-clicking the utility from the menu and selecting Run As from the menu.


After installing the administration tools, you can run CMAK and begin to create service profiles that contain connection settings. Figure 1 shows the initial screen after the Welcome screen.

Figure 1. Creating a VPN connection using CMAK.


After selecting to use an existing profile or create a new profile, you are asked to create a service name and filename for storing the profile. The wizard then asks additional information regarding the connection, such as whether a user requires the use of a domain name for a connection and whether you want to merge some profiles. If this connection is a VPN connection, you are given another dialog box to configure the VPN connection properties, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Configuring the VPN connection information.


After completing the rest of the CMAK wizard and adding in any requested or needed customizations, you can roll out the new service profile as it is now called. To roll out this profile, you can use a GPO, use a logon script, or have users initiate its installation by installing from a share. The CMAK profile can be integrated into your desktop image for a new installation.

After it is installed, the service profile is accessible as an available connection. You access it by selecting Manage Network Connections through Network and Sharing Center, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Using the Network Connections options via the Network and Sharing Center.

Alternatively, you can find any created connection by clicking through the following path off the Start menu by clicking Start > Connect To. Figure 4 shows the resulting dialog box from following this path to accessing your connections.

Figure 4. The Connect to a Network dialog box.
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