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Establish a VPN connection prior to logon to Vista

How can I get Vista to let me establish a VPN connection prior to logon?  The Vista machine is working fine.  The VPN connection is configured and works (i.e. I can log into the Vista machine and then connect to the corporate network with no problem.)  I just can't figure out how to get Vista to give me the option to establish the VPN connection _before_ I logon the way that I used to do on Windows XP.  

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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whc4
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whc4
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1 Solution
 
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Haven't tried with Vista, but with all other Windows operating sytem versions, if you join the machine to the domain, and install the VPN client, at logon there will be an option to logon using Dial-up. Choose this, and it will give you the option to connect by your VPN connection, before logon, so that logon scripts and Group policy are applied.

If that is not an option Microsoft has 2 tools; RASDial and AutoDial that you may be able to make use of:
http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/Library/c3f953ab-2af4-4811-9c70-9a67e5237e121033.mspx?mfr=true
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Broadband/VPN/Q_21855010.html#16864544
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whc4Author Commented:
Yes, that's the way I've always done it on XP; however, I can find no such option on Vista's logon screen...even though the machine is already joined to the domain and the VPN connection is already created.  The VPN connection works fine if I login first...I just can't figure out how to activate the connection before (or during) logon.  

I'll look at the two links to see if that is a solution.  

Thanks!
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whc4Author Commented:
Three more pieces of information:  

1)  Just to clarify - The Vista edition is "Business".  
2)  I'm just using the built-in PPTP VPN capabilities that are built-in to Vista; I'm not trying to do anything fancy with any third party VPN clients.  
2)  Interesting development - I setup a Dial-up network adapter (i.e. a modem).  At the Vista logon screen I now get an option to establish a network connection before I log in.  This is presumably equivalent to the Windows XP option that allowed you to establish a dial-up/vpn connection prior to logon.  All good, right?  Wrong!  When I click on the option to establish a network connection at the Windows logon screen, the only "connection" that shows up is the dial-up adapter...the three VPN connections that I've created don't even show up in the list.  So, I'm still no closer to getting a pre-logon VPN connection going.  
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I didn't realize it did not exist in Vista.
I just tested and found the same thing. After doing some digging and testing with some new networking features, none of which worked, I stumbled on the following. I am on the way out and can't test until later, but thought I would pass it on:
http://www.mcox.com/2007/07/no-logon-using-dial-up-connections-in.html
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whc4Author Commented:
That was it!  Two key things:  

1)  When creating the PPTP connection you have to check the box that says, "Allow other people to use this connection."  
2)  After performing step one you have to reboot the machine to get the option to show up.  Just logging out doesn't do it.  

At one point I had created a VPN connection using the "Allow other people to use this connection" to see if it would make a difference, but in my testing I just logged out to test it - the connection didn't show up, so I thought it made no difference.  This time I re-created the connection and then rebooted the computer...walah - the VPN connection was in the list.  

Thanks for the help!!
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Glad to hear it worked for you.
Interesting, I know it says you have to reboot, but being lazy, I just tried it here and did not have to.
Thanks whc4.
Cheers !
--Rob
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kon21Commented:
to go off this, how does one active this feature if the user forgot his domain password and is locked out?
I can change his password on the domain, but since he can not configure his laptop, how can I get him to start the VPN prior?
How does Vista handle remote users who forget their password if these steps were not performed ahead of time?
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whc4Author Commented:
kon21,

My only idea would be to log in locally to the machine using a local admin account.  Then you could create the VPN connection, reboot, and perform the procedure above.
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