Vista Intermittently Reverting Registry Settings, VPN and Remote Desktop

kparrent
kparrent used Ask the Experts™
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Hello,

I'm currently running IT for a small business that stores most of their files on a VPN hosted at a remote location.  Most of the PCs are running XP, and have never had any trouble with the VPN.  There is one laptop, however, that has Vista Home Premium on it.  When I first started with the company, this laptop was having trouble with the VPN.  Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn't.  No rhyme or reason to it.  The laptop was originally the owner's husbands that he used while he was serving in Iraq.  It was also having issues with freezing and things like that, so I said, this still has all these military files on it, I don't know it's history or what settings have been changed along the way, we need to start fresh.  So we reformatted the laptop.  Upon reformatting, I still could not connect to the VPN.  After much troubleshooting, I figured out that the

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\netbt\Linkage  bind value needed to be copy and pasted into the

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\smb\Linkage  bind value.

There were a few additional settings I had changed, but none of them have reverted to the original settings so they need not be mentioned.  After making this change, the VPN worked flawlessly.

I was then leaving town for a few months so I had setup all their PCs so I could remote connect to them in the event of any trouble from the outside.  As we all know, Vista Home does not allow incoming RDC, but I used the patch at this website:

http://www.unet.fi/fransblog/2007/08/30/enable-remote-desktop-connection-on-vista-home-premium/

and it has worked up until today when they called me and said the VPN was down on this Vista laptop.  So I emailed them the patch, had them reapply it, and was able to use RDC.  So I went into the registry, did the copy and pasting as mentioned above, rebooted the laptop, and the VPN worked like a charm.

What could be causing these registry settings to revert?  It should also be mentioned the laptop user just also changed because the previous one found a new job.  So there are possibly some new network connections for the new users home network, but I have not verified this.  The owner of the business says that they had just applied a Windows One Care update, and that this was also done around the time the VPN went down the previous time on this laptop.  I'm not so eager to point to the AV software as the cause of network registry settings being reverted though, but I suppose there could be stranger things.

Thanks for the help!  Big points to whoever answers this one!
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Commented:
As you mentioned, there could be a Windows Update that has been installed causing the problem. If you are using a patch that alters Windows in any way, a Microsoft update will overrite what you have changed. Also, in the article you mentioned, it states that this patch will not work with SP1 of Vista.
Do you have SpyBot installed with TeaTimer protection? Or is your antivirus set to maximum security level?

Author

Commented:
I'm fairly certain there have not been any actual Vista updates applied.  The updates that are suspected are for the AV Microsoft Live OneCare, but I will make sure automatic updates get turned off as well just in case.

I believe Lavasoft's Ad-Aware is installed, but I am unsure whether or not it loads at startup.  The AV is set to a normal security level.

I suppose if the registry settings change once a month or so it is not the worst thing in the world.  How difficult will it be to write a script to retrieve the value from one spot in the registry and alter other data in the registry to match the retrieved?  If I could create one that they just had to double click once in a while that would be good enough.  I'm sure the AV software wouldn't like it too much though.  :)
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Author

Commented:
Or alternatively, is there a way to fix those registry settings so they cannot be altered?  Or is this a bad idea for the update scenario?

Commented:
You could add a line in a login script that adds this entry every time the computer boots up, regardless if it there or not.

Author

Commented:
I suppose that would work, but it seems like overkill for a problem that happens once a month or less.  How difficult is it to write this in just an ordinary script that can be executed at will or even by command prompt?

Commented:
You can use the REG.exe command in a script. Here is some information and download information for REG.exe:

http://www.petri.co.il/reg_command_in_windows_xp.htm

Author

Commented:
Sorry it took a while to get back.

I was able to use the REG COPY command to move the entire Linkage directory from netBT to SMB, but I only want to move the bind value.  I was also unable to get this to work correctly in a batch file.  Any suggestions?  Thanks

Author

Commented:
Copy and pasting the values did not fix the problem this time.

The current situation is they can always successfully connect to the VPN.  However, when they try to browse the shared documents folder hosted on the other end of the VPN sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  No noticeable pattern to it.

Author

Commented:
Installed XP

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