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Problems choosing a Certificate Authority for Windows 7 for VPN connection

Posted on 2010-01-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hi,

I'm trying to setup a vpn connection that uses a Certificate Authority, and I was able to successfully install the certificate with no problems.  However, when I setup the actual VPN connection, the setting to choose "Use a certificate on this computer" will not stick after I save it.  It goes back to "use my smart card".  My first thoughts were that this was disabled in the registry so that I couldnt save the setting.... Does anyone have any ideas?

This is a Windows 7 (64 bit) professional OS.

Thanks in advance!
Capture-of-Certificate-Screen.PNG
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Question by:SGCAdmin
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by:Paranormastic
ID: 26172310
Assuming the cert is issued to the user logging in, and has Client Authentication as a valid usage - this should show up under certificates MMC -check both computer & user context (add snapin twice as admin) - Personal - Certificates.

Try not selecting the simple certificate option (assuming you had it selected in the first place) - this will allow it to look past the first cert it finds - you may have multiple certs with client auth listed and it is looking at the wrong one.

Try selecting your root CA from the list - if it is not there, make sure your root CA is listed in certificates MMC (computer context) under trusted roots.

If you are using a non-domain box (e.g. home computer) or need to connect as a different user, check the last box for logging in using a different user name.

On the off chance you have a smart card inserted, try pulling that while making the initial connection.  It shouldn't matter, but win7 is pretty new - along that note make sure you have all recent patches for the OS just in case.

Since it sounds like it does go through, just not save it, it sounds like the cert should be okay.  Offhand it sounds like a minor (albeit annoying) bug to me, but play it out first.
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by:SGCAdmin
ID: 26186427
Hi,

Thanks for the response, sorry for the delay in trying.  I've tried everything above with no luck.  Ill try to give more details, but Im afraid this is a bug with Windows 7.  I was really hoping it was a locked setting in either group policy or in the registry that I could maybe change to a 1 or 0.  

In any case, this certificate does show up in the Personal Store under the Cert snap-in.  
Also, I have tried not only to disable the smart card reader in device manager, I went a step further and removed  the smart card from the BIOS so that it doesnt even detect it.

Hoping there is someone that has the fix!  Let me know if anyone has any other suggestions :-)

Thanks!
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by:SGCAdmin
ID: 26283158
Another update, I just installed Windows 7 on a desktop that does not have a smart card reader, and sure eneugh, the setting sticks when choosing "use a certificate".  I matched all of the settings for the properties of the connection and it still refuses to stick.  I guess Im going to blame the smart card reader, however, I've disabled it in the BIOS, so Im not really sure where to go from here.

Hope someone else out there is having this issue that knows the answer.....
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by:Paranormastic
ID: 26352438
What kind of smartcard reader is it?  have you tried uninstalling the vendor software that goes with it?  Was there any smartcard middleware installed to support it?

Do you have a cert with the 'client authentication' enhanced key usage for your logged in user account installed on the box yet?  maybe it isn't sticking because an appropriate cert isn't there yet for it to see?

Is there a different in the version of win7 between the 2 boxes (OEM vs. retail, home/pro/whatever)?  Windows update has been run on both?
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JoeVS earned 2000 total points
ID: 26455063
What other software mismatches are there between these two machines?  I had a similar issue at my office, but it turned out to be the software for an AT&T / Sierra Wireless Aircard that had broken that settings pane in VPN.

Removing the software in question made the settings stick.  Even if you don't have a replacement version of the software offending on your computer (in my case, the Sierra Aircard had an updated connection manager), you can change the settings, reinstall the software, and now they'll be stuck on the CORRECT setting.
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Author Comment

by:SGCAdmin
ID: 26455102
Thanks Joe, we do in fact use Sierra software for our Sierra Sprint Cards.  I will try to do this and get back to you on the results.  Hope this works!
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Author Closing Comment

by:SGCAdmin
ID: 31672263
Hit it right on the nail, Unintalling SmartView caused the settng to stick.  Thanks!!!!!
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Expert Comment

by:MAGLOCLEN
ID: 33958014
Verizon Aircard Software also cause this issue.
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by:SGCAdmin
ID: 33961669
Thats good to know.  Just an update on my end, the latest version of Sprint SmartView (2.40xxx) did not fix the problem.  So Sprint apparently didnt seem to care to fix this for some reason.
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by:JoeVS
ID: 33967079
The newer versions from AT&T do indeed fix this issue.  We're using them successfully now.
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