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Can't Establish/Maintain a VPN Connection with my USB Broadband Card

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I use a laptop on the job (Windows XP).  If I bring it home I need to access the corporate network using a VPN connection.  Presently, my only means of connection are a couple of USB broadband cards.  Initially I was able to connection but between the logoff and re-logon my USB connection would drop and the VNP wasn't holding open the connection like it's supposed to.   Now I can not connect at all.  The corporation is blaming it on my card and my ISP is blaming it on the Corporation which still leaves me unable to do my work.

Their suggestion is to ask my supervisor (who has been out on family leave last week and this week) to requisition a loaner card and set up a new phone number for me to use with the card but I need management approval and I have no idea now long this would take.

I honestly do not understand why my card won't work but the AT&T and verizons do.  One other thing I've observed is that when the VPN connects, it immediately logs off of the computer so that it can relog in with the proper credentials.  The evidence that this was successful is because you can see the Dos box appear at the left top of the screen and it begins running the login scripts.  That began and only got through the very beginning before it hung up and then it's been downhill ever since.  They claim I don't actually have a connection even though I can access the internet.  And it appears that when the computer logs off, it looses the connection to the broadband card through the USB port.

Anyone have any suggestions or should I just give up?

TIA
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Question by:Mariyam
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Accepted Solution

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woolnoir earned 1500 total points
ID: 33508631
I think its important to verify whats actually failing. You mention USB broadband card, im assuming this is a 3g connection ? if so there are a few tests you can do.

1) Is network connectivity maintained when the VPN drops... you can maybe test using a ping test to a known working server.
2) Are their any signal issues during the drops ?
3) Does the ISP block any ports?

Its a bit hard to diagnose any further without some more information.. type of card, etc etc.
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Author Comment

by:Mariyam
ID: 33518136
Thanks for your response but the problem has gone from not being able to connect, to not being able to use the computer at all.  Last I was told is that the hard drive has to be re-imaged and re-provisioned.  Whatever happened to it purportedly caused the removal of several NT logins & groups (this information relayed third-party).  I'd be very surprised to find out that the broadband installation CD contains code that can do this.

The last thing I was able to do today before the machine went haywire was ping the VPN server.  I received a reply and this was further than I'd gotten all weekend after my initial VPN connection attempt.  Other than repeatedly making reference to the SwitchLog when the VPN was unsuccessful, the Event log indicated a "downgrade attack" against my computer but I'm not sure what all that entails.

What I don't understand and have been unable to test is why a broadband card that connects via a USB port by one manufacturer would work, but not one by another manufacturer (the one I'm using).  The only answer I have ever received is that they "do not support" my card because it's my personal card and not a corporate issued one and that they won't issue or assign one for my use.

Be that as it may, I still don't understand how that would affect the FUNCTIONALITY of how the cards work with the computer.  If the computer can interact with a broadband card via a USB port, connect to the internet, establish a VPN connection, logoff of the current Windows account WITHOUT losing the connection to the internet via the USB card/port, and then log back in with the authenticated credentials utilizing an AT&T or Verizon card, then physically, logically and theoretically, especially considering these companies are competitors, why would the card that I'm using not be able to do the same thing?  

According to the error messages, it would appear that when the VPN client logs off of the current login account in order to log back in with the authenticated credentials for the account, that the logoff causes Windows to disconnect from the USB card/port so that when the VPN client attempts to reconnect, there is no internet connection.  Apparently this doesn't happen with the other (supported) cards so as a workaround I was attempting to prevent the VPN from trying to automatically connect by making it wait until I could assure that the internet connection had been re-established first.  Right when I got to that point is when I began getting the messages "no logon server available to service your logon request".

Furthermore, when I took the laptop to my ISP, they gave me the password to their network, had me remove the broadband card and see if I could connect to the internet using their WiFi network.  I could.  Then they had me see if I could log into the network via the VPN client.  I could not and I received the same message as I did when I attempted to do so using the broadband card, so from all appearances, it's not the card that's the problem.

At this point I don't even have the ability to troubleshoot this, so I guess what I'm really asking is for some type of insight into how it would be possible or on what basis it is possible technology-wise for this to be occurring.

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Author Comment

by:Mariyam
ID: 33588025
Resolved thanks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mariyam
ID: 33795707
Wasn't allowed to implement any of the suggestions.
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