I often use Cisco AnyConnect to remotely work on my machine at Purdue via VPN. Unfortunately for me, this morning instead of moving on to my Remote Desktop connection, I got this pretty error message:
“Failed to initialize connection subsystem”. Great.
Looks like a recent Windows 8.1 update, in order to fix a TLS bug, broke the compatibility for the GUI component of Cisco’s VPN solution. Fortunately, Microsoft promptly released a fix, and will include a full-fledged patch in the next Patch Tuesday rollout.
More info on the temporary patch, including a manual way of fixing it very quickly, can be found on Chris Tierney’s blog (thanks!!):
which in turn got it from another blog, which in turn got it from a YouTube commenter.
Here are the few easy steps, straight from Chris’ blog:
- Close the Cisco AnyConnect Window and the taskbar mini-icon
- Right click vpnui.exe in the “Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client” folder. (I have it in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client\”)
- Choose “Troubleshoot compatibility”
- Choose “Try recommended settings”
- The wizard suggests Windows 8 compatibility.
- Click “Test Program”. This will open the program.
- Some people may need to repeat the above steps for vpnagent.exe. That is the local service that supports the client user interface.
The power of the Internet saved my day 🙂