Listed below are new and updated frequently asked questions about VPN.
Testing Your VPN Connection
Click on the link below to test your VPN connection. If your VPN is working you will see a 'Congratulations' page. If it is not working or you are not connected via VPN - you will see an 'Access Denied' page.
Q. I can connect to the VPN but I get the error message: A duplicate name exists on the network. That disappears, and then I can access the internet, and email using Outlook, with no problem. When I try to map the network drive though I get an error message saying: The network location cannot be reached, or sometimes: a device attached to the system is not working.
A. You may have named your computer with a duplicate name to a computer on the University network e.g. 'Study'. If another user has called their machine the same name the systems here will not know which one to send your data to. If your machine was setup here (at the University), you should have a unique name and be a member of our domain, in which case you should not be changing the name of your machine. The easiest way to spot this is (Win2000 or WinXP Pro):
- press 'Ctrl, Alt Delete':
- if you get the choice of a 'username, password and domain' to enter before you log-in - you have a University setup PC - do not change the name, ring the ISS Service Desk on x10987.
- if not get a 'username, password and domain' logon box, and you have a machine at home that has not been to the university you will need to change its name to something else. For example (username)-home e.g. bloggsj-home.
- click 'Start' button then right-click on 'My Computer' - see pop-up menu.
- click on the 'Properties' option - see 'Systems Properties' dialog.
- click on the 'Computer Name' tab then click on the 'Change' button - see 'Computer Name Changes' dialog.
- edit your computer name to a unique name For example (username)-home e.g. bloggsj-home.
- click OK and the OK again - reboot if asked.
Q. I seem to be able to get through but my logon is rejected (and it has worked recently)?
A. Try restarting the router.
Q. Nothing is working - what could be wrong?
A1. If you have an 'external ADSL Modem/Router' - ensure that it is plugged in and working.
A2. Try restarting your modem/router.
A3. Is your ISP connection working? Check your ISP set-up.
A4. AOL uses varying methods to allow internet access and can cause problems for VPN access to any system.
Q(a). When I try and connect via VPN I get the following error: Error 800: Unable to Establish Connection.
Q(b). When I try and map my H:drive, I get the message: The mapped network drive could not be created because a device attached to the system is not functioning.
Q(c). Error 619 & Error 721 - most likely a firewall problem at your end - see answer A2 below.
A1. Check that you have typed: vpn.lancs.ac.uk correctly. Some common typing errors are:
- ',' comma(s) instead of a '.' full stop(s) - use full stops.
- 'co' instead of 'ac' - 'ac' is correct.
- the 'l' in lancs looks identical to an uppercase i 'I' - replace with a capital L to make sure.
Recreate the connection icon and call it 'Lancaster University VPN2'.
A2. It is likely that you have a firewall that is preventing the VPN connection to our VPN server. If you have a software 'firewall' e.g. ZoneAlarm, try the following:
- suspending/stopping/removing the firewall - you may have to reboot.
- ensure that you are connected to your ISP.
- make the VPN connection.
If this works consult your firewall guide for how to configure it to let your VPN pass through*, or stop using a software firewall. It is 'a good thing' to run a firewall while connected to the Internet. Most home 'routers' contain firewalls (which don't usually cause problems) and 'Windows XP Service Pack 2' provides a software firewall (which can be used with a router firewall). And so if you are using a home router (with firewall) and Windows XP SP 2 you don't need a software firewall.
Firewalls and VPN - more about using firewalls with VPN.
*A more technical answer to the firewall problem - configure your firewall as follows:
- open: TCP Port 1723 (PPTP)
- open: IP Protocol 47 (GRE)
Q. When I am not using VPN, my system keeps trying to start VPN.
A. Start IE, click 'Tools' then 'Internet Options' option, click 'Connections' tab then click 'Never dial a connection' and click OK.
Q1. I can browse the web while using my ISP, but not while I am using VPN.
Q2. I can browse web pages while using VPN, but not while using my ISP.
A. VPN requires that you setup the University webcache (proxy server) and your ISP requires that you do not have a webcache (proxy server) set at all. There are a number of solutions to this problem:
Q. My VPN stops working while am away from the PC.
A. There are two 'timeouts' built into the University VPN service. VPN users will be automatically disconnected from Lancaster University's network after:
- sixty minutes of inactivity.
- twenty four hours of continuous use.
These 'timeouts' are documented on the VPN Policy page.back to top
If none of the above solve your problem, please contact me using the procedure below.
In order to diagnose VPN problems, we to collect data about your PC settings.
Please do the following:
- start the VPN to Lancaster University.
- click 'Start' button then 'Run' option.
- type: cmd then click OK - see black box.
- type: ipconfig /all then press Enter - see the details of your PC appear.
- type: tracert www.lancs.ac.uk then press Enter - see more details appear.
Copying the data:
- click in the small black 'icon' in the top left corner of the window - see menu drop.
- click on 'Edit' then 'Select all' option - see window go white.
- press Enter - see window return to black.
Pasting the data into an email:
- click on Email to the ISS Service Desk - see new email window.
- type in your name, email address and other details in the appropriate boxes.
- click into the 'Diagnosis' box of the email message.
- click on 'Edit' menu then 'Paste' option (or press Ctrl & V) - see text in message box.
Please add the following information to the email 'manually'.
Indicate which of the below listed connects your computer to the Internet:
- (narrowband) 56k Dial-up Modem.
- (broadband) ADSL Modem - usually connects a single computer.
- ADSL Router - usually provides up to four computer connections.
- ADSL Wireless Router - usually provides wired connections for four computers and wireless connection computers with wireless adapters.
- Other .................
Please also indicate:
- make and model of your modem/router.
- the name of your ISP.
- if are you running Windows XP SP2/3 Firewall.
- if are you running a software Firewall e.g. 'ZoneAlarm'.
Please add the exact time (to the nearest minute if possible) of your VPN failure.
Please describe any errors you get while trying to connect.
- click 'Send' button.