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Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too

[updated with “roll your own” information and how to make a 32-bit version of the exe file]

I love it when people challenge me to solve a question and today’s prize goes to Simon (thank-you for the questions Simon) who asked me where Connection Manager was on SBS 2008?  You remember Connection Manager right, to auto configure the VPNs…

image

Well, the instructions in SBS 2008 are a little less simple.  Rather than downloading a pre-configured tool you now need to roll your own.  The reasoning, which is quite sound, is that you can access almost everything via the Remote Web Workplace, but for some things, you want a VPN and the way to get it can be found here - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc513974.aspx

image

 

If you want to create a Connection Manager Install for SBS 2008 you need to add the CMAK to the SBS 2008 install.  Go to Server Manager and click to add a feature.

image

Install the CMAK by pressing Next.  To start the kit, go to the Start Menu, Administrator Tools and then select Connection Manager Administration Kit. Click next until you need to select the target OS.

 select target os

Select to create a new profile and provide the name and filename (8 characters max)

Create or Modify a CM Profile   Type name of VPN Connect for Users

Provide the domain or realm name and include the “separator” character – eg “mydomain\” without the quotes.

Choose Domain name to pre-populate

Select no profiles to merge and press Next

image

Embed the VPN Connection name (eg remote.myserver.com as that is what the SSL certificate will say) into the file and then accept the VPN entry

image  image

Remove the automatically update phonebook options and leave blank

image

Accept the default entries for VPN, Routing tables, IE Proxy, Custom Actions

image  image  image   image

Now accept the default graphics or add your own logo

image  image  image 

Accept the default information on help files, support information, User EULA screen, additional files

image  image  image image

Finally accept the answer and build the file:

image  image

You can now chose to put the EXE file somewhere your users can access and then they can download it.

One problem solved, more to come.

IF YOU ARE DEPLOYING TO A 32-BIT WINDOWS SYSTEM, YOU WILL NEED TO DO THIS:

  1. Open an elevated command prompt (find in menu, right click and select run as administrator)
  2. enter the command "CD \Program Files\CMAK\Profiles" (without quotes)
  3. If this is a Vista build "CD Vista" otherwise "CD Downlevel"
  4. Then move to the profile directory - "CD <profile name" - if unsure, type "dir" first
  5. Find the .SED file - "Dir *.sed"
  6. Type "\windows\syswow64\iexpress /N<SED File>.SED"
  7. The built .exe file will work on 32-bit systems

 

ttfn

 

David


Posted Wed, Dec 3 2008 1:00 AM by David Overton

Comments

kevin wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Wed, Dec 10 2008 5:14 PM

Hi David,

Thanks for the detailed instruction, but after I created EXE file, and run it on winXP machine, it says it is not a valid win32 application. Is there something I am missing?

Thanks,

Kevin

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Mon, Jan 12 2009 12:05 AM

Kevin,

you may have noticed that the very first step said "Vista or XP" and I chose Vista.  Have you tried selecting the XP, Windows Server 2003 option?

thanks

David

Jim wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Tue, Jan 13 2009 2:39 AM

I'm finding the same thing - and I _have_ selected the XP option...

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Tue, Jan 13 2009 10:58 PM

Guys,

could one of you send me your exe file - it appears to work fine for me .... I would like to compare the differences.

Thanks

David

Curt wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Sun, Jan 25 2009 1:31 AM

I am getting the same error using the XP Option.

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Mon, Jan 26 2009 6:46 PM

As per before, could you contact me at the e-mail address above so I can arrange an e-mail of the program?

thanks

David

Adam wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:24 PM

Any updates on the EXE files?  I am having the same problem.

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Wed, Apr 1 2009 9:54 PM

Adam,

I don't appear to have had anyone zip up and e-mail me the EXE & other files produced yet.  If you could do that, send them to doverton@microsoft.com and I will look at them.

Thanks

David

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Thu, Apr 2 2009 12:05 AM

Hi,

thanks to Adam for sending the files through - I've updated the process to include how to create a 32-bit EXE file.

Thanks

David

Ted wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Wed, Apr 29 2009 8:14 PM

I'm having an issue with the following error

Error creating process

<c:\users\tom\appdata\local\temp\IXP000.TMP\.\cmstp.exe vpn.inf>. Reason C:\Windows\system32\advpack.dll

Has anyone had this issue and know of a resolution?

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Thu, Apr 30 2009 7:16 AM

Ted,

did you run the command from and administrative command prompt?

thanks

David

Wim wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Mon, May 4 2009 11:02 AM

I receive the exact same error message:

Error creating process <C:\DOCUME~1\ADMINI~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\IXP000.TMP\.\cmstp.exe vlk-vpn.inf>.  Reason: C:\WINDOWS\system32\advpack.dll

The cmak profile was created on a W2K8 x64 server, to be deployed on a XP SP3 x86 machine.

I did follow the steps described at the end of your post and ran the command from an administrative command prompt.

mjmeans wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Thu, May 14 2009 12:15 AM

I have the exact same error and configuration as Wim. Client computer is Win XP SP3 32-bit. Server is AMD 64-bit. I tried both with the iexplore /N command and without. Neither works.

Aravind wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Thu, May 14 2009 11:43 PM

I have exact situation like Wim but I get an error message "Error opening Makecab Directive file".  When I looked up online, they are referring to a .ddf file.  Can you tell me where I can find one?

Thanks

Brian Reid wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Thu, May 21 2009 10:42 AM

I have solved the i386 issue when creating the profile on an x64 machine that is mentioned in the comments. Thanks David for the prompt in the syswow64 direction, but you still need to use i386 versions of cmstp.exe and advpack.dll or the profle will not deploy to an i386 machine. See www.c7solutions.com/.../create-i386-cmak-profile-on-x64-machine.aspx for the steps.

Wim wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Fri, May 29 2009 12:02 PM

Brian, excellent info!

Solved my problem.

Thanks!

Wim

dfhall wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Sun, Oct 18 2009 10:01 PM

I don't quite see the reason for doing this at all.  You can simply create the VPN connection using the "New Connection Wizard" on the client machine.  It takes 3 seconds.  I guess if you had to roll out vpn to many clients, this exe might make it easier.  But still you have to train the users to use it.  Anyway, does this installer provide any benefits aside from the ability to deploy this to clients using a script or group policy?

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Mon, Oct 19 2009 7:58 AM

@dfhall - you are correct that this can be done by the client, but for those who don't want to talk the users through this, then this can be used.  The choice is yours.

David

Mike Walker wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Mon, Oct 19 2009 8:32 PM

Suggestion: might it be a good idea if Microsoft fixed the application so it actually did all of this correctly! (just add some extra checkboxes for 32-bit vs. 64-bit and use the correct files to build the exe) They went through the trouble of creating a wizard that doesn't work?

Russ Stevens wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Tue, Dec 1 2009 6:00 PM

Ok, I followed the instructions exactly and I'm seeing the same error. I hate to say anything against Microsoft but I can get better results using a Watchguard firewall.

Andy Steadman wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Tue, Mar 9 2010 9:32 PM

The user connects to the VPN OK and the files are sync-ing between the server and the user remotely however when browsing the server (\\servername from run) they cannot see the shared folders. I have tried \\servername.domainname.local etc but still cannot view the shares. Any ideas?

David Overton wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Wed, Mar 10 2010 11:08 AM

@Andy,

If files are synching then this is a strange one.  Can you access the server via IP address?

Thanks

David

pollardhimself wrote re: Connect Manager for VPNs into SBS 2008 …er, not really, with CMAK information too
on Thu, Apr 15 2010 3:02 PM

Ill simplify the the long fix for the advpack.dll error

1st you need to get the advpack.dll and cmstp.exe for a xp machine and stick them on the desktop of your cmak machine or where ever you want

then just type "\windows\syswow64\iexpress /N

dont put the .sed filename in a gui will appear!

click open existing self extraction directive file

"browse to your sed file"

next

Modify self extraction directive file

next

extract files and run an installation command

next

package title

next

confirmation prompt

next

License agreement

next

Packaged files

"Remove the advpack.dll and the cmstp.exe filenames"

then click add and browse to the windows xp advpack.dll and add it then add the cmstp.exe

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