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Using Lookback Connectors in Virtual XP under Win 7

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 31, 2009 11:52:18 PM

I recently built a new i7 920 machine w/Gigabyte EX58-UD5 motherboard Realtek NIC onboard. I am testing Win 7 RC 64bit so I can use the full 6Gb of memory. I have several legacy apps related to work that require 32bit, so I installed the Virtual XP machine. I was able to install Cisco VPN and connect to my office, but am unable to talk to the guest XP from the host Win7 in order to use the office shares.

After seeing several articles, I installed the Microsoft Loopback Adapter on both the guest and host, but am unable to ping loopback to loopback. Here's the IP configuration:
ALL subnet masks: 255.255.255.0 No DHCP used, all static IPs.
Host NIC: 192.168.16.99
Guest NIC: 192.168.16.91
Old PC NIC: 192.168.16.101 (running XP)
Router: 192.168.16.254
Host Loopback: 192.168.116.2
Guest Loopback: 192.168.116.1
Office Network: 192.168.15.x
The loopbacks DO NOT have a gateway, and all NICs use the 192.168.16.254 gateway. I manually added a persistant route on the host as
192.168.15.0 255.255.255 192.168.116.1 in anticipation of this configuration working.

Prior to making the Cisco connection, I am able to ping the x.x.16.x's from all other connections on the x.x.16.x subnet, but I am NOT able to ping the x.x.116.x loopbacks from each other. After making the connection, I have bigger ping issues - but I guess for now I just need to figure out why the two loopbacks won't ping. Any ideas? I have already tried disabling Windows Firewall on both host and guest. Ipconfig and Route Print show nothing that I can tell is wrong.
a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 1, 2009 12:33:24 AM

LazyLeo said:
I have several legacy apps related to work that require 32bit, so I installed the Virtual XP machine.
Without even getting into the networking issues, are you SURE you need to use a virtual machine for these apps? Just because you're using a 64-bit OS doesn't mean that 32-bit apps won't work. In fact 99% of 32-bit applications run just fine in 64-bit Vista or Windows 7.

You really don't want to take on the hassles of using a virtual machine unless you're sure that the apps won't run in the native OS, even after trying all of the compatibility options.
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September 1, 2009 12:59:36 AM

Yes, they won't install, but they work fine in Virtual XP, just the VPN is a problem. Cisco has announced that they do NOT intend to make a 64 bit version of the VPN IPSec client. I'm the guinea pig - everyone else is running 32 bit XP and hates Vista. Oh, and thanks for not correcting my "Lookback" spelling error in the title.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 1, 2009 3:14:52 AM

My networking skills, meager to begin with, are getting pretty rusty. But I'm skeptical you could get something like a VPN client to work in a virtual machine since the client OS doesn't really talk to the network card - to the best of my knowledge it actually shares part of the network protocol stack with the host OS. But I defer to anyone who comes along with a better grasp of this than I.

I take it that for some reason you're not able to use the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client, which does have 64-bit support?
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September 1, 2009 1:25:55 PM

Dunno anything about Virtual Machines, that's why I'm asking about loopback connectors - but I have several office shares mapped in Virtual XP. Which is fine if you can get by with copying files to the host via copy/paste in the client. I don't speak Cisco. Probably way before your time, but they remind me of the old IBM JCL experts. JCL was Job Cecurity Language[sic]. Google Cisco AnyConnect and you'll see why we didn't use it. It's SSL, not IPSec. It's pay-per-client-license. Google the Cisco website and you'll see they're all speaking Greek, or as the Greeks say, they're all speaking Chinese.

Problems occur once the Cisco VPN is running. It's like the client can ONLY talk via the VPN tunnel to the office - it can't even ping the host. Hence the need for the loopback secondary route host <-> client, that's not working on my machine.
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 1, 2009 5:33:58 PM

Unless someone shows up here with some Cisco VPN expertise you may be better off finding a Cisco forum to ask your question...
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a b $ Windows 7
September 1, 2009 8:33:21 PM

LazyLeo,

Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 RC Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You may want to check the threads there for additional assistance.

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
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September 1, 2009 9:49:22 PM

Thanks Jessica,
I found the following URL there
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprovi...

Short version:
"This is really not possible unless your VPN software allows usage of the loopback adapter. Most commercial solutions do not, because this is simply a "legitimate" way of bypassing VPN-based client control, which many companies do not want.

My company uses a VPN solution that has still not developed a 64-bit client. To run Windows 7 x64, I simply publish my VPN, Remote Desktop Connection, and other needed apps up to the host OS."

I'll abandon the loopback connector method and try this.

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!