Customer uses software called “simple fund” (by BGL), but they have been unable to use it during the first month since it was installed.
BGL says its a firewall issue, and when I get there, I find I need to get a handle on windows server 2003, plus a cisco 837 modem/router, in order to verify any firewall blockages.
I need to make sure that there are no firewall causing a problem… The customers XP firewall is already disabled, and server 2003 also has no firewall running.
But the Cisco 837 is something else… No simple web-interface for configuration… its all done via telnet.
This looks like something you would use for an office of 20 – 100 people (not a small firm of 5 people).
Anyway, after a lot of “studying the manual”, I eventually realise that I cannot run some commands, because they are “privileged”, and I need a password to be able to run them… The documented password doesn’t work, so I need to check with the ISP. The ISP actually has remote access to the router, and is able to confirm that it has no firewall.
OK, so its back to BGL, for some software support.
I call the support line, and arrange for a tech to call me the next day, at 12:30 pm.
I arrive at the customer at 12:00, and get setup… By 1:15 pm, I start wondering when I’m going to hear from BGL… a call to a more senior BGL representative, gives us some more information: the techs are at lunch, so they cannot help until they get back…
I soon get a call from a tech, and after explaining about the firewalls, we start looking into other possible causes.
It soon becomes obvious that the Cisco VPN client is responsible for the connection problems.
A reinstall of the part of the application that installs the vpn client should fix it… but it doesn’t.
Reboot the PC… but still no joy
I’m told to uninstall the vpn client, reboot, then run the installation again… but no luck
Since the uninstall doesn’t seem to work correctly (it gives error messages, and remains in the add/remove list), I tell the tech it looks like a manual uninstall of the vpn clients is probably called for.
I’m told where the install executable for just the VPN client can be found (on a local server), and we try using that, but still no comms.
After some consultation with his “peers” the tech sends me instructions on how to manually remove the vpn client (registry editing, remove dlls, etc).
I then install the vpn client, and still no go.
I’m then told I should install the latest VPN client (ie go from 4.0.4 to 4.8.x)
After a few hiccups finding someplace where I can download the VPN client, I install it. Before the installation, it tries (and fails) to remove the prior version… It then wants to restart the PC… after which the cycle repeats, until it becomes blatantly obvious that I need to do another manual removal of the cisco vpn client.
After the manual uninstall, I install version 4.8.X. After that, the cisco VPN client starts correctly.
And after a few confusing moments (when it looks like its still not working), simple fund is finally communication with the ATO.
After all that, I’m asked to setup a new employee on the server, and look into why a particular PC is running slow.
I setup the new user.
The PC is slow because it only has 256MB RAM (whereas all the other PCs in the office have 768 MB Ram)… So some more RAM is arranged.
I leave around 6:30 PM… a long and frustrating day… but a good result at the end!