Solving PPTP VPN Error: 720 on Windows 7

My Problem:

When trying to connect from a Windows 7 workstation to a PPTP VPN being served by a Server 2003 machine running RRAS I received VPN Error: 720 “A connection to the remote computer might not be established. You might need to change the network settings for this connection.” This would happen after the “Verifying username and password” phase during the “Registering your computer on the network” phase.

My Solution:

Rebuild the TCP/IP stack by opening an elevated command prompt and running the following command:

netsh int ip reset

The Long Story:

I’m running Windows 7 RC and have a PPTP VPN connectoid that connects to a Server 2003 RRAS server. I was able to successfully connect just yesterday but today when I attempt to connect it gets as far as “Registering your computer on the network” and then fails with Error: 720 “A connection to the remote computer might not be established. You might need to change the network settings for this connection.” *sigh* I always hate it when things that worked one day suddenly and with seemingly no reason stop working.

To my knowledge no updates have been applied to the server or to my Windows 7 machine in the time between yesterday and today. First I check to see if my Virtual XP instance can connect to the VPN. I created a new VPN connectoid and was able to connect with no problems using simple default settings.

I then looked at my Windows 7 connectoid’s options and did a little twiddling like disabling “include Windows logon domain” (not sure how that got enabled in the first place) and moved it from PPTP to Automatic (all it does is delay the logon time while it tries to figure out how to connect from among the available options but I figured it was worth a try). Still no luck.

I created a brand new connectoid using the default values for everything and it still gave me Erorr: 720. Fortunately I have a secondary VPN that I use for just such an occasion. It’s via a SonicWALL TZ 180 using the lone SonicWALL Global VPN Client license that came with the firewall. I connected with that so I could check out the RRAS server. The RRAS service was started and the RRAS console showed that all seemed well. I decided to restart the RRAS service from the console and got a little misty that I was saying goodbye to 137 days, 15 hours and 43 seconds of uptime. After the service restart I still received Error: 720. Fare thee well 137 days of uptime… I feel that your death was in vain. =( Looking back, I suppose it was unlikely that the problem was the server since the XP machine could connect, but you never know.

I decided to try the sweeping “netsh int ip reset >> resetIP.log” to reset the TCP/IP stack. The log simply stated:

Reseting Global, OK!

Reseting Interface, OK!

Reseting Unicast Address, OK!

Restart the computer to complete this action.

Super. I restarted, tried again and voilá!! I was able to connect with no problems! Farewell, VPN Error 720. As to what caused this issue in the first place… I’ll never know.

10 Comments

  1. anthny

    September 1, 2011 at 4:08 am

    First step is to go to the ‘server’ and restart the remote access service. Especially if you did not make any network changes. Restarting the service fixed my 720.

    Reply

    • Wesley David

      September 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

      That’s a good point, thanks for the tip!

      Reply

  2. hernadi

    September 25, 2011 at 2:31 am

    To fix error 720 :
    Open folder c:windowssystem32 and then type sfc.exe/scannow. Restart computer.

    Reply

    • Wesley David

      September 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks for sharing another way to solve the problem!

      Reply

    • Cimi

      November 10, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Hello Hernadi,

      What you mean by “type” exactly?

      Reply

      • Wesley David

        November 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

        What he means is to open a command prompt, make sure that you are in the WindowsSystem32 folder and then run the following command: sfc /scannow

        Reply

  3. Tinashe Chidyausiku

    June 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I know this thread has probably expired but I just found it worthwhile to add my thoughts as well.
    I have been experiencing the exact same problem for a while now and it seems to just go away if I restart my computer, even without running any commands to try and fix it. It will be great if a solution that doesn’t require a system restart, to this problem can be found.

    Reply

    • Aria

      August 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I have the same problem here and i’d be glad if someone share a solution that doesn’t require restart, too.

      Reply

  4. PaulEBoy

    August 12, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I tried the “netsh int ip reset >> resetIP.log” & hernadi’s suggestion, rebooted and again viola works fine. Only one day spent on this with searches & the VPN help desk.
    Many Many Thanks

    Reply

  5. Sean

    May 22, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Thanks mate. Got me out of trouble.

    Reply

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