Setting up an SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) connection earlier, I encountered a vaguely reminiscent problem. [SSTP allows virtual private network – VPN – connections between clients running Vista Service Pack 1 and later and servers running Windows Server 2008 and later, using HTTP over SSL, usually on port 443. Port 443 is the usual HTTPS port, and creating a VPN over just that port and no other allows it to operate over most firewalls.]
The connection just didn’t seem to want to take, even though I had already followed the step-by-step instructions for setting up the SSTP server. I thought I had resolved the issue originally by ensuring that I installed the certificate (it was self-signed) in the Trusted Roots certificate store. [If the certificate was not self-signed, I would have ensured that the root certificate itself was installed in Trusted Roots]
The first thing I did was to check the event viewer on the client, where I found numerous entries.
I found error -2147023660 in the Application event log from RasClient. This translates to 0x800704D4, ERROR_CONNECTION_ABORTED. That was pretty much the same information I already had, that the connection was being prevented from completing. So I visited the server to see if there was more information there.
On the server, I couldn’t find any entries from the time around when I was trying to connect. Not too good, because of course that’s where you’re going to look. In some cases, particularly errors that Microsoft thinks are going to happen too frequently, the conditions are checked at boot-time, and an error reported then, rather than every time the service is called on to perform an action.
Fortunately, it hadn’t been that long since I last booted (and I had a hint or two from the RRAS team at Microsoft), so my eyes were quickly drawn to an Event with ID 24 in the System Log, sourced at Microsoft-Windows-RasSstp. The text said:
The certificates bound to the HTTPS listener for IPv4 and IPv6 do not match. For SSTP connections, certificates should be configured for 0.0.0.0:Port for IPv4, and [::]:Port for IPv6. The port is the listener port configured to be used with SSTP.
Note that this happens even if your RRAS server isn’t configured to offer IPv6 addresses to clients.
So, here’s some documentation on event ID 24 :
This is one of those nasty areas where there is no user interface other than the command-line. Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to do things using the command line, because it’s easy to script, simple to email to people who need to implement it, and it works well with design-approve-implement processes, where a designer puts a plan together that is approved by someone else and finally implemented by a third party. With command-line or other scripts, you can be sure that if the script didn’t change on its way through the system, then what was designed is what was approved, and is also what was implemented.
But it’s also easy to get things wrong in a script, whereas a selection in a UI is generally much more intuitive. It’s particularly easy to get long strings of hexadecimal digits wrong, as you will see when you try and follow the instructions above. Make sure to use copy-and-paste when assembling your script, and read the output for any possible errors.