Recently I experienced a new kind of problem with Windows 8.1 on my laptop. I was unable to connect to my VPN-server at home. It turned out this was caused by a device missing.
The moment I would try to connect via VPN, Windows would try to comply, but fail in the end with some error message.
Before trying to connect via VPN, there would be no problematic devices listed in Hardware Manager. But afterwards, several miniport devices would be listed as such. Generally it was reported that the required drivers could not be loaded.
Investigation lead me to the Microsoft Support Forum:
- In Device Manager, right-click on the non-working miniport, choose Update Driver.
- Choose Browse my computer.
- In the next window, choose Let me pick driver from a list.
- Uncheck Show compatible hardware. From the Manufacturer list, choose Microsoft, and from the Network Adapter list, choose Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network). (It can be any device the user is allowed to uninstall.)
- Back in the device manager, delete the device that just turned into a Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network).
- Delete your VPN information and then enter it again.
(repeat for all problematic miniport devices)
This solved things for me.