Direct Access: No Security Associations

Published on Friday, August 8, 2014 in

I’ve been working on a Direct Access deployment for quite some time now. The clients are Windows 7 SP1 and the DA servers are based on Windows Server 2012. We hand out DA capabilities using a GPO that is scoped to a Windows Active Directory group. Once the computer is in the group, both the DA settings are configured (GPO) and the client requests a computer certificate (auto-enrollment). From this point on, most of the clients have DA connectivity immediately.

Ironically, while creating a document for the helpdesk to be able to resolve basic DA connectivity issues, I ran into the following issue:

netsh dns show state


DA is configured and is enabled as to be expected…



Our IPHTTPS interface has a valid IP Address. I can even ping the IPv6 address of the DA DNS service (determined by netsh namespace show policy)…

netsh int httpstunnel show int


The IPHTTPS interface didn’t show any errors…

netsh advf monitor show mmsa

netsh advf monitor show qmsa


Ahah! No SAs match the specified criteria. So no security associations were being made. But… Why?!

After some googling I stumbled upon some threads where they asked is the IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules service running?

And indeed, on my faulty client this service was stopped and had a startup type of manual. Starting the service just once seemed to immediately reconfigure the startup type to automatic as well. And in a matter of seconds the DA connectivity seemed fine. Security Associations were now successfully created:


In the days after more and more newly assigned clients seemed to suffer this phenomena. So, as a workaround, I configured the IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules service with an automatic startup type using GPO:


And the actual setting:


If anyone has a an explanation as to why this suddenly stopped working I’d be happy to hear it. Perhaps some patch was released who “broke” the DA/IPSec stuff to get the service running?

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6 Response to Direct Access: No Security Associations

10 February, 2015 17:55

Thomas, thank you for taking the time to share this information - these same symptoms presented themselves in our environment and your article helped shorten our troubleshooting period. Unfortunately, I do not know how/why the startup type change on our service either.

10 February, 2015 20:24

Thanks for taking the time to reply! Much appreciated.

25 March, 2015 07:18

I have the same symptoms - but your fix didnt work for me. The IKE... service was already running, and restarting it didnt fix the issue.
Has anyone come up with any other fixes for these symptoms?

07 April, 2015 17:37

Thanks for this, we've been scratching our heads for a week trying to get to the bottom of why half our clients suddenly couldn't connect. Unfortunately we are none the wiser as to why some clients changed their settings either.

07 April, 2018 03:34

I stumbled across this after almost two weeks of beating my head against the wall. You are magic! Thank You!

16 April, 2020 19:50

Thank you!! I had two guys trouble shooting this for several days. Now just need to figure out what was disabling the service.

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