What is a Cisco Access Server and how we can use terminal server with GNS3 1.1 on Windows 8.1

Configure Access Sever in GNS3 1.3.11:

Cisco access server is used to configure and manage different routers from one centralize location or from single console. Sometimes, when you have many routers in your network or topology, it is a little annoying to deal with huge number of consoles or opened terminals. Similarly working in a real Lab environment it is also difficult to change the console cable from one router to another for configuration. To resolve this hurdle Cisco access server or terminal server is best option for you. Using Cisco access server you can configure all routers in your network topology using single console terminal and without change your console cable. When you access server is configure you can simple switch or jump to another router in your network topology by pressing  Ctrl+shift+6+X from your keyboard.
Normally we use Cisco 2511 router for access server and which has several config cables coming out from a single port. All other cables can be connected to different routers in your lab.
But you can also use any other routers and cables layout as per your requirement, here we configure access server in gns3 therefore we don't required any cable and all topology and configuration will be created in Gns3.

Gns3 Labs Details:
Gns3 version:Gns3 1.1
OS version: Windows 8.1 Pro
IOS version: Cisco 3600 Series IOS or Cisco 2900 series gns3 ios

In our Gns3 topology we have four routers R1,R2,R3 and R4. We will configured R1 with Cloud as access_server from which we can configure all the router from its console. For this purpose you need to create an virtual network adapter, i am using Microsoft loop-back adapter for this purpose. We can create and configure the Microsoft loop-back adapter by following steps:
Open device manager: Right click on my computer and then click on Manage. Now right click on top and click on add legacy hardware for create MS loop-back adapter. 

Then Click next and select the option "install the hardware that i manually select from list
From devices list select the network adapter and click next:
Now from list choose Microsoft and then Microsoft KM-Test loopback adapter and click next and then finish.
Once you finished you will find  a network adapter in your network connection, assign any IP address of any class. Here i have assigned with subnet-mask of 
Now open your GNS3 then  from GNS3 Preferences> Gns3 servers> Local Server tab and choose the IP address of your MS loopback adapter (in our case it is or make sure "Allow console connections to any IP address" is checked.
Now drag the cloud from gns3 devices and configure it with Microsoft loopback adapter.
You may got the error unable to create generic ethernet while connecting cloud to gns3, for troubleshooting you can click on link.

Cisco Configuration of access server for R1:

Open the R1 and perform the following configurations:
R1(config)#hostname Access_Server
Access_Server(config)#int f0/0 

Access_Server(config-if)#ip address
Access_Server(config-if)#no shut
Access_Server(config)#ip host R2 2002
Access_Server(config)#ip host R3 2003

Access_Server(config)#ip host R4 2004

Where 2002, 2003 and 2004 are console port numbers for R2, R3 and R4 respectively, you can find it by right clicking on router and then click on "change console port" .

How to Switch to other routers from access server

Once you have completed the above configuration you can switch to routers by following two ways:
  • By pressing Ctrl+shift+6+X
  • by typing router name in enable mode like "Access_Server#R3" for switching to R3 router.

Fixed: Unable to create generic Ethernet NIO Gns3 Cloud issue on Windows 7 or 8.1

Cloud NIC adapter is not working on GNS3:

Gns3 Shows this error when you try to connect router to gns3-Cloud. Cloud node is used for connecting Physical, Microsoft loopback or virtual interface to gns3. Currently there is not exact description for this error message but normally this is happen when your NIC is not initialized correctly.  

How to resolved  ” Unable to create generic Ethernet NIO”:

Complete error messageServer error [-3200] from SW1: unable to create generic ethernet NIO
OS= windows 7 32bits (Same was reported on 64 bits windows 7 & 8.1)

You can resolved or troubleshoot this error very easily in GNS3 by following the given steps. It may possible that you issue may get resolved by trying first step and you need not to go further in troubleshooting. Here are the steps for resolving this problem in gns3.
1.    Disabled and Enable the network connection associated with gns3-cloud. For this type “ncpa.cpl” in run, this will show you all NIC setting. Right click on your required one & then Disabled and Enable.
2.       Turn off the windows Firewall and check it again in GNS3.
3.       Reboot your computer. (In most cases restart works for this issue)
4.       If after the reboot you still have the same issue then check out your antivirus setting. Temporary disable your AV and check GNS3 again.

If you still have the same issue even after trying above step then please share your experience in comments. Thank you..!