Pulse.exe freezing up PC when using smart card auth

  • I have …

    • Pulse.exe
    • Windows 7 64Bit
    • Thinkpad X220 Laptop with 4GB RAM
    • Using Ethernet Auto 100/Full (not wifi)
    • Lenovo OEM Gemalto Smartcard Readers (both PC Card and USB versions have same issue) and have the issue with various drivers. Am currently running latest driver.

    At least 3 times a week now, most applications become unresponsive on my PC (I click on them in the task bar and they just go blue in colour and do not open) and I need to kill pulse.exe to recover. The VPN show as being up but traffic is passing through ther tunnel. The only solution is to kill pulse.exe (but sometimes I need to kill JuniperSetupClient.exe also)
    Then about 1 min later, the VPN tunnel starts working again (without any notifications or requests for authentication)

    This happens almost everytime I have a network interruption (Internet link interruption or if I pull the ethernet from the PC for example) but also seems to happen when the network is stable (I know this as I have another device which is very sensitive to even the smallest interruption and it stays up)

    It seems 100% tied to the pulse client as the Network Connect client has no issues. I have also removed the NetworkConnect client to be sure also.

    I wonder if it is related to the client being unable to popup the smartcard PIN dialog (As it quite often pops after after I kill pulse.exe but am not sure (Thats why I updated the Gemalto driver)

    Any ideas ?