Failed to establish connection with the server. Kindly restart the emsigner. GST filing - click here to troubleshoot

So GST is upon us and we are all in the midst of coming to grips with it.

I have struggled to get the filing with DSC option working with various errors preventing me from filing my returns.

Finally, I have devised a system to make it work and I am sharing the step-by-step process here with you. This process should help you eliminate the "Failed to establish connection with server. Kindly restart the emsigner" error.

1. I am using a Windows 10 PC.
2. I am using a Firefox browser, I find this is most reliable for filing GST returns. I also use Firefox for ESI payments. This is because Firefox still allows you to manage Java a little more than the other browsers.
3. I have JAVA runtime installed. I have Version 8 Update 144 installed.
4. I have already registered my DSC signature with the GST website.
5. I am using a hard USB token, and NOT a digital PFX file.
6. I first had to install the epass2003 utility. I downloaded the ePass 2003 Auto (Windows 32/64 Bit) utility from the e-mudhra.com website.
7. I also had to install the emsignerGSTN utility. I downloaded the Version 2.6 file from the GST website. I installed this as Administrator (right-click on the MSI file and click "Run as Administrator").
8. I find that when I plug-in the hard token DSC - I should get a pop-up message "USB Key Inserted" and that should be visible in the system tray. I have three USB ports on my machine - for some reason, this works better on a particular USB port and not as well on the other ports. Something about it being a powered USB ports and whether it supports USB 2.0 and/or USB 3.0. So now I use that USB port only when I need to sign these documents.
9. I generally work behind a firewall and proxy server. However, for the GST filing, I find that causes some problems with the port binding, etc and so I switch to a direct WIFI connection and switch off the proxy server before starting the filing.
10. Once the USB key inserted message comes, I start the epass2003 software and make sure that the signature is accessible and visible in the epass2003 utility to confirm that the USB key is recognized and working correctly.
11. The emsigner service normally works on Port 1585 - we need to provide a Java exception for this. Type "Configure JAVA" and run the Java configuration utility. Click on the Security Tab and then Edit Site List in the Exception Site List section at the bottom. Click on the Add button and add an exception for "https://127.0.0.1:1585" - this will allow Java to communicate with the emsigner utility which runs on the local system on port 1585.
12. Now run the Emsigner utility - but start it as Administrator. Type Emsigner and when the utility appears on the Start menu, right click on it and choose "Run as Administrator" - you will get a Windows UAC message asking you to allow the emsigner to run in administrator mode - click Yes.
13. Once the service is running - you can see it in the system tray. Right click and choose "open" and you will see the message in the popup saying "running on port 1585".
14. Open Firefox and type "https://127.0.0.1:1585" in the URL bar. This will make Firefox give a warning message that the site's security certificate is invalid. Click on Advanced and then add an exception for this URL in Firefox. This will allow the GSTN website to initiate Java on port 1585, which in turn will allow communication with the emsigner.
15. Once all this is done - open another tab and login to the GST website and choose the "Sign with DSC" option in your return. This will show a small pop-up stating "Initiating communication" - if this message comes, you have configured everything correctly and you should be able to successfully sign your GST return.
16. Look in the Windows Taskbar - and you should see the Java icon running. Click on it and you should see the emsigner utility with your digital signature tokens available on the hard token.
17. Choose the correct signature and click on Sign. It will prompt you for the DSC password and provide the same.
18. After this - you should get a success message that the return has been successfully signed and filed!

Good luck with your GST filings!


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