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vCenter server failed to start

Posted on 2016-10-12
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Last Modified: 2016-10-13
Good morning,

Apparently sometime prior to midnight last night vCenter Server failed to start.  It was running so I'm not sure why it stopped to start with.
I have it installed on a Windows Server 2008 R2 box.  

I rebooted the box to get a fresh set of error codes, and this is what came back:
The VMware VirtualCenter Server service depends on the VMware Inventory Service service which failed to start because of the following error:
The service has returned a service-specific error code.

The VMware vCenter workflow manager service depends on the VMware VirtualCenter Server service which failed to start because of the following error:
The dependency service or group failed to start.

The VMware Inventory Service service terminated with service-specific error Incorrect function..

The VMware VirtualCenter Server service depends on the VMware Inventory Service service which failed to start because of the following error:
The service has returned a service-specific error code.

The VMware Content Library Service service depends on the VMware VirtualCenter Server service which failed to start because of the following error:
The dependency service or group failed to start.

The first one in the list is the Inventory service.  It is configured to log on with the local system account and won't start manually.  The services it depends on are all started.

Looking back through the event log, the first issue with VMWare related services started at 9:41 last night with the following:
The VMware Security Token Service service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 1 time(s).  The following corrective action will be taken in 30000 milliseconds: Restart the service.
The VMware Identity Management Service service failed to start due to the following error:
The pipe has been ended.
The VMware Security Token Service service depends on the VMware Identity Management Service service which failed to start because of the following error:
The pipe has been ended.
The VMware System and Hardware Health Manager service terminated with the following error:
The system cannot join or substitute a drive to or for a directory on the same drive.

All this is on current software for vCenter.  Any suggestions?

Thanks!

--Ben
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Question by:Ben Conner
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22 Comments
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:loftyworm
ID: 41840191
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:loftyworm
ID: 41840194
Also, just to test, try running the inventory service as a domain admin account, see if that helps
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Expert Comment

by:loftyworm
ID: 41840201
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840219
Thank you so much!  Will take care of that later when I'm back in the office.

--Ben
0
 

Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840224
What's the difference between the -TP vs the -FP iso patch files?

--Ben
0
 

Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840232
Just tried the domain admin account; same result.

--Ben
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:loftyworm
ID: 41840241
Not sure I understand, I haven't seen the FP TP terminology before, and Google came up empty :(
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840248
Just looked at the descriptions to the two links on the 6.0b iso files; both refer to patching the vCenter server appliance.  The install I have is the one for Windows instead.  ?

--Ben
0
 

Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840266
In myvmware, I see a VMware vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 and Modules for Windows.  Is that the 6.0b version?
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:loftyworm
ID: 41840400
You would need to check, but I think that appliance patch's would still apply to VC, but you may need to get the right versions.  
I have a fire here I have to put out, if you need more attention right now, please "Request attention" above.  otherwise I will look at this some more later, sorry :(

The trick here is getting that service to start, so chase that thread...
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840430
No worries.  I'm 50 miles away from that server now, so making patches remotely has never been my first choice. :)

--Ben
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LVL 119
ID: 41840447
Before you START randomly patching....

Are you using SQL Express database?

Is this vCenter 6.0?
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840853
It is vCenter 6.0; I do see a version of the VIM_UMDB db under a SQL Express installation.

--Ben
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LVL 119
ID: 41840890
Okay to add confusion VUM uses SQL Express vCenter can use either or its own Posters database
Restart the entire server.
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840900
Did that already; same result.
I did see a Postgres service as well.  It is running.

I created a DVD of the newer build and tried the upgrade.  It went through until it got to the VCSServiceManager service and failed with an error code of 1603.  It backed everything out and created log zip files.

--Ben
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LVL 119

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 41840929
If you have tried to upgrade and failed scrap it and install new
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41840986
Yeah, that sounds like a really good idea.  And in my case, I don't care about historical performance data.  

Will back everything out and start fresh.

Thanks!

--Ben
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LVL 119
ID: 41841965
You may want to consider the Appliance!
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41842071
I did use it for a while but ran into the issue of vCenter being on the host I was trying to upgrade.  I have the basic package so I don't have access to vMotion.  With a separate physical box, I can manage the two hosts I have independently.  

--Ben
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:loftyworm
ID: 41842080
The rebuild sounds like a good way to go, but I would have liked to seen what the problem is.  But it is too often the case that we need it to work more then we need to know, so rebuild it is.

My ¢2,
  Do not use the appliance.  I have in the past, and with my current experience, it will work.  BUT I far and away prefer a separate piece of hardware for the VC (and DC's and DNS, at least primaries).  More then once I have had problems with hosts, and the appliance made things much harder then they needed to be.  

P.S. My hat off to Andrew, I know he is an excellent expert.
0
 
LVL 119
ID: 41842301
Problem is life is too short dealing with buggy software where the vendor has NO control over Windows with updates!
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Author Comment

by:Ben Conner
ID: 41842516
Yes, I'm faced with that decision when my webserver locks up.  I can spend a half hour collecting information and poking around, or I can restart it and give my clients their sites back.  There's no contest there.

The R&R worked beautifully.  The only hassle was getting Veeam to recognize the new vCenter server install.  They have a utility to migrate an old one to a new one but it is... touchy...at best.  Just went ahead and redefined the jobs in it I run pointing to the fresh install.

Thanks much!

--Ben
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