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Changing the vCenter Server database user ID and password (1006482)


This article describes how to change the vCenter Server database username (this article refers to the username as "user ID"). The article also describes how to change the database password. The user ID and password must be changed when the SQL database credentials on a remote SQL Server are changed.

Note: You may need to change the vCenter Server database user ID and password if you see this error in the Windows Event log:

vCenter not in registry or missing dll - failed to start vCenter.


Note: This solution can only be used for vCenter Server, and not Update Manager. For Update Manager 4.1 Update 1, see Changing the vCenter Update Manager database password (1034605).
To change the vCenter Server user ID for SQL database connections:

Note: Before making any registry modifications, ensure that you have a current and valid backup of the registry. For more information on backing up and restoring the registry, see the Microsoft article 136393.

  1. Take a full backup of the registry prior to editing it. Do not skip this step.
  2. Click Start > Run, type regedit and click OK.
  3. In the Windows Registry Editor, navigate to:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DB (under My Computer)

    • For 32-bit versions of vCenter Server running on 64-bit versions of Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DB

    • For vCenter Server 5.0: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DB

      Note: To see these keys in a 32-bit version of the Registry Editor in a 64-bit operating system, click Start > Run, type %systemroot%\syswow64\regedit, and click OK.

  4. Right-click 2 and click Modify.
  5. Enter the database user ID in the Value data field.
  6. Click OK.

To update the password used by the vCenter Server for database connections to the SQL Database, use one of these options:
  • Follow these steps in VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client for VirtualCenter 2.5 only:

    1. Click Administration > VirtualCenter Management Server Configuration.
    2. Click Database.
    3. In the Database Setting page, enter the new password in the Password field.
    4. Click OK.

  • For VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 2 and later, the -p command line flag sets the database password in vCenter Server:

    1. Click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator to open a command prompt as an administrator.
    2. Run this command:

      C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\vpxd.exe -p

      Note:This is the default path to the vCenter Server installation directory. Change the path appropriately, if required.

    3. Enter a new password when prompted.

      Note: If changing any SQL authentication modes or credentials (for example, changing from SQL to Windows authentication), ensure that the ODBC System DSN utilized for the vCenter Server database connection is also updated to reflect the credential changes.

    4. Restart the vCenter Server service.  For more information, see Stopping, starting, or restarting vCenter services (1003895).

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see:


vcenter-database-version  vcenter-database-password vcenter-database-username

Update History

05/26/2010 - Added Windows Event log error. 04/18/2012 - Added Location of registry for vCenter Server 5.0

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