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Migrating an existing vCenter Server database to 4.1 using the Data Migration Tool (1021635)

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vCenter Server 4.1 is supported only on 64-bit operating systems. There is no in-place upgrade path for vCenter Server installation on 32-bit operating systems. If your vCenter Server is installed on a 32-bit operating system, you need to migrate to a 64-bit operating system where vCenter Server 4.1 can be installed using this tool.

The data migration tool does not apply to vCenter that is already on a 64-bit Operating System.

This article provides an overview on how to use the database migration procedure using the vCenter Server 4.1 Data Migration Tool. For details on information preserved by the Data Migration Tool, see vSphere 4.1 upgrade pre-installation requirements and considerations (1022137).

Note: The Data Migration Tool can only be used to migrate the SQL Express database that comes bundled with vCenter Server. Any other databases, such as Microsoft SQL 2005 Standard Edition, are not supported. This information is detailed in the article above.


This article assumes that you have read the vSphere 4.1 Upgrade Guide and have understood the risks associated with migrating your database. Ensure that you have made a full backup of the existing vCenter Server 4.0 database. For more information on backing up your database, see the Microsoft article Create a Full Database Backup (SQL Server).

Note: The Data Migration Tool does not change the host name or IP address of the target vCenter Server to match that of your existing vCenter Server. Services such as VMware HA and Update Manager expect the IP address and host name to be the same. VMware recommends that you retain the existing host name and IP address on the target vCenter Server when possible. If it is not possible to retain these settings, see vCenter Server IP address change causes ESX hosts to disconnect (1001493) and Reconfiguring Update Manager after changing the vCenter Server IP address (1014639).

To backup the database that you want to migrate:

  1. Open the datamigration folder on the root of the vCenter Server 4.1 installation media that you have downloaded from VMware.
  2. Copy the file from that folder and extract it to the root of your C: drive.
  3. Click Start > Run, type services.msc, and click OK.
  4. Stop these services:
  5. Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK.
  6. Type cd \datamigration to change to the datamigration folder.
  7. Run this command to copy the vSphere 4.0 configuration:


To finish migrating the database to the target server:

Note: Services need not be stopped on the target 64-bit server unless vCenter Server 4.1 has already been installed. If vCenter Server 4.1 is already installed, uninstall the existing installation and let the Data Migration Tool install vCenter Server 4.1 for you. Also, when performing a migration to the target server, a DSN is not automatically created. This must be manually created on the target server after the database is migrated. For more information, see the vSphere 4.1 Upgrade Guide.

  1. Copy the contents of the C:\datamigration folder from the existing vCenter Server to your target Windows 64-bit server's C: drive in the same location.
  2. Mount the vSphere 4.1 installation media on your local CD-ROM drive.

    Note: Close the autorun menu, if it opens. It is not necessary to complete the migration.

  3. Click Start > Run, type cmd, and click OK.
  4. Type cd \datamigration to change to the datamigration folder.
  5. Run this command to start the installation migration:


    Note: This script asks you for the vCenter Server installation media path.

  6. Follow steps in the installation wizard.

Additional Information


migrate-vcenter-database database-migration-tool

See Also

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