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Using the Data Migration Tool to upgrade from vCenter Server 4.0 to vCenter Server 4.1 fails (1024380)

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  • Using the Data Migration Tool to upgrade from vCenter Server 4.0 to vCenter Server 4.1 fails.
  • vCenter Server 4.1 database is blank after a successful install using the Data Migration Tool.
  • The migration does not retain the Datacenter, Cluster or Host information in the vCenter Server inventory.
  • Data Migration Tool logs (restore.log) does not indicate any errors, but the database is blank.


Note: This article assumes that you have read the vSphere 4.1 Upgrade Guide and that you have already installed vCenter Server 4.1 on your target server.
This known issue occurs when the Data Migration Tool is run against a vCenter Server with MS SQL Express that has been updated (for example, if vCenter Server 4.0 is updated to Update 2 or if vCenter Server 2.5 is updated to vCenter Server 4.0.)
When vCenter Server is upgraded, the value of the following registry keys are switched from Bundled to Custom:
  • In Windows 2003 – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DbServerType 
  • In Windows 2008 – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DbServerType
The database migration tool fails to properly backup the database when this value is set to Custom, even though there are no observable error messages displayed. If the value is manually changed back to Bundled, then the database tool properly backs up and restores the database to the vCenter Server 4.1 machine. The backup part of the script checks if the DSN forwards to a localhost or a remote location to determine if the database is local or not. However, the Custom value is used by the restore part of the script which considers that the database is remote and does not restore the database dump created by the backup part.

Changing the registry value from Custom to Bundled before launching the backup.bat script resolves this issue. 
If you have already gone through the database migration, you can still resolve this issue by performing these steps after making the registry change.
To change the registry value from Custom to Bundled:  
  1. On the machine you are trying to perform the backup, go to Start > Run, type regedit, and click OK.
  2. For Windows 2003 navigate to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter or for Windows 2008 navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter.
  3. Right-click the DbServerType value in the right hand pane, and click Modify.
  4. Change the value from Custom to Bundled, and click OK.
  5. Launch the backup.bat script as normal.
  6. Ensure that vCenter Server is not already installed on the target server. If it is installed, uninstall it. If you do not uninstall it, the installation process fails.
  7. Launch install.bat and follow the Installation Wizard.

Additional Information

Currently there is no support for vCenter Server 4.1 installed on a 32 bit operating system. If you have a default install of vCenter Server using the built-in Microsoft SQL Express Database, you can use the data migration tool to restore data from a previous environment to the target vCenter Server 4.1 installed on a 64 bit operating system.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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