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vCenter Server setup/configuration fails with the error: Setup cannot join vCenter Server to the linked mode group (2001468)

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vCenter Server setup/configuration fails with one of these errors:

  • 28039. Setup cannot join vCenter Server to the linked mode group.
    Refer to C:\documents and settings\%username%\local Settings\Temp\jointool-0.log for more details


    Error 28038. Setup cannot create vCenter Server Directory Service instance. Refer to C:\Users\Admin~1\...\jointool-0.log for more details.

  • A internal error occured in the vSphere Client. Details: Object reference not set to an instant object
You see these errors after:
  • Manually modifying the ADAM database
  • Removing vCenter Server from the Linked mode
  • Re-adding/reinstalling vCenter Server on a system on which a linked clone vCenter Server was previously installed
  • In the jointool-0.log file, you see the error:

    [<YYYY-MM-DD>T<Time> SEVERE] Operation "Recover" failed: : Action: Recover LDAP instance
    Problem: Instance "XXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXX" does not exist

    Note: The preceding log excerpts are only examples. Date, time, and environmental variables may vary depending on your environment.


This issue may occur if the information in the ADAM database conflicts with the information in the vCenter Server database.


Note: This procedure modifies the database. Ensure to take a backup of the database before proceeding.

To resolve this issue:
  1. Uninstall all vCenter Server components.

    Note: If on a virtual machine, you need not uninstall VMware Tools.

  2. Remove all VMware related entries in the registry. You can leave VMware Tools related registry entries, if applicable.
  3. Remove all vCenter Server related data from folders, such as C:\ProgramData\VMware, C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware, and C:\Program Files on the guest virtual machine.
  4. Back up the vCenter Server database.
  5. Create a snapshot of the vCenter Server database server.
  6. Run this SQL query on the vCenter Server database to truncate VPX_BINARY_DATA, which contains the ADAM backup:

    truncate table VPX_BINARY_DATA

    Note: The VPX_BINARY_DATA table contains the ADAM backup information. To create a clean ADAM database, this table must be truncated.

  7. Reinstall vCenter Server. You may have to provide your licensing information and custom server roles because the ADAM backup is removed.



Update History

09/17/2012 - Added additional symptoms with Error 28038 10/24/2011 - Added Note under resolution and vCenter 5.0 to the product list 06/04/2013 - Added vCenter Server 5.1 to product list

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