VMWare Virtual Center and SQL 2005 Native Driver

December 03, 2008


So, I'm setting up a new VMWare Virtual Center server, using a separate server for my database (running SQL 2005). This is on a Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 machine. Installation goes as planned until it asks for the ODBC connection. I set it up, choosing SQL server and everything tests out ok. But when VMWare decides to use it, it complains that the driver I'm using can't be used with SQL 2005. So I found and installed the "SQL Native Client 10.0" and the install continued.

After the server and client components installed, the add-on components Update Manager and Converter attempted to install. After asking for credentials, the installation failed because the Virtual Center service could not be reached. A quick check with the VMWare Infrastructure Client failed as well.

Going into the Services MMC, the VMWare Virtual Center Server service was stopped. Starting it took a few seconds and it showed started. Hitting refresh showed that it stopped pretty much immediately after starting. The Event Log showed the same thing, although was useless to find the cause.

I did a repair, no luck. Uninstall/reinstall, no go. Uninstall, manually remove registry entries, reinstall, nope.

According to the troubleshooting guide (Troubleshooting the VMware VirtualCenter Server service when it does not start or fails), there are a few things to check.

One is the SQL connection/setup. The ODBC connections tested perfectly and the SQL server was up. I also verified that there was plenty of open disk space. (See: Troubleshooting the database data source used by VirtualCenter Server (1003928))

Next is permissions. The service was set to run as local System. I configured it to run as a domain administrator account, same results. I also tried a bad password, to see what error appeared. It actually complained about an authentication error, which is not what it's doing otherwise. I set it back to local System.

Port conflicts is another thing to check. In a command prompt, enter netstat -ban and see if anything is taking up port 80, 902, or 443 on the machine. In my case, it was not. (See: Verifying if a port is in use (1003971))

After some other troubleshooting, I decided to check out the file the service wants to start, "C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\vpxd.exe". So I opened an command prompt and navigated to that folder. Entering vpxd.exe /? showed a list of options. I tried vpxd.exe -u to unregister the service. Then I tried vpxd.exe -r to register the service back. Still was getting the same issue. I tried vpxd.exe -s to run Virtual Center Server in non-service mode. After a bunch of text flashed on the screen, it failed but this time with an error.

Part of the error it left was "Fractional second precision exceeds the scale specified", and mentioned a bunch of tables it couldn't update. It also mentioned the SQL Native Client 10.0 driver. Google searching this error didn't help me much since I'm not an SQL programmer. However, this was leading me in the right direction. After thinking for a minute, I wondered what would happen if I removed the SQL Native Client 10.0 ODBC connection and set up a new connection with the same name and settings, but using the standard SQL Server ODBC driver.

It worked. Now I'm running my new Virtual Center server without issue. It does seem odd that the standard SQL Server driver won't work during setup, but is what works after setup.


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