VMware: Updated: Troubleshooting the VMware VirtualCenter Server service when it does not start or fails (1003926)


The VMware KB 1003926 is very helpful to support problems with your VirtualCenter Server service that won’t start. VMware updated this document 2 September 2009.

  • You cannot connect to VirtualCenter
  • If you try to connect to VirtualCenter, you see the error:
    Cannot connect to host <server>: No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it.
  • If you try to start the VMware VirtualCenter Server service, you may see the errors:

    Could not start the VMware VirtualCenter Server service on Local Computer.  Error 1067: The process terminated unexpectedly.

    The VMware VirtualCenter Server Service on Local Computer started then stopped.  Some services stop automatically if they have no work to do, for example the Performance Logs and Alerts service.


This article guides you through the process of troubleshooting VirtualCenter when it does not start. The article helps you eliminate common causes for your problem by verifying the configuration of your database, validating network connectivity, and verifying the configuration of the VirtualCenter Server service.


Please validate that each troubleshooting step below is true for your environment. Each step provides instructions or a link to a document that helps eliminate possible causes and take corrective action as necessary. The steps are ordered in the most appropriate sequence to isolate the issue and identify the proper resolution. Please do not skip a step.

To troubleshoot the VMware VirtualCenter Server service when it does not start or fails:

  1. Verify that the VMware VirtualCenter Server service cannot be restarted. 
    Open the Microsoft Services control panel and check the status of the service. For more information on starting the VirtualCenter service if it has stopped, see Stopping, starting or restarting vCenter services (1003895).
    Note: If you perform a corrective action in any of the following steps, attempt to restart the VMware VirtualCenter Server service.
  2. Verify that the configuration of the ODBC Data Source (DSN) used for connection to the database for VirtualCenter is correct. For more information, see Troubleshooting the database data source used by vCenter Server (1003928).
    Note: Ensure that you are using SQL authentication if you are using a Microsoft SQL server. Windows NT authentication is not supported.
  3. Verify that ports 902, 80, and 443 are not being used by any other application. If another application, such as Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), is utilizing any of the ports, VirtualCenter cannot start. For more information, see Port already in use when installing VirtualCenter (4824652).
    If you see an error similar to the following when reviewing the logs, another application may be using the ports: 
  4. Failed to create http proxy: Resource is already in use: Listen socket: :<port>proxy failed on port <port>: Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted. 

    For more information on checking ports, see Determining if a port is in use (1003971).

  5. Verify the health of the database server that is being used for VirtualCenter. If the hard drives are out of space, the database transaction logs are full, or if the database is heavily fragmented, VirtualCenter may not start. For more information, see Investigating the health of a VirtualCenter database server (1003979).
  6. Verify that the Microsoft Active Directory domain is not accessible. If the domain is not available and you have permissions assigned to users in the domain, VirtualCenter may fail or refuse to start completely. For more information, see Investigating Active Directory when it causes the VirtualCenter server to stop or fail to start (1003996).
    Note:  If you are using Active Directory, ensure that the VMware VirtualCenter Server service is running as the local system account and not a domain account.
  7. Verify the VMware VirtualCenter Service is running with the proper credentials. For more information, see VirtualCenter Server service cannot be started after installation (1004280) .
  8. Verify that critical folders exist on the VirtualCenter Server host. For more information, see Missing folders prevent VirtualCenter Server service from starting (1005882).

Note: If your problem still exists after trying the steps in this article, please:

Additional Information

Reviewing the vpxd log files is another common method of diagnosing the VirtualCenter Server when it does not start. By reviewing the log files, you can quickly determine the cause of the problem based on the error message reported. 

For VirtualCenter 2.5.x the log files are stored in the following directory by default:

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs

For VirtualCenter 2.0.x the log files are stored in the following directory by default:


To review the logs, open the most recent log in an editor such as Notepad, and navigate to the bottom of the file. The file contains any errors that occurs during the startup of the VirtualCenter Server service


Source: VMware

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