vSphere Virtual Center service starts and then stops again

Recently I upgraded vSphere 4.0 to 4.1. Therefore, I first backed up the vCenter data, configured a new Windows Server 2008 R2 server, and then used install.bat to install vCenter 4.1 with all the data from the old server.

After only a couple of hours, I could not connect to my Virtual Center server anymore. When I tried to login, the following error occured:

vSPhere Client could not connect to “servername”. A connection failure occurred (Unable to connect to the remote server)


I found out that my Virtual Center service was stopped. When I clicked Start, it was started for a few seconds and then stopped again. In the event viewer, I found the following error:

Log Name:      Application
Source:        MSSQL$SQLEXP_VIM
Date:          3-9-2010 0:22:51
Event ID:      9002
Task Category: (2)
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      vcenter server 1
The transaction log for database ‘VIM_VCDB’ is full. To find out why space in the log cannot be reused, see the log_reuse_wait_desc column in sys.databases

To solve this problem, I did the following:

  1. Logon locally on the virtual center server
  2. Open SQL Server Management Studio 2005 Express (this is the management studio for sql express editions. If you haven’t installed it yet, download it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C243A5AE-4BD1-4E3D-94B8-5A0F62BF7796 )
  3. Expand Databases. Right-click on VIM_VCDB and choose Properties.
  4. On the left side of the Properties Window, click Options and then choose Recovery Model “Simple”. Click OK to Save
  5. Right-click VIM_VCDB again, choose Tasks –> Shrink –> Files
  6. In the Shrink File screen, choose File Type “Log”. Make sure “Release unused space” is checked. Press OK to shrink the current log files
  7. Start the Virtual Center service from your Windows Services

The transaction logs will now not grow endlessly anymore.

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Scott C

This is an excellent write up! I had the same exact issue and this fixed it. Thanks!

Maarten K

Briljant. Fixed my problem. After the migration from 4.0 to 4.1.



A day after migrating vCenter from 4.0 to 4.1 SQL 2005 had the same error.

This fixed it right away. Thank you!

Jeff Wiedemann

Thanks, I too had similar problem. I had upgraded from 4.0 to 4.1 and migrated database data to a new Window XP x64 workstation. Completed on Tuesday and by Friday night was getting out of space on database. I followed the same cours of action as listed above.

Pitch Balch

me too, same problem, 20 days after migration on windows 7 x64 (not officially supported from Vmware):your solution resolved and Vcenter server started again.


Hi, thank you for this tip!


Glad I found this topic….it worked!! Thanks


Thanx it worked like a charm..

Imran Qamar

Thanks, It worked like charm.
Thanks you saved contractor cost


But, what should be done if ESX 4.1 is being used bare metal.



Had the same issue, and not sure why without any chnages in the Vcenter server.. but finding saved my time..

thanks a ton


Awesome! you are the man.


venceter 5.1 same issue got it. how to fix?

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