vCenterTroubleshooting techniques

vCenter service won't start:
What is more frustrating than not having your vCenter service not working?  Where do you start?
I found that a few quick and handy techniques to quickly getting the primary management interface up and running.  Some of these will be basic for the experienced admin's out there but it is also an easy reminder on the steps in case you forget.
  • First things first check if the vSphere vCenter server machine is up.  Ping, RPCPing, remote connect.  However you can quickly check based on your network policy.
  • Check if the database server that vCenter connects to is up and running.
These are the quickest and easiest troubleshooting aspects and are the cause of most of the issues.  Verified that the vCenter server is up and running, what next.
  • Logon to the vCenter server and verify that the vCenter Service is up and running.
    • In powershell:
Get-Service -ComputerName 'the vCenter Computer Name' | where {$_.DisplayName -match "VMware"}
    • The vCenter Service is named vpxd.  So if it is stopped type in Powershell ON the vCenter server (remote starting of services through cmdlet start-service requires that you be logged in locally):
start-service -Name vpxd 
    •  Make sure to check that the vCenter Service remains running.  If there is a database issue the service will start and stop.
  • If the service will not start try running the service in standalone mode.
    • go to the c:\program files\vmware\infrastructure\VirtualCenter Server\ folder within powershell or cmd.exe window
    • Type vpxd.exe -s
    • This attempts to start the vCenter service and outputs all logging to the stdout or to the command line.  
    • Follow the logging / debug information to help determine what the issue is.
  • Check ODBC connections (SQLServer only)
    • c:\windows\system32\odbcad32.exe
    • select SystemDSN --> Select the vCenter Database and click configure
    • Next --> Reenter the password for the database --> Next
    • Next Again and Finish
    • Click Test Data Source
    • You should get a TESTS COMPLETE SUCCESSFULLY
      • If Not talk to your DBA or investigate further why your SQL Server is not communicating.
  • Last Resort Reboot your vCenter server and call VMware support as they may have an alternate solution than reinstalling vCenter
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