Troubleshoot: VMware VirtualCenter Server service cannot start automatically and manually

Problem
An user forgot the domain user password for SQL and Vcenter server; reset the password of the domain users. Unable to login to vcenter server with vsphere client, vsphere client said connection fail despite correct domain user credential was used to login.

Finding the clues to the cause
1. From vcenter server (vc.cyruslab.local), two services were not started namely VMware VirtualCenter Server and VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (This service can only be started after VirtualCenter server is started). These services should start automatically after successfully login to the domain.

2. User attempted to start the VMware VirtualCenter Server manually, however encountered an error that the services could not be started because of failed logon.

Right click VMware VirtualCenter Server service and choose properties. Click on Log On tab and manually type in the new password.

Right click VMware VirtualCenter Server service and choose properties. Click on Log On tab and manually type in the new password.

Do the same for this service.

Do the same for this service.

User then happily tried to start VirtualCenter Server again, however encountered another error:

Windows could not start the VMware VirtualCenter Server on Local Computer. For more information, review the System Event Log. If this is a non-Microsoft service, contact the service vendor, and refer to service-specific error code 2.

3. vc.cyruslab.local was Windows 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit OS, user checked vxpd.log from the path C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs, found the following messages

Section for VMware VirtualCenter, pid=2316, version=4.1.0, build=build-258902, option=Release
[2013-05-07 00:18:33.023 02692 info 'App'] Current working directory: C:\Windows\system32
[2013-05-07 00:18:33.023 02692 info 'App'] Log path: C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs
[2013-05-07 00:18:33.023 02692 info 'App'] Initializing SSL
[2013-05-07 00:18:33.023 02692 info 'Libs'] Using system libcrypto, version 9080CF
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.645 02692 info 'App'] Vmacore::InitSSL: doVersionCheck = true, handshakeTimeoutUs = 120000000
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] Starting VMware VirtualCenter 4.1.0 build-258902
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] Log directory: C:\Users\vc_admin\AppData\Local\VMwarevpx.
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] Account name: vc_admin
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] Total virtual memory available for the process 8589934464 KB
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxOsLayer] Enabled low-frag process heap.

[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxOsLayer] Enabled low-frag crt heap.

[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:782] Calling: InfoDeclSchema(gDB)
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:784] Calling: VpxCallbackDesc::Init(MakeFunctor(this, &ServerApp::RequestShutdown))
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:785] Calling: VpxCryptInit()
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:786] Calling: VpxLRO::Init()
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:787] Calling: VpxLroList::Init(ltud)
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxLRO] 512 max LROs
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxLRO] 12 reserved internal LROs
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxLRO] 12 reserved blocker LROs
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxLRO] 12 reserved short LROs
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxLRO] 8 reserved long LROs
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [VpxLRO] 600-second task lifetime
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:788] Calling: VpxdCharacterizeThreadpool(ltud)
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:789] Calling: VpxdCertificate_Load(gDB, CERTIFICATE_VMDBPATH )
[2013-05-07 00:18:34.661 02692 info 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init:790] Calling: VpxdVdb::Init(VpxdVdb::GetVdb(), false, false)
[2013-05-07 00:18:55.799 02692 error 'App'] ODBC error: (08001) - [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0]Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL Server [2]. 
[2013-05-07 00:18:55.799 02692 error 'App'] Error getting configuration info from the database
[2013-05-07 00:18:55.799 02692 error 'App'] [Vpxd::ServerApp::Init] Init failed: VpxdVdb::Init(VpxdVdb::GetVdb(), false, false)
[2013-05-07 00:18:55.799 02692 warning 'VpxProfiler'] ServerApp::Init took 21138 ms
[2013-05-07 00:18:55.799 02692 error 'App'] Failed to intialize VMware VirtualCenter. Shutting down...
[2013-05-07 00:18:55.799 02692 info 'App'] Forcing shutdown of VMware VirtualCenter now

From the log it says vcenter cannot open the SQL database to check the configuration, user decided to test the connection from vc.cyruslab.local to remote SQL server connection.

4. Testing the remote SQL server connection from local machine:
From Administrative tools select Data Sources (ODBC).

Select System DSN tab.

Select System DSN tab.

Then Click Configure button.

Then Click Configure button.

Click next button.

Click next button.

Click Next button again.

Click Next button again.

SQL server could not be connected. This could mean either SQL was unreachable or SQL service was stopped.

SQL server could not be connected. This could mean either SQL was unreachable or SQL service was stopped.

5. User used remote desktop and could remotely connected to sql.cyruslab.local, this showed that at least connection between vc.cyruslab.local and sql.cyruslab.local existed; it could be SQL service was not started. User open SQL server configuration manager.

MS SQL service was stopped.

MS SQL service was stopped.

User attempted to start the service manually but could not, so user right click SQL Server and select properties.

Manually type in the new password for the domain user account.

Manually type in the new password for the domain user account.

Happy Ending
After the new password was inserted, SQL server could be started. User attempted to start
VMware VirtualCenter Server, it was successful! Then user attempted to start VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices which was also successful. User then use vsphere client to login.
VCENTER-2013-05-07-02-00-20

VCENTER-2013-05-07-02-02-12

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