Upgrade to vCenter 6.0 did not migrate SQL to PostgreSQL

After an upgrade from vCenter 5.5 to 6.0U1 everything looks fine but the vCenter DB was still running in a SQL Express instance. Because this is an unsupported configuration it has to be fixed.

This is a designed behavior when you changed vCenter Server login to SQL Express from a Windows account to a SQL Server account. But this was not the case. What caused this problem was that vCenter was migrated from 5.0 to 5.5 to a different host. Therefore SQL instance was migrated too. Therefore two entries in Windows registry showed that this was not a bundled installation of SQL Express.

So when your DB is not migrated to PostgreSQL during upgrade, check the following:


  • HKLM\Software\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DbServerType
    should be set to “Bundled”
  • HKLM\Software\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter\DbInstanceName
    should show the SQL instance name. Default in bundled installation: VIM_SQLEXP

SQL configuration

  • Check vCenter that connects to DB using a Windows account. To do so, look at DSN configuration.
  • To get more even sure DB will be migrated, set SQL authentication to Windows authentication

Start Upgrade

  • Do not use autostart of DVD, instead right-click autostart.exe and run as administrator
  • When the upgrade is about to migrate to PostgreSQL, you should see a pop-up that shows a message like:
    Warning: Your Microsoft SQL Express database will be migrated to VMware vPostgres.

Post Upgrade

  • The Setup Completed window should include a message that states the migrated DB.

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