Upgrading vCenter Server to 4.1 fails with the error: boolean storageIORMSupported

I had the following issue when upgrading vCenter from 4.0 to 4.1. Whilst the database upgrade and install appeared to complete successfully, the vCenter service would not start once the install was complete.

In the vpxd.log located at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VirtualCenter\logs, you see errors similar to:

[2010-07-27 13:42:26.837 03204 error ‘App’] [VpxdMain] Failed to initialize: Not initialized: boolean storageIORMSupported [2010-07-27 13:42:26.837 03204 error ‘App’] Failed to intialize VMware VirtualCenter. Shutting down… [2010-07-27 13:43:17.509 03204 info ‘App’] Forcing shutdown of VMware VirtualCenter now

This issue seems to be well known on the communities site and is a bug in the install which should be fixed in a later release. It particular it seems to affect those running vCenter 4.1 in Windows Server 2008 R2, which is quite a common OS people migrate to as part of a 4.1 upgrade because of the 64bit requirement of vCenter 4.1.

Until the updated release comes out there is a workaround using dbuHelper.exe to make a change to the database that will then allow the vCenter service to start - it is documented in this KB article.

Important: Before starting this process you should take another backup of your vCenter database, in addition to the one taken before the initial upgrade.

Once downloaded you need to determine the following parameters to run with dbuHelper.exe


These parameters should be easy to find: <DB_DSN> <DB_USERNAME> <DB_PASSWORD>

<DB_VERSION> can be found with the following SQL query:

select ver_id from vpx_version

If upgrading to 4.1 and you are stuck at this point then you should get a value of 410 returned:

So you can now run dbuHelper:

dbuHelper.exe 410 DSNname Username password

Once successfully complete you should be able to start the vCenter service.


Note: for some great resources on upgrading vCenter to 4.1 check out Gregg Robertson’s page.

Update 11/02/2011:

This is fixed in vCenter 4.1 U1; from the release notes:

  • After an upgrade to vCenter Server 4.1, vCenter Server fails to start and issues an error message

    When this issue occurs, the following error message is logged in the vpxd.log file:

    Failed to initialize: Not initialized: boolean storageIORMSupported

    This issue is resolved in this release.