vSphere Upgrade: vCenter Crashed: Transaction log for database full

I came back from EMCworld 2011 and found that my vCenter server had crashed while I was away.  This is a fairly uncommon issue so how do you debug such things:

  1. Attempt to restart the vCenter server
  2. If that fails look at

Inside, this log if showed me the following message near the end:

“Transaction log for database ???? is full. To find out why space in the log cannot be reused….”

This was the culprit and pointed me to my MSSQL server. A quick search showed me the following site: http://www.rivnet.ro/2010/04/fix-transaction-log-for-database-vim_vcdb-is-full-errors.html, which had a possible solution, in an attempt to solve the problem using this method, I was given an error message about being out of disk space. Ah-ha! Okay, I should have looked at the disk space for the MSSQL server first. To increase the diskspace I did the following within the VMware vSphere Client directly connected to the host:

  1. Navigate to the MSSQL server VM
  2. Select the SCSI drive associated with the location of the MSSQL data (in my case the only drive)
  3. Increase the drive size of the SCSI driver while the VM is running
  4. Log into the Guest OS of the VM using RDP or remote desktop
  5. Launch Cmd.exe
  6. Inside Cmd.exe run the command ‘diskpart’
  7. Issue the ‘rescan’ command
  8. Exit Diskpart
  9. Enter Start->Administrative Tools ->Computer Management
  10. Navigate to Disk Management
  11. Select the C: Partition
  12. Right Click on the MSSQL Data Partition and Select Extend Volume
  13. Extend the MSSQL Data partition to include the amount newly allocated for the partition
  14. Go back and launch vCenter

14 Simple steps to fix a vCenter problem. These steps only work if you are using Windows 2008 however. For WIndows 2003 you may have to reboot the box and use other technology to extend the MSSQL data partition. If your data partition is a separate Windows drive, then you can make this second drive a Dynamic Disk and just expand the Drive via the Dynamic Disk mechanism. So my revised steps to debug are:

  1. Attempt to restart vCenter
  2. Review  C:ProgramDataVMwareVMware VirtualCenterLogsvpxd-####, where #### is some 4 digit number in my case, for errors
  3. Look at Drive space on your database server VM/host, as you could be out.
Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

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