Tuesday, February 9, 2016

vCenter 6 multi site installation error

First vCenter was a VCSA embedded and I was careful with DNS so everything went all right.

Second vCenter was a Windows embedded that had to join the SSO domain and setup a new site.

Got the error:

failed to run vdcpromoon the top part of the error: "install.vmafd.vmdir_vdcpromo_error"

Sean Whitney's post is the only help I found from a Google Search on such an error (and yes, the installation with the generic error 1603 he mentions)


The path where I saw logs was C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\logs though, and they only persisted until the zip file was done bundling up.

I ruled out:

1) that my SSO password had a ! sign, changed it to a @ - it still happened, so that wasn't it... it sounded weird since we've used VMware1! in VMware labs forever...

2) In my second try I got a message that said this windows VM and the VCSA were off by 22 seconds

Thanks to Google I found the commands to check NTP from the VCSA console

Command> ntp.test --server time.windows.com
   Status: red
         Message: Failed to reach 'time.windows.com'.

         Result: failure

well well - let's change that

Command> ntp.server.delete --server time.windows.com
Command> ntp.server.add --server 0.pool.ntp.org
Command> ntp.test --server 0.pool.ntp.org
   Status: green
         Message: '0.pool.ntp.org' is reachable.
         Result: success
Command> ntp.get
   Status: Up
   Servers: 0.pool.ntp.org

I went to my PDC and updated the time server to match the NTP server

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:0.pool.ntp.org /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

and rebooted the PDC - system event logs confirm it's now syncing to this server.

I cancelled the installation, rebooted the vCenter and tried again.

Now it complans i'm off by 16 seconds. Ayayayayay. Then I got it differs by 5 seconds.

I'm pissed by now.

Let's try to get this VCSA to sync directly from the lone PDC - I can't make it faster than my freaking LAN.

on the PDC, if you hadn't already, make sure it's a reliable time server:

w32tm /config /reliable:yes

On the VCSA - enough with the niceties, give me the shell, set the server in /etc/ntp.conf and stop and start the ntp service, then check with ntpq -p like Ganesh does here to make sure everything is working as intended.

And it didn't complain this time. It went smoothly until completion.

So that big error was really a NTP error.

If that's not a gotcha, I don't know what is!


  1. Dude I had so many errors trying to upgrade from 5.1 to 6.0u1b and I went through Seans blog post with a fine comb and still random errors, sometimes itd work sometimes it would. Eventually after harassing support senior tech confirmed it was a known issue with v6. Left me with no choice but to upgrade to 5.5u3b instead !

  2. being honest with you, for a big change like that (v5 to v6) I would have a new vCenter :D great moment to move to VCSA if you haven't

  3. Hi Ariel, got your site from vExpert group and found much useful information here. Haven't upgraded to 6.0u1 yet but keep it on mind when I do. Thanks!

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  5. nice article great post comment information thanks for sharing.