Upgrading to vCenter server 4.0 update 1 or vcenter server 4.1 fails

Last Friday I did upgrade vCenter from vSphere 4.0 to vSphere 4.1 U1. During upgrade I had to solve an issue which I saw for the very first time. In the middle of upgrade error appeared :

unable to delete vctomcat service

Few minutes of “googling” and I’d found that error was cause by tomcat which didn’t shutdown in timely manner. VMware KB provides solution: to solve it you have to reboot server where your vCenter is installed. If you wanna avoid this particular problem, Windows registry has to be modify as follows:

  1. Click Start > Run, type regedit, and click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesvctomcatParameters

  3. Right-click the Parameters folder and click New.
  4. Add the following (DWORD) registry values:Value Name: WaitHintStart
    Value: <Time to wait for service to start in milliseconds>

    Value Name: WaitHintStop
    Value: <Time to wait for service to stop in milliseconds>

  5. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 for the vpxd service. The registry key is located at:


VMware KB doesn’t provide exact value for DWORD registry , I set 10000 ms (10 seconds) which should be more than enough for tomcat to shutdown properly.

Here you can find source VMware KB article: KB1016655

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).