After the update of vCenter it could happen that the service don’t starts. In vpxd.log the following error appears “Database version id ‘<ID>’ is incompatible”.

VMware describes the error with:
A vCenter server upgrade can fail for variety of reasons

Those “variety” reasons could be the following:

kb.vmware.com (1003903)

  • Minimum system requirements not reached
  • Known problems written in the release notes
  • Integrity of installation media(…ugh sorry?)
  • Status of database server (transaction log full; heavily fragmented…)

kb.vmware.com (1031719)

  • Database was restored by an older version of vCenter and the old schema is not compatible with the new version of vCenter.
  • The installation process generated an error.

The last KB article describes nearly the failure which I’ve had found.

Our vCenter database was moved from one SQL to another. In this migration the user and database roles were not moved too.

The vpxuser had the dbo role but not the VMW schema set per as default. Additional the user had no rights in the msdb database.
After an upgrade of vCenter you could identify the error by looking in the tableview of the database. You will find all tables of both schemas (dbo and VMW)

I’ve had rolled back the installation of vCenter (puhh snapshot :) ) and restored the SQL database.

In the next step I run the following SQL script (you can find it in the documentationpubs.vmware.com) which corrects the roles and rights on SQL server (remove DBOwner for vpxuser before you run the script!):

After that the update of vCenter runs like a charm.