Windows Server 2012 R2 preparation before vCenter Server 5.5 installation

This is a blog post dedicated to some of the steps you need to complete before installing vCenter Server 5.5 U1 on a Windows Server 2012 R2 machine. Since i have written one or more of the below described actions several times in emails to customers i thought it was a good idea to create a blog post about it.

Before you can successfully install all the vCenter Server you need to e.g. prepare an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) between the Windows Server 2012 R2 and the database/databases, install .Net Framework 3.5 which is not installed by default in Windows Server 2012 R2 and depending on the database settings you might need to change the MSSQL (if using MSSQL) user password/passwords.

There are other things to prepare as well including, but not limited to, e.g. local user account but that will not be covered in this blog post.

You can of course create e.g. a PowerCLI script that takes care of the 3 below steps and i’ll put such a script together in the near future and update the blog post.


The vCenter Server installation PDF , page 32, says that the SQL Server Native Client 10.0 minimum version must be “2009.100.4000.00” and this one can be really tricky to find. Well you can always use a later one if you want. The one you can download from one of the places at Microsofts homepage this link is version 2009.100.1600.01. Well i guess you can also use the SQL Native Client version 11.

What you need to do, as far as i know, to get the exact version, 2009.100.4000.00, mentioned in the vCenter Server installation PDF  is the following:

  • Download Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 SP2 – Express Edition via this URL
  • Start the .exe file so the installation files are unpacked.
  • Located the sqlncli.msi which ic the actual ODBC driver package. In my case it was located in directory:
    Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 20.09.13
  • Right click the file and select Install

When completed you got the SQL Server Native Client 10.0 version 2009.100.4000.00 installed and can successfully create the ODBC connection/connections, for vCenter Server and maybe for vSphere Update Manager, you need before starting the vCenter Server (and vSphere Update Manager) installation/installations.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 20.04.36

.Net Framework 3.5

I use the command line option when installing the .Net Framework 3.5 Windows Server 2012 R2 Feature and the command line prompt is open using the “Run as administrator” option.

Use the following command to perform the installation:

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /all /Source:z:sourcessxs /LimitAccess

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 23.10.28

I mounted the installation ISO to z: drive in the above example.


A few of my customers have the MSSQL policy which requires the MSSQL user must to change its password when accessing the database for the first time. Instead of changing the password you can turn the policy off for the vCenter Server MSSQL user and vSphere Update Manager MSSQL users by running the below command.
Change the red text to your specific values.

USE Master

You can off course just connect to the database/databases with the vCenter Server MSSQL user and vSphere Update Manager user one time before the installation and change the password.

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