VM Junkie

July 26, 2010

vCenter 4.1 upgrades & the LocalSystem account

Filed under: Uncategorized — Justin Emerson @ 8:24 am

Greeting everyone. Been very busy preparing for a technical conference my company is putting on, but I thought I’d post on one of the issue’s I’ve come across in the lab.
When upgrading a vCenter 4 server to vCenter 4.1, you aren’t given the option of selecting the LocalSystem account because the installer forces it to be the currently logged-on account. This broke my first upgrade of vCenter and I had to roll back.

There have been some recommendations on the forum to simply change the account type back to LocalSystem afterwards, however I thought my solution was slightly more elegant: run the installer as LocalSystem. This is more difficult than it sounds. In each MS release Microsoft has made it a bit harder to do this (the trick using the “at” command doesn’t work anymore, nor does the Scheduled Task trick). The easiest way it turns out is to use PsTools from SysInternals. To launch the vCenter 4.1 installer as LocalSystem, run the following:

psexec -i -s D:\autorun.exe

(where autorun.exe is the installer shell on the vCenter CD)

Note you must run psexec from a UAC elevated prompt. You can substitute any command you want at the end there, but it’s recommended to launch the installers from the autorun screen.


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