Before you perform an upgrade to vCenter Server on a 64-bit machine, you can optionally detach the VirtualCenter 2.x database from the source machine and attach it to the destination machine. This is an alternative to the backup and restore operation.

Consult your database administrator or see your database documentation about detaching and attaching databases.

The machine with the VirtualCenter 2.x database is referred to as the source machine. The machine on which the vCenter Server 4.0 database will reside is referred to as the destination machine.

Take a full backup of the database.

You must have a VirtualCenter 2.x system running with a local or remote Microsoft SQL Server database.

You must have Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio installed on the source machine and the destination machine. The Express versions (SQLServer2005_SSMSEE.msi and SQLServer2005_SSMSEE_x64.msi) are free downloads from Microsoft.


On the source machine, stop the VirtualCenter service.


Selecting Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > VMware VirtualCenter Server.


Right-click VMware VirtualCenter Server and select Stop.


In the SQL Server Management Studio, open the Databases directory, right-click the VirtualCenter 2.x database, and select Tasks > Detach.


Select the database and click OK.


When the detach operation is complete, copy the data files (.mdf and .ldf) to the destination machine's database folder.

By default, the database folder is C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data.


In SQL Server Management Studio on the destination machine, right-click the Databases directory and select Attach.


Select the .mdf file that you copied to the destination machine's database folder and click OK.

The database from the source machine is attached to the destination machine.

See As indicated in Knowledge Base article 1004382, detaching and attaching the vCenter Server database to a different Microsoft SQL Server does not copy over the vCenter Server specific SQL Agent daily, weekly, and monthly rollup jobs. Therefore, in KB 1004382, see "verifying the existence of jobs and removing them."

See Upgrade to vCenter Server on a Different Machine. This information applies when you migrate vCenter Server to a different machine. For example, because the hardware is being decommissioned or the operating system is no longer supported because of an upgrade.