VMware VirtualCenter 5.5 Server service fails to start with the error: The password for user account ‘username’ has expired

Thought this may come handy for people who are planning for either an upgrade or migration from older version of vSphere to the latest 5.5, so sharing this scenario:


When you try to connect to vCenter using the vsphere client, you get the following:



The vCenter Server service is not running and will not start after the default restart attempts due to the vcenter_user account password has expired. In your vCenter Server, you may notice the following error in windows event viewer > Application logs:

Note: You can find the error logs in the vpxd.log as well.



Go (RDP) to your vCenter SQL database server, launch and login to the SQL Management Studio. Follow the below steps to uncheck the option Enforce Password Expiration.

  • Browse to Security > Logins and select the account being used by the VirtualCenter Server service to connect to the vCenter database.


  • Right-click the account and select Properties to view its Login Properties.
  • Select the General page.
  • Deselect Enforce password expiration. The password for the account is no longer expired.


  • Exit from the SQL management utility.
  • Start the VMware VirtualCenter Server service.
  • Post correction, application log under Windows Event viewer should show the below messages:
Login succeeded for user 'vcenter_user'. Connection made using SQL Server authentication. [CLIENT:]

Reference VMWare KB article : 1012498


About cloudray

Predominantly based around Virtualization, but will include other technology related information and anything else I find interesting and feel the need to share with you. I also use this Blog as both a place to store useful information that I think that will come in handy to me at some point in the future, and also a place to help aid my learning. I find a great way to learn about something is to research about it and then write it up in my own words. I'm Pushpal Ray, from India. As a certified VCP3/4/5 professional, I am currently working as an Independent Consultant. Over 10 years of IT-industry experience, currently focused around the Desktop Virtualization(End-User Computing). I also have extensive experience in Windows Administration, Datacenter Migration, Workload profiling & benchmarking. At my leisure, I enjoy hiking, running, photography, spend hours in my fav coffee shop & spend quality time with my wife. Occasionally, catch up with few friends for a drink!
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