When vCenter updates go wrong...

Yesterday I tried to update our demo vCenter to the new vCenter 4u1 version. Normally updating vCenter is a next next finish process. Except of course this time ;)

When I tried to install the update it started complaining about the already installed components. This shouldn't be a problem because the installer can detect the components and update them. I clicked next, next and the installer seem to install ok. After some time the installer stopped and stated something like "Installer interrupted , update not successfully". No worries I thought, I'll just run it again. Well same problem again...

Trying to restart the service failed. Running vpxd with the -s parameter showed that there was something corrupt in the LDAP installation. Still okay i thought. Lets remove vcenter and reinstall it again because all the data is in the database anyway.

Removing via add/remove software = a no go. Rerunning the installer and choosing the remove option = a no go. Both error-ed with the same message "Install was interrupted, removal was not successful".

So I was trapped in not being able to remove the software or to reinstall. Googling the errors did not yield any solutions so only one thing left. Lets remove as much from the installation so that the installer doesn't know about "the current" installation.

First was deleting enough registry entries
-Following http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314481, I deleted the keys related to vcenter to remove the entry in add/remove programs.
-After removing the keys described in the kb, the entry was still in add/remove programs so I found some keys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products related to vCenter. Removing them removed the add/remove programs entries.

Rerunning the installer still gave me errors about the webapp being active and the java already being installed but no longer available so I continued

I removed the following software
-All vmware related software (orchestrator, update manager, ...) except for the vmware tools and ofcouse vcenter
-Sun java
-Adam database

I removed all entries in
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Vmware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter

Finally i deleted everything in "program files\Vmware" and "Documents and settings\all users\application data\vmware" related to virtual center (virtual infrastructure).

Reinstalling by using the same database worked as a jiffy. Afterwards I could login on vCenter. My hosts where in disconnected state. I reconnected the hosts one by one to the cluster and reconfigured HA on each of them and bang, we were back up and running.