Gotcha: Upgrading vCenter 4.1 to 5.0 With Oracle 11gR2 May Need Client Patch

This is going to be the shortest article ever but needs to be written.  If you are running the Oracle 11gR2 client on your vCenter 4.1 Server with Windows 2008 R2, you may need a patch in order to upgrade the vCenter database during a 4.1 to 5.0 upgrade.  The Oracle download site only lists 11gR2 ( for the latest client.  However there is a REQUIRED patch that you need for the installer to upgrade the database for vCenter Server 5.0.  There is also a requirement for the database version as well listed in This VMware Knowledge base. I suggest you read it VERY closely as the Oracle versions are very specific as I learned this week they are listed in the bottom of the article.

You will know if you need this patch especially if you get errors like this in the In the VCDatabaseUpgrade.log:

Info: Beginning upgrade process....
Info: vCenter_DB has been detected as an Oracle server.
Error in InitVersion(): Got exception: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow.
Error in GetDataseSpace(): Got exception: Arithmetic operation resulted in an overflow.
Initialize failed, exiting...

Simply put, the patch version required on the Client is Oracle 11g R2 64-bit with patch 5 (9966926).  Again this will NOT show up on the public download site.  A user with Oracle support is the only one that can obtain this.  There is also an Oracle 11g R2 32-bit with patch 5 (9966925) for you’re vCenter Update Manager connection.  These patches are applied manually to the Windows 2008 R2 machines running the client ( for vCenter and/or Update Manager to connect to the Database by using the following instructions.  These are what I captured to the best of my knowledge from the team onsite driving while I was watching the WebEx.

Steps to patch Oracle 11gR2 Client

  1. Download the Patch from Oracle Support
  2. The best option is to apply the patch in safe mode. (during windows boot press F8 and select boot with command prompt.)
  3. Set the ORACLE_HOME environment variable (>set ORACLE_HOME=<Oracle Home Path>
  4. Change directory where you downloaded the patch (cd 9966926)
  5. While in the patch directory run the command “c:<Oracle Client Install Directory>OPatch.bat apply”
  6. Make sure you see successful message in the command prompt
  7. Reboot the machine ( To make sure all the service restarts)

Once the Oracle Client is patched (Assuming a DBA has patched the server), you should be able to complete the installation.  I hope this helps others running vCenter with Oracle from getting a headache.  Other detailed instructions for patching the clients are located in the patch itself, but this was the key to a couple long days.  Also be sure to following the installation/upgrade guides and check the Oracle GRANT permissions before starting that they have everything needed or you will run into issues mid database upgrade.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Man, you saved me! I was stucked and this information I needed. I am trying to update and I am with out VMware support.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Thanks this helps on one site, as I now understand why I can’t upgrade the customers system (seperate Oracle DB for VMware). But also states I can postpone the upgrade by at least one week as the DBA which has MetaLink Access is on holiday…

    Why does Oracle provide everything for download except patches… Anyway, maybe we get hold of there DBA, but that is a different story 🙂

  3. Got the same issue while upgrading from 4.1u2 to 5.1.0b.
    Update Oracle client to did the trick !

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