vCenter 5 Active Directory Web Services Error 1209

Posted on the January 27th, 2012 under Virtualization,VMware by Josh Perkins

After upgrading to vCenter 5 running on Windows Server 2008 R2 you may begin seeing an ADWS event with ID 1209 logged in the Active Directory Web Services event log within the Windows Event Viewer. This event will be logged once per minute with the following text:

“Active Directory Web Services encountered an error while reading the settings for the specified Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services instance. ¬†Active Directory Web Services will retry this operation periodically. In the mean time, this instance will be ignored. Instance name: ADAM_VMwareVCMSDS”

This event by itself is not something that should cause you to believe your vCenter installation is not working properly. Essentially what is occurring is that the VMwareVCMSDS ADAM instance does not have a valid SSL Port set within the registry. You can confirm this by browsing to the following registry location on your vCenter server:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\ADAM_VMwareVCMSDS\Parameters]

You should see that the Port SSL registry entry is either missing or does not contain a value. You can simply add the REG_DWORD value while you are already in the registry with the value of 636. Or you can use the below Microsoft approved method to add the port value.

Add ADAM_VMwareVCMSDS SSL Port Value

  1. Stop the vCenter ADAM instance within the Microsoft Services Control Panel. The service name is VMwareVCMSDS. Optionally, you simply run net stop vmwarevcmsds from an elevated command prompt.
  2. At a command prompt, type dsdbutil.
  3. Within the dsdbutil, type activate instance VMwareVCMSDS.
  4. Type SSL port 636.
  5. Type Quit.
  6. Type net start vmwarevcmsds.

Once the service starts, I highly suggest you reboot the vCenter server to allow all the vCenter services as well as the Microsoft Active Directory Web Services service to restart. If you don’t reboot the server you may encounter a fairly nondescript error message when attempting to logon using the vSphere Client until you reboot.

VMware has issued a KB for this particular issue:
Active Directory Web Services fails to read the settings for the specified Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services instance

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