vCenter 6.7 Upgrade failing during pre-checks on Stage 2. [Internal Error]

Magic quick fix button

While doing a standard vCenter appliance upgrade from 6.0GA to 6.7U3, I ran into some weird issues.  The deployment of the new appliance in Stage 1 went smoothly (which makes sense since it’s just deploying a new VM) but when it was time to actually move to the migration and upgrading of data (during stage 2), the wizard was kicking back errors preventing me from continuing.

I forgot to grab a screenshot of the error but the text was the following:
“Internal error occurs during vSphere ESX Agent Manager pre-upgrade checks”

After some digging around (and a call with VMware tech support), we were able to resolve the issue.   The logs (and error message) indicated an issue with the ESX Agent Manager Service on the source vCenter.  We were able to confirm that the service was indeed stopped by running the following command:

service-control --status –all

This command will spit out a bunch of service related information but the relevant part was at the end which confirmed that the service was stopped.

vmware-eam (VMware ESX Agent Manager)

From here, we followed the KB article (KB50113982) to properly recreate the file.

We could then restart the service using service-control –start vmware-eam and then proceed with stage 2.

The fixed worked perfectly.  I have done tons of these appliance upgrades without issue and I think the situation that triggered this one was due to preforming the upgrade first on the 6.0GA version.  This one failed pretty quickly which prompted me to upgrade the source to 6.0U3.  Somewhere because of that first failed upgrade and then the point release upgrade, the system was in an unknown or unvetted situation for the upgrade scripts.  Specifically in regards to that file.  Once that situation was baselined to something normal again, the upgrade went by without issue.

Happy upgrading!