VMware vCenter 5.1 SSO Installation Error 29133: Administrator login Error

Earlier this week I decided to go ahead and upgrade the vCenter in my lab from 5.0 –> 5.1. The first step of doing that is to install the new vCenter Single Sign On (SSO) component, which allows single sign on for the vCloud Suite.

Before starting with the install I glanced over the vCenter 5.1 Release Notes as well as the vSphere Upgrade Guide. Since I have never installed SSO before, the upgrade guide was helpful.

Here are the steps I took to install SSO

  • From the extracted vCenter binaries I ran the ‘autorun.exe’ as an administrator
  • I clicked Next twice > I accepted the license agreement and clicked Next
  • I chose Create the primary node for a new vCenter Single Sign On Installation > clicked Next

Figure 1.1

  • I chose Install basic vCenter Single Sign On option > clicked Next
  • Here I entered in a password and confirmed the password > clicked Next


  • I chose Use an existing support database


  • You’ll notice here it says you need to run a particular script. I am using SQL Server 2008 Express edition so I opened up <installation folder>\Single Sign On\DBScripts\SSOServer\schema
  • From there I opened up rsaIMSLiteMSSQLSetupTablespaces.sql and executed the query (this creates a database named RSA)


  • I clicked Next
  • I entered in RSA as the database name and put the FQDN for the host name
  • I left the port at the default; 1433 (if using SQL express then that isn’t the default. You need to use SQL configuration manager to change it to 1433)
  • I clicked Next


  • I made sure the FQDN was correct on the next screen and clicked Next
  • I chose to use the network service account for the security support provider interface and clicked Next
  • I left the installation folder to default and clicked Next > I left the HTTPS port to the default and clicked Next
  • I clicked Install


Everything seemed to be going just fine until I got an error while the installation was Discovering Identity Sources. The error was Error 29133. Administrator login error.


Not a super helpful error, but I did some more digging and found the installation log file which is located at c:\users\<username>\appdata\local\temp in a file named vminst.log. Here is what was at the bottom of the log

You can click OK to the message and the installation will finish, but then I got other errors during the vCenter 5.1 installation when it tries to register with the SSO service (sorry I don’t have the exact error)

Again, not super helpful, but it gave me more information to try and research to see if anyone else was having these problems. I searched Google and VMware Communities for Error 29133 or the other errors you see in the log excerpt above. I found nothing to help me.

Here are a list of some of the things I tried

  • I tried using a service account instead of the Network Service
  • I changed my SQL port from dynamic to static (port 1433)
  • I used a SQL user during the install instead of windows authentication
  • I uninstalled the old vSphere Client and the Inventory Service
  • I removed all files from my temp directory

I was at a loss and was in the middle of typing up a VMware communities discussion to see if I could get some help when I tried one last thing…

The Problem and Solution

I tried using a different password for the SSO administrator account (second image of this post). As I’m finishing the VMware communities post I realize the installation succeeded with no errors; NO WAY!

I was able to narrow it down to the caret (^) character. Whenever I used ^ in the password I would get that error. If I removed it the installation would succeed without the error. The ^ does have special meaning when used in regular expressions, but I’m not sure if the RSAUTIL script being called when the failure actually occurs is related to that

From page 63 of the vCenter upgrade guide, step 6 states

“Set the password for the vCenter Single Sign On administrator account.”

“The password must have at least eight characters, at least one lowercase character, one uppercase character, one number, and one special character.”

Nowhere in here does it state to NOT use the ^ as one of those special characters.


Once I went through the installation again and set a password that met the above requirements WITHOUT using the ^ the SSO component installed successfully, without errors. From there I was able to subsequently install the vCenter Inventory Service and then vCenter 5.1 itself.


  1. Lee Jones Lee Jones
    September 15, 2012    

    Thanks for the post, I have had the same issue using “*” characters in the password!

    VMWare need to release a patch!

  2. Luke Luke
    September 17, 2012    

    Nice work!

    I know in the database scripts, it says you cannot use certain characters. I wonder if it fails when accessing the database because of this special character.

    Just a thought…

  3. Weave Weave
    September 23, 2012    

    Add & to the forbidden list, which is how I ended up here 🙁

    For the record, a period “.” works.

    So changing the password worked for me and the installer went past that point, but now I’m getting an error “Error 20010.Failed to configure LookupService.” Checked the release notes and other places, so far nothing applies, and I’ve tried everything I can think of.

    Very buggy installer. I’m just going to drop the idea of upgrading to 5.1 until they come out with fixes.

  4. Weave Weave
    September 23, 2012    

    Just as a followup to above other error I got. Turned out it was because I precreated the RSA_* users but didn’t also do the lookup service table create. I ended up just unlocking my sa account and feeding the credentials for it into the installer and all went well.

    Thanks so much for this blog post. That password thing is horrible but this post saved me a lot of anguish!

  5. September 26, 2012    

    Nice one ^_^

  6. Shaun Clarke Shaun Clarke
    October 14, 2012    

    If it helps anyone, here is a link to a KB article on the issue from VMware


  7. Cam Owen Cam Owen
    October 16, 2012    

    Error code 29133 was listed with this post. I had error code 20031 and different message, but changing password as described in this post fixed my problem.

  8. Cesar Contreras Cesar Contreras
    December 12, 2012    

    HOLY SH!T!!! really vmware. I was pulling my hair out! Thanks everyone!

  9. Chris Chris
    March 30, 2013    

    FYI — I had a password set for the Service Account under which I wanted to run SSO with special characters. I had this same problem.

    After regenerating the password for the domain account, without special characters, the install went without a hitch. Thanks guys!

    • March 31, 2013    

      Awesome, good to hear you got through the install.

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