VirtualCenter Server will not start

Was working one minute…now its not! Welcome to the wonderful world of Windows Updates. I’m assuming this was broken by the unattended installation of Server 2008 R2 SP1 through our environment or some KB update prior.

It all started with this error when I tried to log into VCenter Server:

“vSphere Client could not connect to ‘{machine name}’ A connection failure occurred (Unable to connect to the remote server)”

After investigating this, I determined the VMware VirtualCenter Server Service was not running. However, trying to start it produced an Event 7000, Service Control Manager “The VMware VirtualCenter Server service failed to start due to the following error: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.”

After contacting VMware support, their suggestion was to uninstall and reinstall. Which frankly, is their answer to 90% of any issues – very frustrating for what has to be one of the most expensive OS support contracts out there. While this didn’t directly fix the problem, uninstalling and reinstalling produced this error:

The following port numbers are either invalid or already in use.
VMware VirtualCenter HTTPS Port: 443

As it turned out, Routing and Remote Services now employs SSTP protocol. That feature produces a listener on 80 and/or 443. I’m not sure if this was introduced when we did the Service Pack or when. But nevertheless, selecting RRAS>PORTS>WAN Miniport (SSTP) Configure, and disabling “Remote access connections (inbound only)”

For reference, here is the knowledge bulletin I eventually used to troubleshoot:

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