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Update Manager won’t recognize System DSN April 7, 2011

Posted by General Zod in Tech, VMware.

So today, I took the first step towards upgrading my VMware environment from vSphere 4.0 to 4.1  Namely, I built a new VM that will eventually replace my existing vCenter server, and I installed Windows 2008 R2 Standard 64-bit upon it.  Then, I threw on the SQL 2008 64-bit ODBC drivers, configured the System DSN, and set about installing vCenter as well.  Everything went grand, but then…

I configured another System DSN for Update Manager and proceeded to try that install on the same server.  Well… I hit a wall.  Stepping through the Update Manager installation, I eventually reached the “Database Options” 32b_system_dsn_errorscreen where you select the appropriate System DSN.  The pull-down did not display the new System DSN as I’d expected, and any attempt to “force it” resulted in an error message that reads as:

The DSN, ‘<system dsn>’ does not exist or is not a 32-bit system DSN.  Update Manager requires a 32 bit system DSN.

WTF?  I knew that vCenter was going 64-bit… so I guess I just assumed that Update Manager was going 64-bit as well… but wait.  It did, didn’t it???

It seems that Update Manager is a 32-bit application that only works with Windows XP Pro SP2 64-bit, Windows 2003 SP1 64-bit, and Windows 2008 64-bit.  So it’s 32-bit software that will only work with a 64-bit operating system.  That sounds hinky… and obviously, I’m still missing something.

After much research, I finally came upon an article on sqlcoffee.com that provided the answer.  Apparently, when you’re using the default ODBC Data Source Administrator on a 64-bit OS, it will only create 64-bit DSNs.

So in order to create a 32-bit System DSN, you have to manually launch the 32-bit ODBC Administrator Tool, which is located at


Once into it, I created the System DSN as usual… and the rest of the Update Manager installation went perfectly.

The only down side is… you can’t see the 32-bit DSNs from the 64-bit ODBC Admin Tool… and you can’t see the 64-bit DSNs from the 32-bit ODBC Admin Tool.  So you’ll just need to remember to check both.



1. Bobby - December 21, 2011

Bravo. Exactly what I was looking for. Used this for 4.1, and worked flawlessly. Thanks!

2. elund - March 29, 2012

Fantastic..just what i needed..worked like a charm

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