VMware vCenter Port 80 invalid or already in use

While installing VMware vCenter 4.x with Microsoft SQL 2008 (R2) installed on the same system you might get the following error message: The following port numbers are either invalid or already in use. VMware VirtualCenter HTTP Port: 80

By default vCenter wants to use port 80 for the HTTP service and using the netstat command you can verify which process is listening on port 80. In my case Windows wasn’t able to show the actual process name other than Process ID 4 which basically tells that the “system” is using the port.

The netstat -abo output displays: “Cannot obtain ownership information” and only shows Process ID 4

A lot of forums on the Internet talk about the fact that this is caused by Windows Remote Management (WinRM) that by default is using port 80. This story isn’t true since Windows Remote Management isn’t listening by default even while it is started as described in this Microsoft article:

By default, no WinRM listener is configured. Even if the WinRM service is running, WS-Management protocol messages that request data cannot be received or sent

Also note that only the WinRM 1.1 and earlier is using port 80 by default when configured.

WinRM 1.1 and earlier: The default HTTP port is 80.

WinRM 2.0: The default HTTP port is 5985.

There is a VMware KB article about this problem that states that it could be IIS or Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Since I personally only know this error message from IIS that is using port 80, I wanted to know what the difference was in SQL 2008.

Basically the story is that SSRS now handles HTTP via HTTP.SYS, a native OS kernel that intercepts and handles HTTP requests just like IIS. The reason for Microsoft to use this method is to make the SSRS independent of IIS.

So with this knowledge you can relate to the fact that netstat isn’t displaying the process name other than the process ID 4 which is pointing out to the “system”. To get vCenter Installed on port 80 ensure that the SSRS Service is stopped (or uninstalled when it’s not needed on the system.).

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  1. Duco Jaspars

     /  December 8, 2010

    Funny, ran in to exactly the same issue today, disabeled ssrs and Voila …

  2. Yeah same here. I was frustrated by the netstat error that wasn’t telling me that SSRS was the “troublemaker”, so I decided to find out what was going on 😉

  3. Harold Dcruz

     /  July 1, 2011

    I was like giving hope on this issue.. and I tried nbtstat -bn and yes you see port 80 listening but virtual center still can’t install.
    I also removed .net 3.5 + IIS before I installed virtual center and still smae issue.
    Then looking at your article I had already installed SQL R2 and reporting services was 1 of the serives I needed to run some reports for the mgrs. I stopped the SQL reporting services and then started the VC install again and it just flew… Great article so I thought I mention it…

  4. FredK

     /  January 9, 2012

    Funny… your statement : i had a vCenter 5. After reboot no way to start the vcenter server service again… disabled the WinRM service and the vCenter Server service ran again.

    So there is definitly a problem beetween the WinRM and vCenter. Better… i had problems with the iSCSI initiator too… after the reboot of a HyperV node, no way to see the iSCSI Lun devices. Disabled the WinRM service and everything was ok again… so for me there is a big trouble with the WinRM. Everything seems to get wrong since i installed SCVMM and tried to manage vCenter via it.


  5. FredK

     /  January 9, 2012

    I forgot..
    vSphere 5
    HyperV 2008 R2 SP1
    SCVMM 2010

    Everything is probably no up to date on the lastest patch (cause i don’t have internet access on my platform), but quite recent versions are running.

  6. Brian

     /  May 3, 2012

    To resolve this issue disable the following services:

    SQL Server Reporting Services
    World Wide Web Publishing Service

  7. Thiago Augusto Fischer

     /  July 19, 2012

    I had this same problem and stopped this service and passed 🙂

    service: World Wide Web Publishing Service

  8. Baiju

     /  September 3, 2012

    Today i faced the same problem but was not working even after disabling iis/wrmp/sql and no 80 port was listening while checking the ports.After that found vcenter converter and vmware usb arbitration services were started.Disabled both services and started installatio viola….:)

  9. Excellent, I got it.

  10. coolbuddy

     /  January 1, 2015

    Thanks Baiju, You are Rock man,i was read so many article on that topic and they discuss so many thing n blah-blah but not got right resolution.And you are the man who did it ………..

  11. Hello,
    I’m having the same issue running vCenter 5.0 u1 and ESXi 5.0 u1. I wanted to upgrade to the latest version, and I’m surprise I should install the Inventory Service because it’s mandatory service by vCenter. In order to install the Inventory Service, SSO service must be installed too.

    SSO Service uses port 88 by default. When I installed the vCenter 5.0, I was having IIS/SQL Reporting Service are installed on the same machine and instead of Port 80 I used port 88 🙂

    In order for me to upgrade to the latest version, I should have port 88 free to be used by SSO and Port 80 must be free too to be used by vCenter 🙂

    Is it possible just to uninstall the SQL Reporting Service? or I should only change the port?
    What is the procedure to change the port of the vCenter?.. vCenter Advanced Settings and Change the port in the Advanced Configuration? Or is there another precaution must be taken into account?


  12. On my case AD FS 2.0 caused the issue to use the port 80

  13. Arjun S Babu

     /  December 22, 2016

    Thanks man. in my case not able to start vcenter service after reboot. vpxd.log is telling some issue with LDAP. I disabled the SSRS and SQL analysis service and able to start the Vcenter service. Thanks a lot for the post

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