Got bit by a pretty annoying vCenter 5.5 Update 3 bug.
Error 1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.
While upgrading a client to 5.5 Update 3b from vCenter 5.5 U2, you have to make a modification to a source file BEFORE running the upgrade. If you just process the upgrade, vCenter fails to start at the end of the installation (after upgrading the SSO, Database, Web Client and Inventory service!). There is NO RESOLUTION. Just a work around or a roll back with work around. Fortunately, I took a snapshot of vCenter before upgrading so I was able to roll back, make the change and process the upgrade successfully but UGH.. It should have been a lot easier.
In any event – If you are upgrading to vCenter 5.5 Update 3b, read the link above and be sure to always take snapshots before upgrading anything.
Oh and if you haven’t upgraded to the vCenter Appliance yet – read the above link again and tell me;
WHY haven’t you made the switch yet?