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Home > VMware > VMware: Easy upgrade ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.0

VMware: Easy upgrade ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.0

Last night I did an upgrade from vSphere ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.0 using the ESXi 5 installation CD. The upgrade process was very easy.. elapsed time: 10 minutes!

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^ Current installed OS: VMware ESXi 4.1.0 build 260247

- Mount the vSphere 5.0 cd-rom in the host
- Boot from CD-Rom drive

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- Choose: ESX-5.0.0 Installer in the menu

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- Press: Enter to continue the installation

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- Accept the EULA – Press: F11

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- Select the disk to with the existing ESXi 4.1 installation

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- The setup detects there’s an older version of vSphere installed, select in the menu what to do:

The selected storage device contains an installation of ESXi and a VMFS datastore. Choose whether to upgrade or install and overwrite the existing ESXi installation. Also choose whether to preserve or overwrite the existing VMFS datastore.

( ) Upgrade ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore
( ) Install ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore
( ) Install ESXi, overwrite VMFS datastore

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- Confirm Upgrade: Press F11 to start the upgrade process

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- Upgrade is started…

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- Upgrade Complete!

ESXi 5.0.0. has been successfully installed.

ESXi 5.0.0 will operate in evaluation mode for 60 days. To us ESXi 5.0.0. after the evaluation period, you must re-apply your licenses to this server. To administer your server, use the vSphere Client or the Direct Control User Interface

Remove the installation disc before rebooting

Reboot the server to start using ESXi 5.0.0

Final result: Successfully upgraded from ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5.0

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… wonderful product!

  1. avatar
    Paul
    July 13th, 2011  (Quote) at 08:52  (Quote) | #1

    Great blogpost, seems flawless!

  2. avatar
    Younisco
    July 13th, 2011  (Quote) at 13:33  (Quote) | #2

    Hello. Fantastics post. Thanks

  3. avatar
    Jasper
    August 1st, 2011  (Quote) at 08:10  (Quote) | #3

    Thats not so difficult, thanks :)

  4. avatar
    vimax
    August 1st, 2011  (Quote) at 12:42  (Quote) | #4

    Thanks for those screenshots

  5. avatar
    Tyson
    August 2nd, 2011  (Quote) at 19:32  (Quote) | #5

    Looked at the VMware web site, we are running the free 4.1 esxi and cannot find the download for the 5.0 install.

  6. August 22nd, 2011  (Quote) at 18:13  (Quote) | #6

    Tyson ESX 5 doesn’t come out till Wednesday I believe possibly tomorrow.

  7. August 23rd, 2011  (Quote) at 07:33  (Quote) | #7

    You can pre-register the release, you will be notified when VMware vSphere 5 is available for download

    https://www.vmware.com/try-vmware/

  8. avatar
    Olly
    August 25th, 2011  (Quote) at 08:05  (Quote) | #8

    Thanks for the post. What about any problems with VMs on that host? Obviously they need to be shutdown before the upgrade, but were there any issues bringing them back up etc. afterwards?

  9. avatar
    dflohr
    August 26th, 2011  (Quote) at 05:25  (Quote) | #9

    Just started the update process and my experience was slightly different. ESXi 5.0.0 will be installed on a boot SD card in Dell PowerEdge T710. As a result the “Upgrade” option is not available. Only:

    Install or Force Migrate.

    Did the install just fine. Booted up fine. Datastore is present in VSphere Client 5.0 but cannot yet add the VMs into inventory. Thoughts anyone?

  10. avatar
    dflohr
    August 26th, 2011  (Quote) at 05:37  (Quote) | #10

    Working now. On new install, the existing VMs are not added to inventory. Necessary to browse datastore, right click .vmx in each VM folder to add to inventory.

  11. August 29th, 2011  (Quote) at 15:47  (Quote) | #11

    I did the same and see an error that hardware VT is not enable but i was enable because my ESXi 4.1 was already running on that machine. so i force intall it .

    why it show that machine VT is not enable.

  12. September 4th, 2011  (Quote) at 11:18  (Quote) | #12

    Great! It Worked !

  13. avatar
    Bin
    September 20th, 2011  (Quote) at 23:09  (Quote) | #13

    Anyone tried that on ESXi 4.0 ?

  14. September 21st, 2011  (Quote) at 10:10  (Quote) | #14

    Doesn’t work for you? I upgraded/migrated multiple servers now

  15. September 27th, 2011  (Quote) at 14:41  (Quote) | #15

    Has anyone tried a 4.1U1 upgrade to 5.0 where you have installed 4.1U1 on a USB drive ? I’ve had this installed and booting from a 1G usb stick and it’d be interesting to try to upgrade it directly..

  16. avatar
    max
    September 27th, 2011  (Quote) at 20:53  (Quote) | #16

    My upgrade experiance was mixed. On one machine it worked i did have to manually add the vm’s from the 1st datastore but the second datastore isnt even seen anymore ( i think they must have removed support for my raid controller), but the next machine even though i told it to upgrade and preserve the datastore when it rebooted my static ip address had changed to a dhcp address and all my vms were gone and the whole datastore now shows as freespace.

  17. avatar
    alvin
    October 10th, 2011  (Quote) at 22:47  (Quote) | #17

    What about licensing?

  18. avatar
    Patrick
    October 28th, 2011  (Quote) at 19:34  (Quote) | #18

    I have a lab going. I’ve installed ESXi 4.1 on a USB key (fresh install) Then I create a VM which is on local storage.

    I put the disk int he server, boot everything looks good, then my only 2 options are Install or force migration.

    Is there something I’m missing?

  19. avatar
    Stuart
    November 1st, 2011  (Quote) at 20:59  (Quote) | #19

    This looks fairly straightforward. Is any data/config lost during this in-place upgrade? Does anything have to be done after the upgrade to reconfigure/rebuild the config…say for datastore connectivity, vSwitches, etc?

  20. avatar
    Brundlefly7
    November 9th, 2011  (Quote) at 18:53  (Quote) | #20

    I’m looking to do the same upgrade here in our Production Environment. ESXi 4.1 to vSphere 5.0. I was wondering if you backed up your VMS first before performing the upgrade. And if you had, I suppose I am looking at backing up my current 4.1 Environment VMs first before I blow everything up. I have the 5.0 Upgrade guide and of course one of the first notes in it states “VMWare highly suggests backing up your current configuration”

    Great post though, its just what I needed to see. Screen shots are my friend…..

    This may be for another forum but does anyone have a good backup plan to save current VMs before upgrading to 5.0? I’m a few steps up from a complete Noob here but an expert by no means. Any suggestions anyone? Either your personal choice for backing up VMS or Suggestions for backing up VMS you may have found online?

    I’m leery about doing this upgrade without first backing up my current VMS. I have inherited this Esxi 4.1 Virtual Environment and have been recently asked to upgrade to vSphere 5.0.

    I have about 37 VMS running that our Development team currently uses so I was also wondering about downtime. Says 10 minutes at the top. And do I have it correct that after the upgrade you must go into the datastore and re-add each VM to inventory in order to see them again??

    Lastly I am still going to be running vCenter Server in its current 4.0 state, should vCenter be upgraded first? Of can it be done after the vSphere 5.0 install?

    I’ll keep looking online for a backup plan but if anyone cares to share their backup method I would appreciate it.

    Lots of questions here but thanks in advance for your responses everyone!

  21. November 15th, 2011  (Quote) at 05:16  (Quote) | #21

    I just performed this upgrade on a non-hardware-virtualized machine.
    It complained about unsupported features a few times, but hitting F11 to force the upgrade appears to have worked with great success.

  22. December 26th, 2011  (Quote) at 01:45  (Quote) | #22

    Hah, but it’s not possible for upgrade VMWare ESX 4.0 -> VMWare ESXi 5.0 since it requires clean install.

  23. December 27th, 2011  (Quote) at 09:37  (Quote) | #23

    TooMeeK :

    Hah, but it’s not possible for upgrade VMWare ESX 4.0 -> VMWare ESXi 5.0 since it requires clean install.

    Why not? You can force a transition from ESX 4 to ESXi 5

  24. avatar
    Dan
    December 29th, 2011  (Quote) at 02:13  (Quote) | #24

    I tried your guide but got an error messages about some custom VIBs that were installed with Update 1 of ESXi 4.1.
    These are the 3ware SCSI 2.26.08.036vm40 and Neterion vxge 2.0.28.21239-p3.0.1.2 drivers.

    After many hours trying to find a solution, which included vmware’s knowledge base which gave me some commands that didn’t even work, I evenually came found a chinese website that listed the IDs of the offending drivers and removed them

    esxupdate -b ESXi410-201101223-UG remove
    esxupdate -b ESXi410-201101224-UG remove

    After this my ESXi 5 upgrade went through ok.

  25. avatar
    Dan
    December 29th, 2011  (Quote) at 02:20  (Quote) | #25

    whoops bad typo in that last post!
    I was changing “came across” to “found”, but forgot to remove “came”
    kinda reads rather rude now, can you please edit – thanks !

  26. avatar
    George Brossault
    January 16th, 2012  (Quote) at 20:11  (Quote) | #26

    sanderdaems :

    TooMeeK :

    Hah, but it’s not possible for upgrade VMWare ESX 4.0 -> VMWare ESXi 5.0 since it requires clean install.

    Why not? You can force a transition from ESX 4 to ESXi 5

    No, it isn’t. You’re supposed to go 4.0 > 4.1 and then to 5.0. DOn’t go directly. And if you use a Dell server, ame sure to download the apprporiate esxi 5.0 image from the DELL site.

  27. January 17th, 2012  (Quote) at 09:27  (Quote) | #27

    Hmm oke, thanks for the tip.. I didn’t upgrade from 4.0 to 5, only from 4.1 to 5

  28. avatar
    Alex Ferreira
    February 3rd, 2012  (Quote) at 15:53  (Quote) | #28

    I haven’t tried a risky direct upgrade so far. I’ll try in a spare server soon.
    As for VT, ESXi5 will always bitch out it, if the processor isn’t VT capable or if it’s disabled in the bios. It will continue bitching afterwards even in a normal boot procedure.
    In spite of what vmware states, you can always continue the install/boot procedure and it will work, as long as you don’t wish to enable 64bit emulations without VT (64 on 64bit emulation), which obviously doesn’t work without a VT 64 bit processor with VT enabled.

  29. avatar
    PepeFragoso
    February 8th, 2012  (Quote) at 17:35  (Quote) | #29

    If you have multiple host in your enviroment, You can start upgrading the vCenter 4.1 to 5.0, then you can use the update manager to upgrade the esxi 4.1 to 5.0; if you are running 4.0 you can use the update manager to upgrade from 4.0 to 4.1. I did the host upgrade from esxi 4.1 to 5.0 using update manager and it is really easyl; i didnt have to go to the server room to insert a cd or usb. Dont forget to do you backups of your esxi host config before your upgrade in case you need to roll back.

    What i did for my upgrade was:
    1. backup of my vcenter databases
    2. upgrade from sql 2005 to 2008
    3. upgrade vcenter 4.1 to 5.0
    4. backup esxi host using power cli
    5. install update manager plug in
    6. configure update manager (baselines)
    7. create a baseline host upgrade
    8. create a baseline with esxi patches
    9. remediate the baseline to the host
    For this step, you need to evacuate your VMs to the another host and send the host to maintenance mode.
    10. The host will restart after the upgrade, apply the patches baseline.
    11. the host will restart after the patches.
    12. you are all set.

    It is really easy, just make sure you follow all the steps.

    Let me know if you have questions. I did all this last week and this week i will do a manual upgrade because one of our datacenter only have one host, therefore, i need to do it manually.

    Good luck!

  30. avatar
    Aneesh
    June 7th, 2012  (Quote) at 06:43  (Quote) | #30

    when we migrate a our vmware version from 4.1 to ESXi 5.0

  31. avatar
    Aneesh
    June 7th, 2012  (Quote) at 06:45  (Quote) | #31

    Let me know if there any problems occur to the current virtual machine installations if we migrate our vmware version from ESXi 4.1 to ESXi 5

  32. avatar
    Knaphie
    June 30th, 2012  (Quote) at 17:21  (Quote) | #32

    Hi,
    Thanks for the info. Great post.

    Just a short update here to confirm a seamless upgrade from ESXi 4.1 to 5.0(U1).
    In my case on my Lab Proliant ML115 G5 (single Quad core Opteron with 8GB RAM).
    Whole upgrade took about 10 minutes.

    ESXi was and still is hosted on a bootable 4GB USB Key. All VMs are hosted on separate IDE and SATA drives. All working fine.

    Many thanks.
    Steve B

  33. avatar
    Knaphie
    July 13th, 2012  (Quote) at 08:58  (Quote) | #33

    Hi Guys,

    The only issue I have is that any VMs set to AutoStart don’t start automatically.
    This seems to be a known issue at VMware.
    http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2012/03/free-esxi-hypervisor-auto-start-breaks-with-50-update-1.html

    No problem on my Lab system, but had to re-install to V5.0 on production servers.

    Regards,
    Steve B

  34. avatar
    Gogul
    January 30th, 2013  (Quote) at 07:40  (Quote) | #34

    HI,

    Thank you for step by step Screen shot.

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