Important steps to do while upgrading from vSphere 4.1 to 5

1 Backup your vCenter database.

2 Uninstall all vSphere client and plugins. If VUM plugin cannot be uninstall successfully, check this.

3 Upgrade vCenter / VUM software.

4 If you have changed your database before upgrading, vCenter installer maybe setup a SqlServer 2008R2 Express but never used. You can follow this step to change the service dependence and uninstall this instance of SqlServer. Warning: Make sure the instance is truly useless before you uninstall it.

5 Install a vSphere client and a VUM plugin.

6 Open vSphere client, go to Home – Solutions and Applications – Update Manager, ESXi Images tab.

7 Click Import ESXi Image, upload the ESXi 5.0 installation ISO file.

8 Go to Baselines and Groups tab, create a new baseline for hosts with type Host Upgrade.

9 Go to Home – Inventory – Hosts and Clusters, select the cluster or esxi hypervisor, Update Manager tab.

10 Click Attach, to link your selected hypervisors with new created baseline.

11 Scan.

12 Put some of hypervisors into maintenance mode.

13 Important: go to Conguration tab – Software – Security Profile, disable the Lockdown Mode. Or, HA agants will be unable to upgrade.

14 Remediate (context menu item of hypervisor) with Upgrade baseline, select the remove 3rd drivers checkbox.

15 The progress will stay at 22% for more than 5 minutes. You will be notified to press Enter to restart by hypervisor console, not vSphere client. After you press Enter, the CDROM tray will be ejected. You have to close it manually. That is funny, right?

16 Exit maintenance mode.

17 Re-enable the Lockdown Mode.

18 Upgrade license if you need.

19 Upgrade all vm-tools.

20 Upgrade distributed network switches.

21 Upgrade VMFS (terrible). I suggest you to delete and re-create the datastore one by one, by using Storage vMotion moving. It will cost several days.

Fix the ESXi not responding problem


A “not responding” are displayed after all esxi hypervisor shown in vsphere client which linked to the vcenter. Right click any of the esxi and select “Connect” will bring it back. But after a short while, no more than 90 secs, it will be back to not responding status.


1 In vShpere client, open menu “Administration” — “vCenter Server Settings”, click “Runtime Settings” from the left panel, make sure that all IP and server name are correct. If not, re-enter it. Close and reopen your vSphere client — This is important.

2 Try to ping from your vCenter, not the vSphere client, to each of esxi hypervisors.

3 If you are using Windows Server 2008/R2 or any OS with firewall for vCenter, you need to add or change some firewall rules:


Enable the “File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4-In)”

Enable the “File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv6-In)”

Add a rule to allow TCP 903 income for ESXi heartbeat.

Add a rule to allow UDP 902 income for ESXi heartbeat.

4 Try to reconnect all ESXi hypervisors.


If the problem still exists, you have to google it again.