if your guest does not have a CD/DVD drive, you cannot do this by Guest-Install Upgrade Tools
You'll need to copy the contents of windows.iso, or find a guest with a cd/dvd drive go through the process of installing the tools, but don't click on the option to do automated or interactive. Instead browse the CD/DVD drive of the guest and extract the files. From there, copy them to a file share. In guests that don't have a CD/DVD drive you can browse to the file share and run the setup.
...or power off the guest and add a CD/DVD drive.
If you don't want to extract the ISO file from your ESXi Host, see http://packages.vmware.com/tools
thanks for answer. Well, ok i agree with you. But still i am wondering how it is possible that the tools were upgraded in the VM. That vm did not have cd-rom device. in vm settings
Options->Vmware Tools->Advanced->Check and upgrade tools during power cycling was enabled.
We started the vm, and after the vm powered up, in the console we saw that vmware tools were upgraded , as there was a popup saying that vmware tools will now need to reboot the vm. After reboot vm tools status was current.
On the same vm, when then we selected from vm menu Guest/Install Upgrade tools, inside the os, vmware tools popup asks if you want to do the interactive or automated instalaltion/upgrade. If we choose automated then tools will be installed without any issue. So i am trying to understand or find some vmware document about this behaviour. Why it can install the tools while power cycle ?
This should not work even if you have "check and upgrade tools at power cycle" enabled. The process still needs to mount the tools installer to the CD/DVD drive. Was that guest migrated via vMotion or DRS to a host that has a different build?