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Might not be new, But had few calls from my colleagues about the VMNIC number change and they report its not working after changing it in the \device\ID location of esx.conf file.

So just thought of giving some head's up.


Firstly!! Yes the only supported & always recommended way for correcting the VMNIC numbering & order is by following the VMware KB 2019871.

But there are few circumstances that we could not follow the recommended way & on extremely exceptional situation we will be looking for the obvious option of changing the VMNIC order in the esx.conf file as required. I see few number of web contents, it is listed to change only the /devices/ID section which is not working.


Actually, there are almost 3 to 4 places including /devices/ID location you need to change in for VMNIC# in the esx.conf file. So the better way is


  • To download locally the esx.conf file using winscp from your esx server.
  • Open it with the word pad
  • Enter Ctrl + F and search for VMNIC#(# is the current NIC order number that you want to change to) one by one
  • Replace it with the desired NIC numbering until the search says that wordpad has finished searching the document. ( it should be 3 or 4 place you should have made the changes)
  • Once you are sure with the changes done, copy & replace the esx.conf in the esxi host using winscp. ( obviously keep a backup for worst-case)



Arvinth Rajkumar Ravi.