BrianHereNow
Contributor
Contributor

License for ESXi 5 doesn't work with ESXi 4.1

I have a VMWare ESXi 4.1 server. The datacenter installed if for us a few weeks ago. We were using vSphere Client to manage it however the datacenter guys didn't write down license key when they downloaded it and the vSphere Client now refuses to work. Now vSphere client won't let us turn on our VMs and we can't do it through ssh either. Luckily we only brought down a test VM and not one of the production VMs. However, if the power goes out during the hurricane and we need to restart ESXi, I'm afraid nothing will come back online.

I tried going to the ESXi page which now says it is "VMWare Hypervisor 5" and got a license, however our 4.1 server will not accept the license. I tried to find an ESXi 4.1 download page and could not. Apparently they were all pulled down off the VMWare site and repointed to ESXi 5.

Is this intentional to try to force people to migrate to ESXi 5? The 4.1 server was the official version as of a few weeks ago. There was no EOL mentioned for it. Can someone help us figure out how to install a vSphere Client license that works with 4.1?

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13 Replies
AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

The 4.1 download is still there:

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere_hypervisor_esxi/4_...

Have you tried to look in the license portal if there is a downgrade option?

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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BrianHereNow
Contributor
Contributor

When I click on that and log in, it redirects me from the ESXi 4.1 download page to the ESXi 5 download page and offers an ESXi 5 license.

I don't see any kind of downgrade option anywhere.

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GerardButcher
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Brian,

If you e-mail gerard.butcher@randox.com I could supply you with a Key that you require.  I downloaded 4.1 a while back for training our staff on that Hypervisior so you can use the Key I got from then.  This shouldn't cause Licensing Issues as I am running a fully Licensed Host and not the Hypervisior Licenses.

Regards,


Gerard

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

A quick look at the EULA shows:

2.      GRANT AND USE RIGHTS FOR SOFTWARE

2.1     License Grant. The Software is licensed, not sold.   Subject to the terms of this EULA, VMware grants You a non-exclusive,  non-transferable license, without rights to sublicense, ...

André

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bofh2k
Contributor
Contributor

Have the same problem myself - a few days into my 60 day evaluation period on 4.1 and haven't applied for my 4.1 licence key yet and when I went to try and do it, there is no option, only a 5.1 key which ESXi 4.1 won't accept..

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BrianHereNow
Contributor
Contributor

I'd gladly use a newly generated 4.1 license if they would make it available. This is going to be a problem for a lot of people.

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Unfortunately, it looks like VMware decided to no longer provide license keys for the free Hypervisor 4.1 version. Unless you didn't register for one or - like in your case - the license key (registation email) isn't available anymore, you are out of luck.

see Re: Where to get ESXi 4.1 (post 5.0 release)

André

BrianHereNow
Contributor
Contributor

Marked that last one as "helpful" but I'm still waiting until I talk to VMWare to leave a definitive answer for the thread. 

I can't just upgrade my machines while people are using them and yet I can't turn on some of the other VMs that are currently off because the vSphere Client won't allow it. Can't even do it through the SSH CLI. This was terrible planning on their part.

Here's a post about doing an upgrade from 4.1 to 5.0 for those who need it:

http://blog.vmpros.nl/2011/07/13/vmware-easy-upgrade-esxi-4-1-to-esxi-5-0/

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tejas201110141
Contributor
Contributor

I have used below guide to upgrade my ESX 4.1 to 5. After UPgrade the existing VMs are not added to the inventory. So need to browse datastore, right click .vmx in each VM folder to add to the vSphere 5.0 inventory.

http://www.mytricks.in/2011/08/how-to-upgrade-esxi-41-to-esxi-50.html

RajuVCP
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hi,

I have upgraded my vSphere 4.0 to vSphere 5.0 and am not faced any issues in VM inventory, all the VM's which are present in vSphere 4.0 are visible after migrating to vSphere 5.0, with no issues.

Please see below link for upgrading it.

http://tech2solution.com/forum/index.php?topic=365.msg1122#msg1122

Regards

Raju Gunnal

Raju Gunnal VCP 4, VCP 5, VTSP 4, VTSP 5, ITIL V3 http://www.techtosolution.com
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BrianHereNow
Contributor
Contributor

I talked to VMWare support and they said that they will make the ESXi 4.1 download page available again by "the end of the week." Apparently it was down due to "maintenance issues." They gave me a 4.1 license to use in the meantime. If you don't see the license up there, I'd send a note to VMWare support so that they can hook you up and so they know that people really do need the license to be available.

It probably is a good idea to move up to 5.0 when you can, but we can't just do that immediately because people are using the system and we need to go through some testing first. Thank you to everyone who posted information about how to make the upgrade process easier.

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Thanks for the feedback. Just checked it. Now there's a link to v4.1 on the 5.0 page (http://www.vmware.com/go/get-esxi-4)

André

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BrianHereNow
Contributor
Contributor

And thanks to VMWare for being responsive to customer needs.

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