MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

ESXI 5.5 Password Reset

I know 5.5 is old and out of support. But, we have 2 remaining 5.5 hosts which house production VMs. I'm trying to join these 2 hosts to a vcenter so I can migrate the VMs off of them. Problem is, no one at this company knows the root password for these hosts. So, I was hoping there was a way to reset the password. The procedures I have found seem to be for earlier versions (5.0 and earlier). I'm sure I am not the first person with this issue so, hopefully someone here can help.

As an alternate solution, I built a new 5.5 host and added it to the vcenter with the 2 referenced above. But, when trying to migrate I get the error listed below. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

"CPUID details: incompatibility at level 0x80000001 register 'ecx'. Host bits: 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0001:0010:0001 Required: 00xx:xx0x:xx00:x0x0:xxxx:0xx0:00x0:00x1"

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19 Replies
Nawals
Expert
Expert

my assumption is your 2 new hosts CPUs are same as exiting. have you added these new hosts to same cluster as exiting. Also, Have you check the EVC mode on existing cluster where 2 hosts are residing.

About password reset of the hosts is only via host profile if using host profile in vCenter.

NKS Please Mark Helpful/correct if my answer resolve your query.
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Lalegre
Commander
Commander

If you are sharing storage between those two hosts and the new one maybe you can Power Off the VMs from inside guest and the add it to the inventory of the new one. One the old ESXi they are going to change to "orphaned" but as you will probably need to re-install it to get the password again is no big deal as all the data is secure in the new ESXi.

Alto there is this procedure https://www.altaro.com/vmware/reset-esxi-root-password/ (Not supported at all but maybe it can help you)

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nachogonzalez
Expert
Expert

Hello, hope you are doing fine

For the CPUID error: you need to enable EVC, please make sure that CPU Brand is the same and EVC level is set to the same as destination

for the password issue you have this options:

- AD Authentication (if enabled) might allow you to reset root password
- Host profile root password reset
- PowerCLI (requires host to be connected to vCenter)

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TimSheppard
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

On what storage are the VMs sitting on?

id be looking at presenting that storage to the existing cluster and registering the VMs there or if on local storage, I’d be looking at doing a reinstall of ESXi.

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

The existing hosts have the same CPUs. (Intel Xeon E5-2665 0 @2.40 GHZ) . Apparently the host I am trying to add has a different  CPU (Intel Xeon x5647 @ 2.93/GHZ).

I created a cluster and added the hosts. But, when trying to enable EVC, the 2 original hosts will work with the  "Sandy Bridge" setting. The host I am trying to add will not work with any of the EVC settings.

As for the password situation, Host Profile is not enabled. in the Vcenter

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nachogonzalez
Expert
Expert

Are the hosts connected to vCenter?

if that's the case you can creare a host profile and attach it to the hosts so password can be remediated

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, the hosts are in a Vcenter. Ih ave not gone through the process of creating a host profile.  I'm not sure if that causes any type of downtime but. these host have production VMs running on them.

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nachogonzalez
Expert
Expert

I have gone trought this steps several times in the past:

Here is what you will need to do:  VMware Knowledge Base

Please consider that in order to apply the host profile the ESXi host need to be in maintenance mode

Once that is done the steps are:
Attach Host Profile --> Check compliance (it will fail) --> Enter Maintenance mode --> Remediate host profile

It will take no downtime for your VMs, as long as you are able to move them to other hosts.

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

Well, apparently that option isn't available. It looks like host profiles require a different license than we have. We have a Vsphere 5 standard license.

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

My next thought is these 2 5.5 hosts are in a 5.5 vcenter.

Upgrade Vcenter to 6.5. Vcenter 6.5 can still manage 5.5 hosts.

Move VMs to 1 host

Upgrade the host with no VMs to 6.5. Which, should give me a chance to set a new password.

Migrate the VMs to the now 6.5 host

Remove the 6.5 host from the 6.5 Vcenter

Add the 6.5 host to my 6.7 Vcenter

Migrate the VMs from the 6.5 host to a 6.7 host.

All while experiencing NO downtime.

Am I crazy?

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Lalegre
Commander
Commander

I think i am getting lost in your scenario. Could you please do a diagram or explain how many vCenters you have, the versions and also where are the ESXi with VMs connected?

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TimSheppard
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

My understanding is that the original poster has 2 hosts running ESXi 5.5 that are not managed by vCenter that he doesn’t know the root password for but has production VMs running on it.

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

Sorry for the confusion.

What we have is actually 2 Vcenters.

Vcenter A is a 5.5 Vcenter with 2 5.5 hosts. These 2 hosts have production VMs running on them. The previous admin left no documentation as far as root passwords for the hosts. He did however leave the administrator@vsphere.local password. So, I am able to log into the Vcenter and manage hosts and VMs.

VCenter B is a 6.7 Vcenter which manages all of the rest of our virtual environment. All hosts currently in this Vcenter are 6.7.

My end goal is to get the VMs located on the 5.5 hosts in Vcenter A onto one or more of the 6.7 hosts in Vcenter B.

Since we apparently don't have the correct license, using the host profile solution doesn't seem like an option.

So, thought is I could go through the steps listed in my earlier post.

upgrade Vcenter A to 6.5. where it could still manage the 2 5.5 hosts.

Move the vms all to one host.

upgrade that host to 6.5. Changing the password in the process.

Move Vms back to the now 6.5 host

Then remove that host from Vcenter A

Add it to Vcenter B

Migrate the VMs onto 6.7 hosts in VCenter B

And now I havemy production VMs on 6.7 host managed by a 6.7 Vcenter.

A lot of moving parts but, i'm not sure what other options i have.

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TimSheppard
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Doing all those upgrades sounds like lots of opportunities for things to go wrong.

Is the 5.5 environment using different storage to the 6.7 one?

Also, take a look at this... https://vmwarecode.com/2020/07/09/esxi-password-reset-using-powercli/

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, the 5.5 hosts share storage on a NetApp.

The 6.7 hosts are on a collection of Dell VRTX chassis.

And yeah, I agree. Lots of chances for something to go wrong. I'm just not sure what else I can do.

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TimSheppard
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Can you temporarily present the NetApp storage to one of the 6.7 hosts?

Did you take a look at the link opin my previous post?

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MBordelonFBD
Contributor
Contributor

Good question. I'm not sure if we can do that or not but, it's worth considering.

The issue has gotten significantly worse within the last couple of hours. The Vcenter is no longer accessible. The vcenter VM restarted and now the VCenter doesn't load.

So, we are left with 2 hosts that are unreachable other than physically standing in front of them. Which of course does no good.

The powercli option looks like it only works when connecting to the Vcenter. which now is not an option.

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Lalegre
Commander
Commander

I think you will need to focus now on the vCenter Server as i think you are getting out of options. With the NetApp configured i am assumming that you are using NFS to present the Datastores and as it uses TCP/IP protocol is it definitely possible to have it configured anywhere, obviously depending of your network architecture.

However you still need to fix the vCenter Server in case possible maybe you can locate what is the issue and give us an insight.

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meoli
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Mount the NetApp Storage on your 6.x Hosts.

Shutdown the Guest-VMs on your 5.5 Host from within the Guest-VM

From your 6.x Hosts locate the VM within the NetApp Storage, select the vmx file and register the VM on your 6.x Host.

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