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Before I jump into this headfirst I want to make sure this will work. I currently have an ESXi 3.5 host, but I would like to upgrade to ESXi 4. I'm using the free version. My plan is to:

1) Copy the VM folders from the current ESXi 3.5 datastore to a local 2TB hard drive for temporary storage.

2) Wipe the current ESXi 3.5 install and datastore, then install ESXi 4 (clean slate).

3) Copy the VMs from the local 2TB drive back to the new ESXi 4 datastore.

Is it as simple as that?

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Yes, it's really that simple, it'll just work - but you may well wish to update each VM's model version, reboot them, update the VMTools, reboot and maybe reconfigure your vNICs - then you'll benefit from the performance benefits best. Oh and take into consideration that 4.1 has just been launched which can be faster than 4.0U2, although it's newer so potentially less stable/tested.

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